Crazy Immigration Rules Revisited

Earlier, I wrote about how immigration authorities were poised to deport Saman Kareem Ahmad because he belonged to a group that rose up against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who was ousted by American troops.  They claimed his opposition to the Iraqi government during “Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom” made him a terrorist!

Other immigrants deemed “terrorists” by immigration authorities “include U.S. allies that fought against” the “Taliban government in Afghanistan” — a regime that aided and abetted Osama Bin Laden — as well as “Montagnard tribesmen who fought with U.S. forces in Vietnam,” and members of minority groups subjected to massacre and rape by “Burma’s military junta and Sudan’s Islamic leaders.”

Belatedly, the immigration bureaucracy has now changed course, and will “temporarily stop denying green cards to refugees and other legal immigrants tied to groups that sought to topple foreign dictatorships, placing their cases on hold while it determines more ‘logical, common-sense’ rules for judging them.”

The prior policy of deporting opponents of repressive and genocidal regimes was only partly the result of bureaucratic rigidity, mindlessness, and incompetence.  It also owed much to the very broad definition of “terrorist” in the immigration laws Congress passed, which were “written so that the definition of a terrorist organization and activity is very, very broad.”  This sad situation demonstrates that legislators should not unthinkingly vote for so-called “anti-terrorism” provisions without considering their full implications.  Legislators are frequently thoughtless and illogical when it comes to immigration.