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January 12, 2005
Illegal Alien Rights 'Job #1' for Homeland Nominee
by Scott Ott

(2005-01-12) -- Michael Chertoff, President George Bush's nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security, said today that if he's confirmed by the Senate his "job number one" will be to protect the civil rights of illegal aliens suspected of terrorist activities.

"We've been over-eager in the past to detain men whose crimes consisted of little more than breaking our laws," said Mr. Chertoff, currently a judge on the 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. "Protecting Americans from death and dismemberment is important, but it must never stand in the way of guarding the civil rights of illegal aliens."

Mr. Chertoff noted that "a person's disregard for U.S. laws should not spawn prejudice against them or subject them to the inconvenience of detention in jail."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid predicted a smooth confirmation process, adding that he is "encouraged to hear that Judge Chertoff is coming to share our progressive Democrat views."

"When I think of Homeland Security," said Mr. Reid, "my heart immediately goes out to the illegal aliens whose homes are not yet secure from government intrusion and whose lives have been disrupted by our myopic zeal to prevent a highly-unlikely terror attack."

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