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Immigration Law

Expert: Are We Doomed to Repeat Past Mistakes?

Chantal da Silva, Newsweek, Jan. 22, 2020

"The U.S. Customs and Border Protection(CBP) agency is facing backlash after it was revealed the agency had refused entry to an Iranian student with a valid visa and forced him on a flight back home, despite a judge issuing an emergency stay of removal. ... In a statement shared with Newsweek, Cornell University Law School professor Stephen Yale-Loehr said he was disturbed to hear not only about Dehghani's story, but also of reports of dozens of Iranian Americans claiming to have been detained and questioned at a border crossing in Washington state recently.  Yale-Loehr said he had heard of multiple cases of Iranian students being turned away at airports since August, amid tensions between the U.S. and Iran. "And earlier this month, many U.S. citizens of Iranian descent were questioned for hours trying to return to the United States from Canada," the professor said.  The Cornell professor said the incidents raised concerns that the U.S. might be "doomed to repeat past mistakes."  "For example, we now realize that interning U.S. citizens of Japanese descent during World War II was a mistake. Congress even passed a law in 1988 apologizing for the internments and making reparations," he said. "Similarly, detaining people of Muslim descent after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and making them go through special registration procedures failed to yield any significant results in finding and deterring other terrorists."  "As Benjamin Franklin once said: 'Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety,'" Yale-Loehr asserted."