The New HUAC

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Noticias LocalesAlmost nobody today will remember it, but while it existed the House on Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was one of the most powerful agencies in the United States. They had the power to investigate anyone for “suspicious political activities,” and thus having a person’s home searched, having someone called before the committee without the benefit of a lawyer, and the power to have someone blacklisted and jailed for years. And no court in the land could strtke down their decisions. The heyday of HUAC was in the 1930’s to 1950’s when those suspected of being Nazis or Communists had their careers and lives destroyed or tarnished by HUAC. In the end, HUAC had become so reviled that it was finally abolished in 1975, although it had lost all credibility by 1960.

Now we are seeing something like HUAC being resurrected—this time in the State of Georgia. Georgia’s state anti-immigrant law has a provision that calls for the creation of an Immigration Enforcement Review Board (IERB). The IERB will have the power to subpoena state government officials who “knowingly” violate the state’s immigration law. Worse, if the State of Georgia grants the IERB almost unlimited power, the board will have to power to subpoena anyone for questioning and could have their careers destroyed and have them put in jail as well. What makes this board all the more frightening is that one of their members is Phil Kent—a member of an anti-immigrant group called the Americans for Immigration Control Foundation. This board will have the power of life and death over innocent people, and its decisions cannot be challenged in state courts.

What we are seeing is a state dictatorial government being created before our very eyes. In the name of “fighting illegal immigration” the state government will be going after political activists, civil and human rights leaders, and the innocent in order to silence critics. This whole thing is against the very essence of the U.S. Constitution and rule of law. I had hoped that such a thing would never be resurrected in my lifetime. I do not want anyone questioning my allegiance to this country, and I know that such a board will be used to destroy any and all opposition to the state. What we may see is the beginning of a pattern that other states may follow, and in the end we may see this happen again on a national scale. To which I say to all of this, ” never again!”

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