grassrootspeace.org

November 5, 2007: This website is an archive of the former website, traprockpeace.org, which was created 10 years ago by Charles Jenks. It became one of the most populace sites in the US, and an important resource on the antiwar movement, student activism, 'depleted' uranium and other topics. Jenks authored virtually all of its web pages and multimedia content (photographs, audio, video, and pdf files. As the author and registered owner of that site, his purpose here is to preserve an important slice of the history of the grassroots peace movement in the US over the past decade. He is maintaining this historical archive as a service to the greater peace movement, and to the many friends of Traprock Peace Center. Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.

THIS SITE NO LONGER REFLECTS THE CURRENT AND ONGOING WORK OF TRAPROCK PEACE CENTER, which has reorganized its board and moved to Greenfield, Mass. To contact Traprock Peace Center, call 413-773-7427 or visit its site. Charles Jenks is posting new material to PeaceJournal.org, a multimedia blog and resource center.

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War on Truth  From Warriors to Resisters
Books of the Month

The War on Truth

From Warriors to Resisters

Army of None

Iraq: the Logic of Withdrawal

See also
New INS Political Detainment - Help Needed

Call for Community Monitors of INS Registration

 

Muslim Public Affairs Council Calls for
Support of Kennedy/Feingold/Conyers Letter to Attorney General Ashcroft

(WASHINGTON D.C., December 30, 2002) -

On Monday, December 23, the day after American Muslims
called for an end to the INS's registration program at MPAC's
annual convention, Senators Fiengold and Kennedy and
Representative Conyers wrote the letter below to Attorney
General John Ashcroft.

ACTION ITEM: Write to Attorney General Ashcroft in
support of Senators Kennedy, Fiengold, and Representative
Conyers call to suspend further implementation of the INS
registration program.

Talking Points:

1. American Muslims support the call Senators Fiengold and
Kennedy and Representative Conyers made to suspend further
implementation of the National Security Entry-Exit
Registration System (NSEERS).

2. We find this registration process to be deceptive and
counterproductive. Such programs discourage law-abiding
citizens from complying with the law. This program has
also further alienated an innocent community that is
dedicated to working toward our national security while
securing our liberties.

3. Terrorists are very unlikely to comply with this
program and programs like it. Instead, an innocent
community has been targeted because of their religion and
country of origin. This type of racial profiling is
un-American in spirit and an ineffective security measure

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Address: Attorney General John Ashcroft
US Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Phone: (202) 353-1555

Email: askDOJ@usdoj.gov

-----------------------------------------------

TEXT OF CONGRESSIONAL LETTER TO ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN
ASHCROFT:

December 23, 2002

The Honorable John D. Ashcroft
Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
10th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Mr. Attorney General:

We write to urge you to suspend further implementation of
the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System
(NSEERS) by the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS) until Congress and the
Department conduct a complete and thorough review of this
program. We have grave doubts about whether the INS's
implementation of NSEERS has struck the proper balance
between securing our borders on the one hand and
respecting the civil liberties of foreign students,
businesspeople, and visitors who have come to our nation
legally on the other.

Rather, this special registration program appears to be a
component of a second wave of roundups and detentions of
Arab and Muslim males disguised as a perfunctory
registration requirement. Reports indicate that hundreds
of individuals who have voluntarily appeared to register
at INS offices around the country (but primarily in
California) have been arrested and detained without
reasonable justification. According to news reports, many
of those detained have applications pending for
adjustment of status on which the INS has not yet acted.

For example, according to a news report, a 16 year old boy
who entered the country lawfully on a student visa was
separated from his pregnant mother, even though he is
seeking permanent residency to be able to join his mother,
who is a permanent resident, and stepfather, who is a
US citizen, in America. According to another report, a
successful Iranian Jewish businessman, who had fled Iran
and believed he could find freedom and security in
America, was arrested and jailed even though he has had an
application for permanent residency pending with
the INS for five years. It is unjust to penalize and
detain people who have a claim to lawful status when, in
many cases, it is the INS processing backlog that has
caused the delay in approving status-adjustment
applications.

We are also concerned by reports that detainees have been
denied access to counsel and are being held in deplorable
conditions, including being deprived of food for more than
24 hours and being forced to sleep on cold floors.

These reports are all the more troubling because this new
program comes one year after the Department launched its
first roundup and detention of mostly Arab and Muslim men,
the vast majority of whom were detained for immigration
violations and ultimately cleared of any involvement in
terrorist activity. You have so far failed to identify
most of the hundreds of individuals arrested and detained
in the wake of September 11 or their counsel. This pattern
of targeting persons for arrest based on race, religion,
ethnicity, or national origin rather than on specific
evidence of criminal activity or connections with
terrorist organizations only serves to undermine the trust
of the American people, especially the Arab and Muslim American
communities whose cooperation we need more than ever to
protect our nation.

Furthermore, we are concerned about the interview stage of
the NSEERS special registration program. We understand
that information is sought on the individual's credit
card, bank account, and video rental card numbers, and,
for those on student visas, on affiliation with campus
political and religious groups and names of roommates.

These questions raise serious privacy and constitutional concerns.

