The Patriot Act is Not so Patriotic

Essay by i8cookiemonstrHigh School, 11th gradeA, December 2008

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The USA Patriot Act was designed and passed by Congress six weeks after the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 in New York. The USA Patriot Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001) drastically increases the surveillance, and investigative powers of law enforcement agencies. It also increases the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities in arresting and deporting immigrants suspected of terrorist acts. Under the Patriot Act, American law enforcement personnel have far more authority than is constitutional. This act should be repealed and should not be enforced.

The Patriot Act has many loop holes and is open for interpretation for the government to use to its liking. The act states that anyone can be accused of terrorism by:"Guilt by association, association as grounds for exclusion or deportation, the ban on supporting lawful activities of groups labeled terrorist, the use of secret evidence, and the empowerment of the Secretary of State to designate groups as terrorist organizations, without judicial or congressional review" (Gasink.)The

government has the power to decide who is a terrorist under their own terms and use the Patriot Act in their defense. The people accused of being terrorists are not given the right of judicial review and once the government decides they are terrorists there is no act they can take to prove their innocence. The Patriot Act allows the government to detain and deport immigrants without a hearing just because they decide that they look or act in a way that they consider to be radical. This is a major violation of the Fifth Amendment and the right given to all Americans to due process.

The Patriot Act also is a violation of the Fourth Amendment which states that...