The San Francisco Chronicle is on the warpath over immigration enforcement. In two related stories, the Chron is claiming that hundreds of Americans are being held in custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement as deportable immigrants. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/04/17/BA061740AB.DTL and http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/03/25/MNAM16MA7P.DTL&hw=Sin+Yen+Ling&sn=002&sc=048
However, both stories reveal more by what they leave out then by what they say. In one case sited by the Chron, Douglas Centeno was held in custody while claiming to be an American citizen based on the naturalization of his father when Centeno was a minor. Throughout the articles the reporter harps on the fact that there is a search for the naturalization certificate of the father. Well, there is no need for the certificate, as the record of the naturalization of Centeno pere is part of the computerized data base and a copy of the naturalization certificate is in the physical file of Centeno pere.
Many years ago I used to investigate cases identical like these and they were completed in minutes. You review either the physical file or the computer file of the alien's parents then his file. You find out if the child was a legal permanment resident and a minor at the time of either of the parents naturalization and then you know whether the child obained derived naturalization. Pretty simple, but none of this is in the articles. The question is why hasn't this been done? Instead of leaving your client in custody for 4 months, why did not the attorney communicate her knowledge of Centeno's citizenship to the ICE attorney handling the case. I know from experience that ICE attorney's love to get rid of cases, especially if ICE made a mistake. ICE attorneys are pretty lazy and always demand an airtight case, especially if the alien is claiming American citizenship. As a matter of practice, aliens who claim citizenship are almost never taken into custody, but given a hearing appointment date and released. And this attorney must not be very bright either and probably lazy as well, as she could have requested copies of the relevant alien files with a Freedom Of Information Act quite easily. Why didn't she do this? Perhaps she knew the facts and wanted him to remain in custody as a political stunt? Either the attorney is an idiot or has a political agenda.
And for a reason. The left is loosing the arguement over amnesty, so the left has changed its tactic to attack the agency enforcing immigration laws, claiming that thousands of citizens are being held in ICE custody. That is the tactic, to make every American afraid that they will be arrested at any minute by ICE. Typical leftist fearmongering, just like they claim that the government is reading your email, but the fact is that they are reading the email of radical Jihadis and terrorists.