By David Bacon, American Prospect
January 27, 2016
The Obama administration's self-contradictory stance on deportation perpetuates a long tradition of U.S. immigration policies that ignore the root causes of migration.
When President Obama appointed Dollie Gee to the U.S. District Court in 2010, he undoubtedly didn't expect her to mount a frontal challenge to his administration's detention and deportation policies. But five years after her elevation as the first Chinese American woman on the federal bench, Gee ruled last summer that holding Central American women and children in private detention lockups was illegal.
Gee didn’t mince words. She called the detentions "deplorable." And she denounced as "fear-mongering" the claim by Homeland Security lawyers that the detentions would discourage more people from leaving Central America.
Her angry tone shouldn't have come as a surprise. Gee's father was an immigrant engineer and her mother a garment worker in a Los Angeles sweatshop. After law school, as a young lawyer, Gee sued employers for discrimination and then worked for the Teamsters Union, helping workers and immigrants win representation elections. For Chinese Americans, today’s detentions contain ugly echoes of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which led to the brutal detention of thousands of Chinese immigrants on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay 128 years ago.[...]
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