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And in other opinions: Immigration foul; opaqueness at UB and something for Bills fans

There’s more than Covid-19 going on in the world, though nothing so immediate. We’ve been thinking about a few of those issues lately. Here’s a roundup.

Immigration violation

It is, in no way, justifiable to lock away people for years, without access to court review. Yet, that is exactly what is happening in American immigration cases.

Consider Terence Enoh. Held for two years, he wanted to be free from federal custody in Batavia. The Cameroon native initially represented himself. He was successful but only after bypassing immigration officials and appealing directly to a federal judge in Buffalo.

Such court cases are on the rise, in part because of a 2017 U.S. Supreme Court decision that found detained immigrants do not have a statutory right to bond hearings. However, the court left open the question of whether detainees have a constitutional right to court review.

Indefinite government detention isn’t supposed to happen in this country. Justice demands timeliness. Otherwise, it’s not justice.

UB needs to provide information

Whatever else anyone may take from an expert’s recent examination of spending at the University at Buffalo, the university’s documentary reticence is troubling.

Howard Bunsis, a professor of accounting at Eastern Michigan University, cited an “alarming” lack of transparency at UB on easy access to budgets, financial overviews and financial statements. He had been hired by a group of UB graduate students and faculty members to examine the university’s spending priorities.

The problem isn’t in the conclusions of Bunsis’ analysis; all are subject to legitimate debate. But Bunsis’ inability to easily get the kind of public information that he says is readily accessible from other universities is troubling, indeed.

UB President Satish Tripathi says UB’s policies on releasing financial information comply with all laws and regulations, as well as best practices. But merely meeting minimum standards isn’t the right test. Our publicly funded university should be thoroughly transparent.

Thinking about the Bills

Professional sports are on hiatus, but the NFL is carrying on with the business side of football and some recent developments give Bills fans some high hopes.

First, Tom Brady moved from the Patriots and the AFC East to the NFC’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he will no longer pester the Bills. It will be worth watching if that team starts to cheat, too.

The Bills, meanwhile, pulled off a blockbuster trade with the Minnesota Vikings to acquire wide receiver (and elite pass-catcher) Stefon Diggs. The Bills added some other new talent in free agency, and the team has seven picks to make in the NFL Draft.

When social distancing is over, Buffalo may have an NFL team that can go the distance. That’s something worth daydreaming about.

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