Sunday, April 29, 2007

When Citizenship Isn't Enough

This administration swears it's not profiling Arabs and Middle Easterners who cross American borders, but at least one Arab American finds that hard to believe. From today's NY Times:

Abe Dabdoub calls the day he was sworn in as an American citizen last year the proudest moment of his life, little suspecting that his new identity would set off a bureaucratic nightmare at the hands of the Department of Homeland Security.

Most of his family members live in Canada, and on each of Mr. Dabdoub’s 14 trips to visit them since last August, on his way back across the Ambassador Bridge into Michigan, the Customs and Border Patrol agents have sent him through a security gantlet, he says.

He has been fingerprinted 14 times, his body searched 9 times, been handcuffed 4 times and isolated in a separate detention room 13 times. On the fourth trip, the border patrol agents started subjecting his wife to similar scrutiny.

...the problem continues unabated and, typical of such cases, no one in the federal government nor his elected representatives will tell him why he is being singled out.
[Emphasis added]

Mr. Dabdoub was born in Saudi Arabia of Palestinian parents and moved to Canada at age five. His work took him to Michigan where he currently lives. He's an American citizen now, yet he has gotten stopped at the border each and every time since he's gotten his citizenship, and no one will tell him why, presumably because that is some kind of state secret.

This fellow citizen has made it onto one of the many government "lists" and the chances are he won't be able to get off that list.

A Government Accountability Office report issued last September said that just 31 individuals whose names were mistakenly on the watch list had them taken off in 2005. Thousands of such redress queries have been submitted, most of them from people who are misidentified. But their names cannot be removed because they are not the person on the list, the report said. [Emphasis added]

How's that for a Catch-22?

September 11 should be remembered, but only as the date our civil liberties were stripped from us.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home