After the horrific events of 9/11/01, Congress acted quickly to pass the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, better known as the USA Patriot Act. It was signed by President Bush on October 26, 2001.
The Act expanded the investigative authority of federal officials, including their ability to track and intercept communications, in addition to other enhanced powers to combat domestic and international terrorism. The Act has been controversal because of its impact on civil liberties.
To learn more about the Patriot Act, please consult the law library’s Homeland Security Research Guide. Resources available in the library include a five volume compiled legislative history of the Act. To discover more about the controversy surrounding this law, members of the GMU community may find the Opposing Viewpoints in Context database useful in addition to popular news sources.
If you were at GMULS at about 6:00pm tonight, you already know that a group of protesters marched in the plaza outside the building. The group was voicing their opposition to”Secure Communities” (also known as S-Comm). A public meeting on this program was being held in Founders Hall.
Under the Secure Communities program, individuals arrested and jailed for state crimes have their finger prints forwarded to not only the FBI, but also the Division of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE uses the fingerprints to check for individuals subject to deportation. Controversy has arisen over the numbers of individuals impacted who have been charged but not convicted of crimes or who have committed relatively minor offenses.
Where can you find information about this and other issues related to Immigration Law? Checking the official U.S. Government Website (find ICE here) is always a good place to begin. The law library also has a research guide on Homeland Security, available here. Members of the GMU community may also access news sources using Proquest. Attorney organizations that may offer additional useful resources or perspectives include: the ABA Commission on Immigration Policy and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.