Preventive Detention of Immigrants and Non-Citizens in the United States since September 11th

By Martin, Kate | Refuge, August 2002 | Go to article overview

Preventive Detention of Immigrants and Non-Citizens in the United States since September 11th


Martin, Kate, Refuge


Abstract

The attacks of September 11, 2002, have dramatically altered the policy and scape in Washington, but it is important to reject the notion that there is a necessary trade-off between security and civil liberties. One of the most serious threats to civil liberties has been the adoption of a policy of preventive detention that has resulted in the secret jailing of hundreds of Arabs and Muslims when there is no evidence linking them to terrorist activity. This has been done, not by using the limited new authorities granted the government in the post-September 11 terrorism legislation, but by improperly using pre-existing criminal and immigration authorities Secret arrests are antithetical to a democratic society. A targeted investigation that focuses on actual terrorist activity and respects the legitimate political and religious activity of citizens and non-citizens would be more effective than a dragnet approach that has resulted in the secret arrests of hundreds of individuals.

Resume

Les attentats du 11 septembre ont change de facon dramatique le paysage politique a Washington. Neanmoins, il importe de rejeter la notion que pour obtenir la security, il faut necessairement sacrifier les libertes civiles en echange. Ainsi, une des atteintes les plus serieuses contre les libertes civiles a ete l'adoption dune politique de detention preventive, qui a permis la detention an secret de centaines de ressortissantsArabes et de musulmans malgre qu'il n'existe aucune prevne les liant aux activites terroristes. Ceci a ete accompli non pas en appliquant les pouvoirs limites donnes an gouvernement par les lois anti- terroristes adoptees apres le 11 septembre, mais en evoquant, a tort, des pouvoirs preexistants daps le domaine du criminel et de l'immigration. Les arrestations secretes constituent l'antithese meme dune society democratique. Par contre, une enquete ciblee se concentrant sur des activites terroristes reelles et menee daps le respect des activites religieuses et politiques des citoyens et des non citoyens, serait bier plus efficace que l'approche dune dragne ratissant large et qui a abouti a l'arrestation secrete de centaines d'individus.

I begin this paper by noting that since September 11 there has been a fundamental change in perspective in Washington, D.C. It is now considered a real possibility that a small nuclear device will be set off in some American city and that possibility underlies the discussions about the difficult problems of what do we do now. If a small nuclear device were to be set off, the pressure to suspend the Bill of Rights would be overwhelming. We civil libertarians could argue that it would be not only an inappropriate, but an ineffective and irrelevant, response to that event; but I have little confidence that we could prevent it if there were a nuclear attack or explosion somewhere in the United States.

I begin also with the recognition that there is a crucial responsibility on the part of the United States government to prevent terrorist attacks. At the same time, I reject the notion that there is some necessary trade-off between civil liberties, human rights and constitutional procedures on the one hand, and security on the other.

While many in the United States have cast the terrible situation we find ourselves in today as one in which we must decide what liberties we are willing to sacrifice for an increased measure of safety, I believe that is neither an accurate nor a helpful analysis. Before asking what trade-offs are constitutional, we must ask what gain in security is accomplished by restrictions on civil liberties. It is only by forcing the government to articulate how each particular restriction will contribute to security that we can have any assurance that the steps being taken will in fact be effective against terrorism. Unfortunately, this has not been the approach of the U.S. government to date.

Rather than outline all of the domestic measures taken by the United States government since September 11 that have raised questions about threats to civil liberties, I will concentrate on a subject that is of interest from a comparative perspective looking at Canada and the United States: the government's use of preventive detention in the fight against terrorism. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Preventive Detention of Immigrants and Non-Citizens in the United States since September 11th
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.