Pedro Guzman has been an American citizen all his life. Yet in 2007, the 31-year-old Los Angeles native — in jail for a misdemeanor, mentally ill and never able to read or write — signed a waiver agreeing to leave the country without a hearing and was deported to Mexico as an illegal immigrant.
In a drive to crack down on illegal immigrants, the United States has locked up or thrown out dozens, probably many more, of its own citizens over the past eight years. A monthslong AP investigation has documented 55 such cases, on the basis of interviews, lawsuits and documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. These citizens are detained for anything from a day to five years. Immigration lawyers say there are actually hundreds of such cases.
While nativists such as Russell Pearce (R-National Alliance) always take great pains to emphasize that they only have a problem with undocumented immigrants, not with legal immigrants or with U.S. citizens of Mexican descent, the targets of their ire seem to always have one thing in common - brown skin.
I fully expect to hear something about "acceptable collateral damage" or something similar from from the nativist side of this issue.
And I'll start believing that they believe their own BS when they volunteer to go to prison for crimes they haven't committed.
Anybody want to volunteer to hold their breath until *that* happens?