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Patriot Act

             It has been said that on September 11, 2001, America was changed forever. 3021 people lost their lives that day, and countless more were permanently scarred both emotionally and physically at the hands of foreign terrorists. The attacks left the country in a wake filled with fear and blind patriotism, much like a modern-day red scare. The once-thriving American economy immediately suffered from deep recession, and the nation is still trying to recover two years after the downturn. The toll that the notorious day left on America and her people is impossible to measure, but one of the most devastating effects remains the loss of traditional American values, so crucial to the success of the US as a nation. Anti-immigration legislation, mainly outlined in the USA PATRIOT act, have halted traditional open-border ideas like the "American Dream" and the "Melting Pot" phenomena, and left fear and closed-minded hatred in their stead.
             The argument of whether or not to pass anti-immigration legislation is simple, but the implications of making such a decision are quite complex: One side moves that the government should continue to allow any foreign citizen into America, no questions asked, no rights removed, and leave it to the judicial system to protect the nation against threats. The other side argues that the only way to possibly eliminate the terrorist threat is to close all borders, meanwhile giving law enforcement 21st-century "tools" for combating terrorism, complete with ample safeguards to protect civil rights. .
             Attorney General John Ashcroft has been an outspoken ringleader in the passing and perpetuation of recent anti-immigration legislation. As a heading for his new US Department of Justice website, www.lifeandliberty.gov, Ashcroft quotes the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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