- MEDIA ADVISORY
Thursday, June 12, 2003
American Muslim Alliance:
Ben Allen, Blue Triangle Network:
- Civil Rights, Community Groups Protest Looming Deportations of 13,000 Immigrants, Call on INS to Halt Expulsions of Muslim and Arab Men
What: News Conference and Protest
When: Friday, June 13, 2003, 12:00 noon-1:30 PM
Where: Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Building 444 Washington Street (at Sansome), San Francisco
Who: News Conference Speakers
- Jayashri Srikantiah, American Civil Liberties Union of Northern
Samina Faheem, American Muslim Alliance / Pakistan American Democratic Forum
Matthew Van Saun, Amnesty International
Ben Allen, Blue Triangle Network
Riva Enteen, National Lawyers Guild
Rev. John Oda, Pine Street Methodist Church
Speakers at the protest following the news conference include representatives of ANSWER, Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, Global Exchange, Refuse & Resist, South Alameda Peace & Justice Committee, Not in Our Name, and others.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Civil rights and community organizations will hold a news conference and demonstration outside the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) offices in San Francisco on Friday, June 13. Following reports that 13,000 of the Arab and Muslim men who voluntarily registered with the INS as part of the government’s controversial Special Registration Program (NSEERS) will face deportation, the groups are calling on the INS to halt the expulsions of men from a list of mainly Arab and Muslim nations. The groups say that the proposed deportations constitute racial profiling and will not aid the fight against terrorism.
Only a handful of the 82,000 men over the age of 16 who complied with government orders to register with their local INS office have been linked to terrorism. Yet government officials say that more than 13,000, or 16 percent, are living in this country illegally and will face deportation. Thousands of law-abiding individuals, many of whom are awaiting permanent resident status due to INS processing or delays, will unjustly face deportation, according to civil rights and community leaders.
The deportations are part of a systematic erosion of immigrants’ rights since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the groups say. A recent report by the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice found that the Bush Administration’s round-up of non-citizens immediately after Sept. 11 was plagued with problems, forcing many people with no connection to terrorism to languish behind bars in unduly harsh conditions. Officials made “made little attempt distinguish” between individuals with possible ties to terrorism and those with visa infractions who were “coincidentally” swept up, the report said. Despite these findings, on Thursday, May 27, Attorney General John Ashcroft urged Congress to expand an anti-terror law to permit the U.S. government to hold more suspects indefinitely.
Sponsored by: ACLU of Northern California, American Muslim Alliance, Amnesty International, The Blue Triangle Network, National Lawyers Guild, Pakistan American Democratic Forum
Endorsed by: Arab-American Anti Discrimination Committee, ANSWER, Fear to Friendship, Global Exchange, Justice for New Americans, People's NonViolent Response Network, Refuse & Resist, South Alameda County Peace and Justice Coalition.