The recent Bush crackdown on illegal immigrants, a move to placate the loud-mouthed xenophobes and race baiters who fill what's left of the GOP base, has been handled with all the contempt for law and the rights of the accused that we would expect from a Bush DOJ. According to a Federal court translator, most of the people we threw in prison the last few weeks - people who would simply have been deported prior to Bush's craven political pandering - didn't understand either the procedures or the rights they had within them.
[Erik Camayd-Freixas] was summoned here by court officials to translate in the hearings for nearly 400 illegal immigrant workers arrested in a raid on May 12 at a meatpacking plant. Since then, Mr. Camayd-Freixas, a professor of Spanish at Florida International University, has taken the unusual step of breaking the code of confidentiality among legal interpreters about their work.
In a 14-page essay he circulated among two dozen other interpreters who worked here, Professor Camayd-Freixas wrote that the immigrant defendants whose words he translated, most of them villagers from Guatemala, did not fully understand the criminal charges they were facing or the rights most of them had waived.
In the essay and an interview, Professor Camayd-Freixas said he was taken aback by the rapid pace of the proceedings and the pressure prosecutors brought to bear on the defendants and their lawyers by pressing criminal charges instead of deporting the workers immediately for immigration violations.
He said defense lawyers had little time or privacy to meet with their court-assigned clients in the first hectic days after the raid. Most of the Guatemalans could not read or write, he said. Most did not understand that they were in criminal court.
That figures. When Bush wants action, as we all know now, he isn't too interested in details like whether or not the action is legal. It's legal because he says it is, and the Democratic Congress just agreed so it's difficult to puzzle out what the problem is here. What do we need trials for anyway? The whole 400 are obviously guilty, and anyway they're Mexicans so who cares? Throw em in jail and good riddance.
Modern conservatives in both parties don't seem to think that the Constitution applies to people they don't like. In fact, they don't seem to think it applies to anyone but them, and they've been cheerfully gutting or violating any sections of it they find offensive or inconvenient whenever some panty-waist liberal insists that those sections be applied to everyone.
All that law shit takes too much time. Back in the Old West, they used to be able to hang people that somebody claimed were horse thieves without bothering with such picayune details as trials. We're back to those Glory Days, I guess, and the Pubs love it.
Will Obama reverse this? Maybbut otoh he''s a conservative, too. He'll probably just build another fence.