In its vast investigation, the Justice Department is jailing hundreds of people on minor traffic and immigrationviolations, and has even arresting more than a dozen “material witnesses” on no charges at all. The JusticeDepartment said last week that at least 480 people have been detained by local and state authorities. Littleinformation has been released about them.
Meanwhile, House negotiators yesterday agreed to give the government new authority to investigate and detainterrorist suspects, a bipartisan compromise that denied the Bush administration some powers it sought but that wasassailed by civil libertarians as a blow to American values. Under an agreement, authorities would be able to holdany foreigner suspected of terrorist activity without charges for as long as a week. The anti-terrorism legislationwould also expand the government’s wiretapping and Internet surveillance powers in terrorism cases.
- Jeanne Butterfield, Executive Director, American Immigration Lawyers Association.
- Mark Vanderhut, immigration attorney in San Francisco, who is representing the L.A. Eight.