Department of Homeland Security – USA PATRIOT Act
The New York Times ran an incredible story today about Mr. Hiu Lui Ng, who died in custody. It seems Mr. Ng was a far cry from the stereotypical illegal alien you read about. Yet, he didn’t have his documents in order, got swept up in the system, and ended up dead.
Something is very wrong with a system that is so drunk on its own power that this kind of thing not only can happen, but does happen all too frequently. Mr. Ng was an integrated member of society married to an American citizen. Just imagine all those anonymous detainees who have no one to speak up for them.
The USA PATRIOT Act is an acronym for “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.” (As soon as I stop laughing I can continue.) One of its provisions is this:
[it] enhances the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities in detaining and deporting immigrants suspected of terrorism-related acts
I’m not sure if Mr. Ng’s arrest was justified literally by this provision, but I’ll but the spirit of it played a part. Law enforcement people have always had a difficult time resisting power abuse, but now it’s much worse. What ever happened to America, the land of the free and the home of the brave?