Immigrants Used to Justify a Homeland Security Police State


Global Research, April 23, 2007

Project Censored


Threats of terrorism and twelve million “illegal” immigrants are being used to justify new police-state measures in the United States. Coordinated mass arrests, big brother spy blimps, expanded detention centers, repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act, and suspension of habeas corpus have all been recently implemented and are ready to use against anyone in the US.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) flooded Mexico with cheap subsidized US agricultural products that displaced millions of Mexican farmers. Between 2000 and 2005, Mexico lost 900,000 rural jobs and 700,000 industrial jobs, resulting in deep unemployment throughout the country. Desperate poverty has forced millions of Mexican workers north in order to feed their families.

In the wake of 9/11, Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) has conducted workplace and home invasions across the country in an attempt to roundup “illegal” immigrants. ICE justifies these raids under the rubric of keeping our homeland safe and preventing terrorism. However the real goal of these actions is to disrupt the immigrant work force in the US and replace it with a tightly regulated non-union guest-worker program. This policy is endorsed by companies seeking permanent low-wage workers through a lobby group called Essential Worker Immigrations Coalition (EWIC). EWIC’s fifty-two members include the US Chamber of Commerce, Wal Mart, Marriott, Tyson Foods, American Meat Institute, California Landscape Contractors Association, and the Association of Builders and Contractors.

A new program, established by the Department of Justice in cooperation with Homeland Security, uses the code-name Operation Falcon (Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally). Operation Falcon carried out three unprecedented federally-coordinated mass arrests between April 2005 and October 2006. More than 30,000 fugitives, including immigrants, were arrested in the largest dragnets in the nation’s history. The operations directly involved over 960 agencies including FBI, ICE, IRS, Homeland Security and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

To accommodate the detention of tens of thousands of people, Homeland Security, in 2005, awarded Halliburton’s subsidiary KBR a $385 million contingency contract to build detention camps in the United States. According to the Halliburton website, “The contract provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the US, or to support the rapid development of new programs.”

Other new police-state programs include U.S. government contracting with Lockheed-Martin to design and develop enormous unmanned airships, seventeen times the size of the Goodyear blimp, outfitted with high-resolution cameras to spy on the Mexican border. The airships are designed to float 12 miles above the earth, far above planes and weather systems. The high-resolution camera will watch over a circle of countryside 600 miles in diameter and could be moved to spy on any region of the US.

The programs described above combined with two recent changes in US law make the reality of a full police-state in the US increasingly more feasible. The Military Commissions Act signed October of 2006 suspends habeas corpus rights for any person deemed by the President to be an enemy combatant. Persons so designated could be imprisoned indefinitely without rights to legal counsel or a trial.
And the Defense Authorization Act of 2007 allows the president to station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities. By revising the two-century-old Insurrection Act, the law in effect repeals the Posse Comitatus Act and gives the US government the legal authority to order the military onto the streets anywhere in America.

Threats of terrorism and illegal immigrants are being used to justify the implementation of police-state programs. But once started, enforcement can be rapidly deployed to any group of people in the US and we all become endangered. Mass arrests, big brother in the sky, and the loss of civil rights for everyone does not bode well for those who believe in democracy, free speech, and the right to critically challenge our government without fear of reprisals.

Peter Phillips is a Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University and Director of Project Censored a media research organization. He is co-editor with Dennis Loo of Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney from Seven Stories Press, 2006.



4 responses to “Immigrants Used to Justify a Homeland Security Police State

  1. I am soooo subscribed to your blog.

  2. If defending our country against foreign influence and invasion actually requires enforcing our laws through the use of the police, I’m for it. All of the people arrested and deported have violated our laws and are deserving of everything our legal system can mete out. Our Border Patrol is overwhelmed by the current invasion of illegal aliens, and the suveillance tools are simply a way of evening out the odds that they face. Your colorizing it as the action of a police state is pure hyperbole meant to sensationalize and distort the issue. Nice try, but most Americans support our law enforcement agencies against the lawlessness along our borders and our interior.

  3. Dahhhh- how are you defending your country by killing everyone who is not caucasian.
    I mean most peoples brown, black, yellow or shades of , whether American citizens or not, plus poor whites and intellectual dissenters are being spyed upon, detained or tortured within this country not even mentioning the innocent civilians in IRAQ. AFGHANISTAN, AFRICA, PALESTINE,
    How could all the worlds wronged even out the odds when the whole world sees the U.S. responsibile for genocide and mayhem ongoing worldwide. Illegel invasion, proven- lied-about madeup fraudulent evidence, complicit corporate media, illegal kidnapping, rendition and torture lied about then admitted, targetting of civilians with illegal ordinance; phosporus, cluster-bombs and unspent uranium.
    100,000 strong corporate mercenaries acting without supervision and accountability within and outside Iraq.
    Then we have instigating death squad rivalry of Sunni vs Shite within Iraq and paying terrorists groups to work against different factions in both soverign Iran and Lebanon.
    Furthermore most of your so called illegal aliens are our fallout from inhuman, criminal U.S. foreign policies in Mexico and Latin America. This is not colouring nor distortion but actual accredited data/ research from either released documentation or respected eye witnesses. Most Americans are distrustful of this administration and most of the world is aware of the lies/deciet/criminal behaviour orchestrated by this administration.
    Some ,like yourself , prefer to stick your head in the sand, close your eyes and cover your ears and hide behind your ignorance. It takes real courage to face the truth
    By the way their is no legal system in America as the present controversay with Gonzales proves.
    REV. JOHN FIFE involved in the faith based Sanctuary Movement In the early 1980s, says that,” People fleeing the death squads and the repression and the massacres of entire villages in El Salvador and Guatemala were arriving at this border. The whole international community informed the United States government that they were refugees entitled to at least temporary asylum until conditions changed in their countries and they were able to return.

    The United States government, because we were in political and economic and military support of the guys running the death squads and massacring entire villages in El Salvador and Guatemala, refused to recognize them as refugees; when they picked them up on the border or in communities across the United States, were placing them in detention centers, flying them back in handcuffs, and turning them over to the very guys who tried to kill them in the first place. So that process of deportation to death had to be resisted, and the Sanctuary Movement was that point of resistance by faith communities.
    The Undersecretary of State for Human Rights then that literally was the government’s spokesperson for this policy of returning refugees back to death squads and repression was Elliott Abrams, and Elliott Abrams is now the point person for Mid-East policy in the Bush administration. And the guy who was then ambassador in Honduras in Central America was literally ambassador to the Contras during the Iran-Contra scandal.John Negroponte literally supported and funded and trained the death squads of the Contras in that illegal and unconstitutional war, is now the point guy for Condoleezza Rice in the State Department on Mid-East policy.”

    Please do some backgroubd reesearch

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