INS Detains Hundreds of Muslim and Middle Eastern Immigrants in California

January 14, 2003


On January 14, 2003 reported that "still reeling from last month’s deadline for the first round of INS special registration, immigration lawyers and activists across the country braced themselves for a second one last Friday... But Friday’s deadline stood in stark contrast to that of Dec. 16, which resulted in the detainment of more than 500 Iranian-born men and boys nationwide. On Friday, the special registration resulted in about 124 arrests nationwide... Although Friday’s deadline was handled relatively smoothly, civil rights and immigrant advocates still say the special registration is inefficient and ineffective. They say it targets and perhaps alienates law-abiding visitors who would otherwise be our allies in the real war on terrorism... The Dec. 16 registration deadline affected temporary visa holders from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria and Sudan. Friday’s deadline involved 13 countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen... A third deadline, Feb. 21, will affect visitors from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan... All males age 16 and older have to register. To date, more than 15,000 have. Those who fail to register face deportation hearings."