I’m in partial agreement with Eric Muller’s Japanese Internment Gets A New Breath of Life in the Eastern District of New York.
Turkmen v. Ashcroft (EDNY, per John Gleeson) is an ugly decision, ratifying ugly conduct (but not ratifying the claims as to cruel conditions of confinement nor as to violations of the right of free speech while confined). I do not think that the court is right that if the plaintiffs could prove that the government singled them out on grounds of religion, race or ancestry and chose to hold them longer than necessary before deporting them that this can never state a legal claim for relief. It will be appealed.
But here’s the caveat: It’s important to note that the decision applies only to admittedly illegal immigrants (“plaintiffs concede that they were lawfully arrested for violating the terms of their admission to the United States”). I think that significantly limits the ill of this ruling, although it doesn’t excuse it. It doesn’t actually justify anything close to the Japanese internment camps, which included many US citizens, legal residents, and others who were in the country legally.
But Eric knows much more about this than I do, so perhaps he’ll let me know what I’m missing…
Update: Eric explains.