We request that you immediately provide to us and release
publicly information about implementation of NSEERS,
including the following:

1. All policy directives or guidance issued to officials
about implementation of NSEERS, including the role of the
FBI in conducting national security background checks of
registrants;

2. An explanation of why certain INS District Offices
detained persons with pending status-adjustment
applications;

3. All policy directives or guidance issued to officials
about making public statements or disclosures about these
individuals; and

4. A full explanation of how information gathered during
interviews of registrants will be stored, used, or
ransmitted to other federal, state, or local agencies.
We further request that you release information about
individuals taken into custody as soon as possible,
including the following:

5. The identity of each individual who attempted to
register pursuant to NSEERS but was taken into custody,
including the individual's name, citizenship status, and
place of birth;

6. The date of arrest of each detainee;

7. The date charges, if any, were brought against each
detainee;

8. The charges brought, if any, against each detainee and,
if no charges were brought, an explanation of why the
individual was taken into custody;

9. The basis for continuing to detain those individuals
who have been cleared of any connection with terrorism but
are still in detention;

10. The identity of and contact information for any lawyer
representing any detainee, including names, addresses, and
phone numbers; and

11. The identity of any detainee who is not represented by
counsel.

The Department of Justice should aggressively investigate
and prevent future terrorist attacks, but should at the
same time act with constitutional restraint. The
Department of Justice has a responsibility to release
sufficient information about the special registration
program and the detainees to allow Congress and the
American people to decide whether the Department has acted
appropriately and consistent with the Constitution.

In addition, we urge you to suspend further implementation
of NSEERS pending congressional review. It is imperative
that you take steps to reassure Congress and the American
people that this special registration program is not a
detention program falling just short of widespread
internment of Arabs and Muslims. We further urge you to
take all necessary steps to ensure that the fundamental
constitutional rights of individuals already detained are
protected, including access to counsel.

Times of crisis are the true test of a democracy. Our
nation still bears the scars of an earlier crisis when our
government went too far by detaining Japanese, German, and
Italian Americans based on their race, ethnicity, or
national origin. We should not repeat these painful
mistakes.

We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Russell D. Feingold U.S. SENATOR
Edward M. Kennedy U.S. SENATOR
John Conyers, Jr. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE

#############################################################
For information on the Muslim Public Affairs Council, visit
http://www.mpac.org

Page created December 31, 2002 by Charlie Jenks.


A Call for Community Monitors of INS Registration Process


(LOS ANGELES, January 2, 2003) - MPAC has opposed the INS
registration process because of its selective enforcement
against immigrants from Muslim countries, its
incrimination of innocent people, its deceptive approach,
questionable treatment of detainees, and ineffectiveness
at enhancing our national security.

MPAC raised all these concerns at our annual convention
two weeks ago, which received major media coverage:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19753-2002Dec20.html
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/ins_detainess021224.html
http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-immigration-arrests1220dec20,0,5605248.story
http://www2.ocregister.com/ocrweb/ocr/article.do?id=17415&section=LOCAL&year=2002&month=12&day=22
http://www.latimes.com/la-me

It has come to our attention that our concerns have been
relayed to the Department of Justice, but as of yet, there
has been no termination or modification of this process.
Therefore, MPAC is launching a campaign to provide
monitors of the next registration process, whose task will
be to witness any abuses of immigrants.
-----------------------------------------------------
***MPAC CALLS ON ANY AND ALL CONCERNED AMERICANS TO
MONITOR JANUARY 10TH'S REGISTRATION***
TO BE [AN MPAC] MONITOR, YOU MUST...
* Be available on January 10.
* Wear bright clothing that reads, "INS Monitor" that MPAC
will provide you
* Be a United States Citizen
* Register with MPAC by calling (213) 383-3443 between
8:30 A.M. -5:00 P.M. ASAP
OR
* Register with MPAC this Saturday, January 4 at the
protest at the INS building (300 N. Los Angeles St.
between 12:00 - 1:00 P.M.). We will be registering people
at this event.
* Attend a training session on Tuesday, January 7, 2003,
location to be announced. Susan Attar, MPAC's Hate Crimes
Prevention Coordinator and Ban Al-Wardi, an immigration
attorney and member of ADC will conduct the training.
-----------------------------------------------------------
INS REGISTRATION:
[MPAC Recommends that all those to be interviewed contact
an immigration attorney]

JANUARY 10 is the deadline to register with the INS if:
* You are a national or citizen of Afghanistan, Algeria,
Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman,
Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen
and were inspected by the Immigration and Naturalization
Service and last admitted to the United States as a
nonimmigrant on or before September 30, 2002;

* If you are a male, born on or before December 2, 1986;
and

* If you did not apply for asylum on or before November
22, 2002, or if you are otherwise exempt as described in
the attached questions and answers; and

* If you will be in the United States at least until
January 10, 2003

The following message is from the Department of Justice:

"Lawful visitors who are maintaining valid immigration
status must register to preserve their status. If you are
required to register and do not do so before this
deadline, you may be considered to be out of status and
may be subject to arrest, detention, fines and/or removal
from the United States. Any future application for an
immigration benefit from the United States may be
adversely impacted. If you register after the deadline
and/or are currently out of status, you may be subject to
arrest, detention, fines and/or removal from the United
States when you register. Decisions will be made on an
individual basis, depending on the circumstances of each
case. You may wish to consult with an immigration
attorney before registering to determine your immigration
status, whether you are required to register, and the
consequences of not registering."

For more information, on INS registration, visit our
website at:
http://www.mpac.org/home_article_display.aspx?ITEM=309