Illegal Immigrants Participate in Counterterrorism Program, Now Face Deportation

December 21, 2004

Source: The New York Times

On December 21, 2004 The New York Times reported, "last year, Mr. [Rafiqul] Islam and thousands of other Arab and Muslim men came forward to be fingerprinted, photographed and interviewed by immigration officials hunting for terrorists. Officials ultimately determined that almost none of them had links to terrorism. But Mr. Islam was in this country illegally, and the judge said he had no choice but to deport him... Mr. Islam is one of nearly 13,000 illegal immigrants from Arab and Muslim countries who were placed in deportation proceedings after voluntarily participating last year in the nation's largest effort to register immigrants in decades. The counterterrorism program, created after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was hailed as a success by Justice Department officials, who said they had arrested suspected terrorists and gathered vital information about more than 83,000 immigrants from countries considered breeding grounds for terrorism."