Saturday, June 04, 2005

NYT: "Refugees in Limbo: Ordered Out of U.S., but with Nowhere to Go" (Jodi Wilgoren)

Interviews and other court records show that he was flown, ankles or wrists cuffed, in a private jet from Minneapolis to Nairobi, with fuel stops in Reykjavik and Rome. American officials do not travel to Somalia - or negotiate with the local Puntland authorities - so they handed him over in Nairobi to RMI Security, a Kenyan concern that, under United States government contract, was supposed to arrange his acceptance.
He and his guards flew as planned to an airstrip in Puntland, but soon reboarded the plane with a handwritten document from an unidentified official that said, "Not having needed lawful documents we have rejected to except" him. It was signed "Thanks."
Now the legal tug of war is over separate Supreme Court precedent that forbids detention beyond six months unless deportation is imminent or there is a specific danger in release. The immigration service, in asking the appeals court to block Mr. Jama's release, argued that the start of the six-month period should be Jan. 12, the date of the Supreme Court's decision on his suit.

The above is from Jodi Wilgoren's "Refugees in Limbo: Ordered Out of U.S., but With Nowhere to Go" in this morning's New York Times. The article's well written an it's an important topic.
You can also see (if you subscribe to The Nation), Edwidge Danticat's "A Crime to Dream."
You have to subscribe to read it online. Here's an excerpt:

Here's an excerpt from Danticat's article:

Every year, thousands of women like Alvarado arrive in the United States seeking refuge from unimaginable horrors. However, a large percentage of them are interdicted on the high seas or turned away at borders and airports and are essentially handed back to their torturers. Many of those who are "lucky" enough to get past the airport inspectors or border patrols are deported after hasty hearings or are imprisoned for months, and sometimes years, at a time.
Rose Thermitus was only 16 when she and 200 other Haitians landed in Key Biscayne, Miami, on October 29, 2002. Coinciding with the late-afternoon news hour, her arrival was captured live on national television, her desperate effort to wade ashore witnessed by millions of viewers. Rose and her older brother Franquelyn had boarded a boat in the north of Haiti after their home was burned down. Their parents had disappeared and are presumed dead.

Nevertheless, both Rose's and Franquelyn's asylum requests were denied, and after ten months in detention Franquelyn was returned to Haiti. Because of a Haitian government policy against issuing travel documents to minors without parental consent, Rose could not be deported. However, she was held in a local hotel for thirteen months. Rose was finally paroled on January 7, 2004, a few months shy of her eighteenth birthday. She is subject to deportation now that she is 18.

Rob e-mails to note Carlotta Gall's "Despite Years of U.S. Pressure, Taliban Fight On in Jagged Hills:"

For weeks, sightings of Taliban fighters were being reported all over the rugged mountains here. But when Staff Sgt. Patrick Brannan and his team of scouts drove into a nearby village to investigate a complaint of a beating, they had no idea that they were stumbling into the biggest battle of their lives.
On May 3, joined by 10 local policemen and an interpreter, the scouts turned up at a kind of Taliban convention - of some 60 to 80 fighters - and were greeted by rockets and gunfire. The sergeant called for reinforcements and was told to keep the Taliban engaged until they arrived. "I've only got six men," he remembers saying.
For the next two and a half hours, he and his small squad, who had a year of experience in Iraq, cut off a Taliban escape. Nearly 40 Taliban and one Afghan policeman were killed. "It's not supposed to be like that here," said Capt. Mike Adamski, a battalion intelligence officer. "It's the hardest fight I saw, even after Iraq."

Lynda e-mails to highlight Lizette Alvarez's "Rights Group Defends Chastising of U.S.:"

Amnesty has fired right back, pointing out that the administration often cites its reports when that suits its purposes. "If our reports are so 'absurd,' why did the administration repeatedly cite our findings about Saddam Hussein before the Iraq war?" wrote William F. Schultz, executive director of the group's United States branch, in a letter to the editor being published Saturday in The New York Times. "Why does it welcome our criticisms of Cuba, China and North Korea? And why does it cite our research in its own annual human rights reports?"
In a telephone interview on Friday, Ms. Gilmore, the second-ranking official in Amnesty, said "gulag" was not meant as a literal description of Guantánamo but was emblematic of the sense of injustice and lack of due process surrounding the prison.
"The issue of the gulag is about policies and practices," she said. "You put people beyond the reach of law, you locate them in facilities where families can't access them, you deny them access to legal representation, you attempt to prevent judicial review."

[. . .]
The International Committee of the Red Cross, the F.B.I. and United States courts have criticized the detention policies at Guantánamo Bay, she said. In addition, Ms. Gilmore said, the detention policy has been expanded to apply to jails in countries like Egypt, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. The creation of an archipelago of detention centers, she said, was another factor in the choice of the term gulag.

Reminder, Bob Somerby plans to have a Saturday Daily Howler that will touch on the topic of Daniel Okrent. Look for it later today.

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