Oct 13, 2000
We live in a big enough country that there are lots of laws too obscure for most of us to have heard of...but which actually affect tens of thousands of lives in huge ways. This show deals with one of them: A 1996 immigration law that the Immigration Service itself says is unfair.
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Most of the law's original sponsors in Congress now say they went too far, and that they were too harsh when they passed the law. And yet most of the law's key provisions still stand unchanged.
- What happens if the immigration service wants to deport you, but the country you came from won't take you back? Under current law, usually, you stay in jail...indefinitely. Writer Alex Kotlowitz tells the story of one legal alien from Vietnam, Trung Tran, and the unusually close and friendly relationships he and his fellow deportees have with their captors in a jail in Victoria, Texas. (18 minutes)