A recent report by the Washington Post identified 30 questionable deaths out of a total of 83 detainee deaths in Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency custody between March 2003 (when the agency was created) and March 2008. In response to this report and the recent death of Mr. Hiu Lui Ng, covered by the New York Times, Representative Zoe Lofgren (D. Cal) has introduced the Detainee Basic Medical Bill (HR 5950) in the House and Senator Menendez introduced the bill (S 3005) in the Senate. For those in need of a primer (or a refresher) as to how a bill becomes an act you might want to quickly consult this educational aid.
The bill requires “the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish procedures for the timely and effective delivery of medical and mental health care to all immigration detainees in custody, and for other purposes.” The House bill is currently being considered by the House Judiciary Committee. Here is the House Bill (HR 5905) proposed by Representative Lofgren and supported in the House by Representatives Abercrombie, Conyers, Cuellar, Farr, Grijalva, Jackson-Lee, Kilpatrick, McDermott, Meek, Nadler, Roybal-Allard, Sanchez, Sestak, Sires, Solis, Velazquez. Click on the names of any of these Representatives to contact them by email and ask them to ensure the passage of this bill and that, in the event that the bill is not passed in this session, that they support the reintroduction of this bill in the next Congress.
Here is the Senate Bill (S.3005) proposed by Senator Menendez and supported by Senators Akaka, Bingaman, Durbin, Kennedy, Kerry, and Lieberman. Click on the names of any of these Senators to contact them by email and ask them to ensure the passage of this bill and that, in the event that the bill is not passed in this session, that they support the reintroduction of this bill in the next Congress.
Here is a petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed in the federal district court in Rhode Island on behalf of Mr. Hiu Lui Ng. The petition, which asks the court to review the legality of Mr. Ng’s detention by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was filed on July 29, 2008. According to this report by New York Times journalist Nina Bernstein, the next day, the 34 year old Mr. Ng, unable to walk due to spinal injuries and extensive undiagnosed cancer, was dragged from his bed, carried in bruising shackles to a car and driven for two hours to a federal lockup in Hartford. At that location an immigration officer pressured him to withdraw all pending appeals of his case and accept deportation. Mr. Ng was then driven back to his original detention facility. Six days later, on August 6, 2008, Mr. Ng died in custody. He is survived by his wife and two children. All three are American citizens.
In this presentation Stanford Law Professor Lawrence Lessig outlines his thesis with respect to copyright in the age of the internet. Lessig argues that there is difference between the way the law enforces copyright in the non-digital or pre-digital world and the way the law enforces copyright in the digital world. In the non-digital world there are limits on the enforcement of copyright – exceptions are made for fair use and derivative works. In the digital world however, copyright is enforced without these limits. This policy mistake is being enforced through digital rights management technologies that prevent the sort of re-creation that in the past led to new art forms across a plethora of disciplines ranging from jazz to the works of Andy Warhol. Lessig argues that we pay a massive price, in lost creativity and free speech, for the failure of the law to balance competing interests in the digital world in the same way that it did in the pre-digital world.