“Your papers, please”

My friend Jeremy Paretsky – whose sermon on the knowledge of God was posted here some time ago – is now the Sub-Prior (administrator) of a small Dominican Order house in New York.  A man who works for him – a legal permanent resident of the United States, the father of two natural-born U.S. citizens – just had a deeply troubling experience with Donald Trump’s “unshackled” ICE. He was stopped for no reason other than his appearance, treated rudely, manhandled, held for interrogation for 90 minutes, and finally released without any apology or explanation other than that the stop was “routine”: which implies that it could be repeated at any time.

In the movies of my childhood, the cold-faced men demanding “Your papers, please” had German or Russian accents.  I preferred it that way.

This event makes me think that whatever the shackles were, they need to be put back in place.  Fr. Paretsky’s letter to Sen. Gillibrand follows.  I can provide his contact information to any journalist or lawyer who would like to follow up.

The good news is that Sen. Gillibrand has offered to help. The bad news is that the victim of this outrage – I repeat, a legal permanent resident of this country, who has been accused of no wrongdoing of any kind – is too afraid to allow his name to be used.  In the United States of America.

Footnote Do you routinely carry documents proving that you’re a U.S. citizen? Neither do I.

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