Friday, November 14, 2008

Homeland Security Accused of Mistreating Undocumented Minors

A study by the Center for Public Policy Priorities has accused the Department of Homeland Security of mistreating unaccompanied minors it holds in custody for deportation. The charges include denying most legal representation, providing inadequate health care, and transporting children in shackles and even animal cages. DHS denies the report's accusations, but these come from interviews and direct observation. (See Washington Post article.)

One body that seems to get the attention of the Department of Homeland Security is the business community that bids for federal contracts. All contractors were to be required to use the E-Verify system to check on the immigrant status of their workers. The system itself is controversial because it depends on a Social Security data-base that is often incorrect. But under protest from groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, DHS has modified the requirement. Contractors who provide more than $100.000 of services to the federal government would be bound and only for new programs. Previously the requirement extended to all contracts over $3,000 and to all the company's workers. The new regulation is seen by some critics as a way to preclude any action by the new Obama administration to cancel the program. (See Washington Post article.)

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