Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Friday | December 20, 2002

100s of middle eastern men arrested

In my brief legal "career", I spent a year working on immigration law matters. It's a real clusterfuck -- it can take the INS up to three years to process simple paperwork. However, when that happens, the INS sends a letter essentially saying "We're processing your paperwork. It will take a long time. You're okay in the meantime." Keep that in mind.

In the aftermath of 9-11, the government enacted new regulations requiring men from certain middle eastern nations to register and have their fingerprints taken. The deadline was this past Monday.

We now learn that between 500-700 men in Southern California were arrested by the INS after they voluntarily appeared at the registration center.

Many of those arrested, according to their lawyers, had already applied for green cards and, in some instances, had interviews scheduled in the near future. Although they had overstayed their visas, attorneys argue, their clients had already taken steps to remedy the situation and were following the regulations closely.

"These are the people who've voluntarily gone" to the INS, said Mike Manesh of the Iranian American Lawyers Association. "If they had anything to do with terrorism, they wouldn't have gone."

That sentiment in that last paragraph bears repeating: terrorists don't voluntarily register with INS. The concept is so obvious it can only elude Southern Segregationist John Ashcroft.

Not to mention that creating fear and panic amongst the Middle Eastern communities is so the wrong way to get them to comply with the new registration guidelines:

Many also objected to the treatment of those who showed up for the registration process. INS ads on local Persian radio stations and in other ethnic media led many to expect a routine procedure. Instead, the registration quickly became the subject of fear as word spread that large numbers of men were being arrested.
At this point, I'll let Jeralyn of TalkLeft take it away:
What country is this? We don't recognize it as America. But we can tell you whose country it is: Bush and Ashcroft's.
And following that sentiment, don't forget to check out:

Posted December 20, 2002 09:30 AM | Comments (15)


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