The left-wing campaign by the American Civil Liberties Union, change.org and illegal alien activists targeting our detention system began in earnest after 9/11. Under the Bush administration, hundreds of illegal aliens of Arab descent were detained and questioned as "material witnesses" in counterterrorism probes. The use of immigration laws in the war against Islamic jihadists became a rallying point for the open-borders propagandists.
The New York Times hysterically reported that most of these post-9/11 detainees were held for months without charges. In fact, 60 percent of the 762 immigrants detained after the 9/11 attacks were charged within 72 hours. And the Justice Department inspector general found that there were legitimate reasons for delay in the remaining cases, including logistical disruptions in New York City after 9/11, such as electrical outages, office shutdowns and mail service cancellation that slowed delivery of charging documents. Immigrant abuse charges were hurled recklessly by the likes of Al Gore, who slandered DHS's detention program during a paid appearance in Saudi Arabia -- despite the DOJ's failure to find any such patterns.
The truth got lost along the way. So did common sense. Allowing illegal alien terror suspects to roam free in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks would have been a dereliction of duty. And countless homeland security experts and DHS inspector general reports have repeatedly spotlighted lax enforcement in the detention safety net over the past decade.
Hundreds of thousands of "absconders" remain on the loose because of failure (or refusal) to detain them. The immigration lawyers' racket has lobbied for compassionate "alternatives" to detention that routinely result in deportation fugitives simply ditching the process and disappearing.
Their goal is not to improve detention. Their goal is to sabotage it -- all while law-breakers munch on croissants and joyfully shout "BINGO!"