Many illegals can be jailed indefinitely / Ashcroft rules that granting bail could threaten national security: Attorney General John Ashcroft says entire groups of illegal immigrants seeking asylum can be locked up indefinitely on national security grounds, if their release on bail might encourage a surge of illegal immigration. Ashcroft's decision, which was signed last Friday and surfaced Thursday, is a significant expansion of government detention authority.
Not remotely surprising, unfortunately.
The fun part is that this does, for the second time, quite explicitly defy Congressional dictates. As previously noted herein, Congress was quite clear that indefinite detention was something that they would not tolerate in Constitutional Evisceration Act I, a.k.a. the USA PATRIOT Act. He requested it, they declined to allow it. He usurped the power by issuing a Justice department directive, just as he has done in this case, and Congress said ... nothing. Absolutely nothing. And now he's done it again.
The interesting thing is that this particular finding is both very targeted and very broad. It's aimed specifically at Haiti, but can be used generally.
One wonders, now that we are apparently past the immediate crisis -- well, after nearly two years, one would hope -- now that we are apparently done with most of the direct combat in Iraq ... one wonders if Congress will decide that, yes, it does have certain powers, and one of those powers is that of oversight of executive agencies. And said power includes dictating to executive agencies that blatantly violating the Constitution and ignoring Congressional directives is perhaps not how our government's official advocates of Constitutional law are supposed to behave.
One rather doubts that they'll get around to that any time soon, however.Posted by iain at April 25, 2003 12:55 PM
It is obvious to any impartial observer that John Ashcroft represents the greatest threat to the Constitution since the Civil War. I really wonder if he has ever read it.Posted by Leslie Schmidt at May 6, 2003 11:16 PM