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Dear Editor:
Your editorial of the December 11 Immigration Daily issue on the unfortunate story of the illegal alien mother has good intention but goes overboard. Your quoting of the minister is complete hyperbole. You can't compare the US to Nazi Germany. And no, I don't buy the slippery- slope argument that the US is going that way. While there are unfortunate cases of harsh INS treatment of detainees like this one, the truth is we can fix the system. We can speak out. We have media looking everywhere for this kind of stuff. Nazi Germany didn't. There, one got shot for speaking up. There was no free media to write a story about it. If you're detained, you had no rights to face your accuser, have a lawyer, or have any due process rights. You're convicted in kangaroo courts. The list of Nazi travesty is too long and well-documented.

Whereas, here in the US, I represent illegal aliens from Mexico and elsewhere daily in removal proceedings. They have so many rights, it's amazing the system we have. Most immigration judges bend over backward to continue hearings in order for these people to get lawyers. Most judges carefully and exhaustively explain their rights. Proceedings are recorded and follow formal rules of evidence for the most part. An interpreter is provided automatically. The right to appeal is automatic, and here in the Ninth Circuit the chance for a reversal is fairy good. The mother in your editorial has exactly these rights when she is in proceedings. I ask you: what other country in the world is so generous to aliens who are here unlawfully in the first place?

I challenge any country in the world for more fair proceedings, including other industrialized countries that have more liberal reputation than the US toward immigrants. Yes, mistakes happen here. But mistakes are inevitable in any system as vast and complex as the immigration system. Your continual playing Cassandra is simply overreaction and, frankly, paranoia.

Liem Doan, Esq.



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