Read and Walth were members of a team that conducted a meticulous examination of abuses and systematic problems, including harsh treatment of foreign nationals, within the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Their work prompted reforms.Murder suspects have more rights than many people who encounter the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)—and not just the 1.6 million the agency catches trying to sneak across the Mexican border each year.
While its role as protector of the nation’s borders shapes the INS’s most visible and enduring image, its heavy hand falls on people most Americans will never see.
They are children as young as 8 who are held in a secretive network of prisons and county jails.They are parents and spouses of U.S. citizens, who are deported or imprisoned without due process of law; the asylum seekers who are greeted not with the promise of haven, but with jail.
They are people for whom the Statue of Liberty stands not as a beacon of hope and welcome, but as a symbol of iron-fisted rejection.
“The INS is like an onion,” says U.S. Rep. Janice Schakowsky, D-Ill., whose constituents complain more about the agency than anything else. “The more you peel it away, the more you cry.”