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Thursday, September 22, 2005
  See if you are poor and a hyphenated American, the law does not apply to you.
FOXNews.com - U.S. & World - Half Katrina Refugees Have Records: "State police did criminal background checks (search) on every refugee and found that more than half had a criminal arrest records — a third for felonies. Murph was the only one with an outstanding arrest warrant, for larceny and other crimes.

Around the nation, state and local authorities are checking refugees' pasts as they are welcomed into homes, schools, houses of worship and housing projects. In some states, half the refugees have rap sheets.

'It's a balancing act,' said Kyle Smith, deputy director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (search). 'We don't want to treat them like criminals after they have been traumatized, but we want to make sure they are in no danger nor the families they are housed with.'

Civil libertarians call the checks thinly veiled race and class discrimination against people who have suffered already. The checks are made on those evacuated or forced to seek help from charities or others — in other words, people who are often black and poor."
 
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