RealNews

Ashcroft Defends Detentions as Immigrants Recount Toll

Two very different views of the Justice Department’s campaign against terrorism came into stark focus today, as Attorney General John Ashcroft was sharply criticized following a report that the authorities mistreated illegal immigrants arrested after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. At the Justice Department, Mr. Ashcroft was flanked by 11 top prosecutors as he declared that the federal government was making “steady progress” against terrorism and that its wide-ranging efforts to prevent another attack are “built on a solid foundation.” But less than a mile down Constitution Avenue, at a forum on Capitol Hill, one immigrant after another told of the toll that they said the fight against terrorism had taken on them. After Sept. 11, 2001, the authorities questioned, jailed or deported hundreds of people who had no known ties to terrorism. Full Story

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