An unpublished study by the Vera Institute of Justice, a New York nonprofit organization, in 2006 identified 125 people in immigration detention centers across the nation who immigration lawyers believed had valid U.S. citizenship claims.
Vera initially focused on six facilities where most of the cases surfaced. The organization later broadened its analysis to 12 sites and plans to track the outcome of all cases involving citizens.
Nina Siulc, the lead researcher, said she thinks that many more American citizens probably are being erroneously detained or deported every year because her assessment looked at only a small number of those in custody. Each year, about 280,000 people are held on immigration violations at 15 federal detention centers and more than 400 state and local contract facilities nationwide.
I’ve often wondered how many Chicanos or Hispanics who are deported each year are actually American citizens. Who carries identification papers around with them every where they go? I don’t. If you just happen to have brown skin, and you’re out without ID, do you have to worry about getting picked up? What a pain in the ass.
I doubt the 125 number even includes those types of cases, and probably only considers the numbers of white people who don’t happen to have the right documentation to back up their claims of citizenship when immigration comes sniffing around during an arrest. People like me.
Perhaps I should start worrying about getting arrested; but then I always did want to visit the homeland. Not that Britain is much better, but at least the scenery is different.