Tuesday, June 26, 2007

"Inevitable" Deaths in Immigration Custody

Over 60 human beings have died in immigration custody in the last couple of years. Immigration officials claim that some deaths are inevitable! Guantanamo already made it clear to us that human liberty and rights mean little to this administration. But to hear of the same callous disregard for life, in addition, only reiterates the erosion of democracy that this nation is and has been undergoing. Of course, the easy answer to this is that holding non-Americans and not treating them humanely, to the extent of participating in their untimely death, does not affect the democratic status of this country. However, I believe that no democratic nation state can flout its own principles of the dignity of human life and rights thereof.

We live in a time when the most developed nations have set the example of fighting for the rights of their citizens only. This is a shame. A citizen of the United States is in no way a more worthy human being than any other. Everyone is deserving of the same respect and rights. Some of those dead might not have been citizens but they were in many cases permanent residents. Permanent residency is the step before one is granted citizenship in this country. Having attended a ceremony where they spouted a few words and pledged allegiance to a flag would not have morphed these people into better human beings but in the eyes of this nation, it would have made them more deserving of a humane treatment.

Why is it that only those who were related to these people who died are crying and feeling the pain? We should all feel it. Is this too far-removed from you because you are an American? It shouldn't be because there, but for the grace of fate, go you.

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