Where Do We Put Them?
Last week, the Obama administration announced the arrest of over 3,000 foreigners who are suspected criminals or fugitives.
Yet what do we do with them when they have served any time associated with crimes they’ve committed in the United States, and their home country refuses to take them back?
A few weeks ago, five people were murdered in their home in San Francisco, and the man suspected of killing them, Binh Thai Luc, was supposed to have been deported to Vietnam six years ago. This isn’t an isolated case; in the past three years alone, nearly nine thousand immigrants ordered deported to their home countries due to criminal activity found themselves instead on the streets of the United States, because their home countries wouldn’t take them back.
In Zadcydas v. Davis, et al., the Supreme court found in a 5–4 decision in 2001 that a foreign citizen in the United States cannot be imprisoned beyond the term established in sentencing, even if a deportation order cannot be executed due to the home country’s unwillingness to repatriate.
So what are we supposed to do with a foreign national who has committed a felony, gone to prison, served his term, and whose home country won’t repatriate? Clearly, we don’t want stateless people roaming the streets in the United States. But the Supreme Court says we can’t lock them up indefinitely.
Do we send them on a flight to their home country, and make them live in the airport like Mehran Karimi Nasseri (whose story was heavily modified into the movie The Terminal)? Do we gather them up for The Running Man?
What do we do with these people?
- S.F. suspect not alone in dodging deportation (sfgate.com)