From: "Sumita Bhandari" <firstname.lastname@example.org
As many have already heard, Attorney General John Ashcroft is asking Congress for "a tightening" of the nation's anti-terrorism laws. A bill that would allow the AG to deport based on the suspicion that a person may be willing to help a terrorist - a fishy proposition just on its face, not to mention the fact that none of this certification would be reviewable under already existing secret evidence laws, may move rather soon, and immigrants across the country will suffer - please call your Congressional reps and Senators to register your opposition to this bill which seriously violates the already-eroded rights of immigrants.
The bill has not yet been introduced, and is currently circulating on the Hill in draft form. Ashcroft has asked Congress to approve the bill this week, but Congress may not get to it before next week. Here's some of the info I have received on the bill:
Again, the bill permits the Attorney General to certify that there is
"reason to believe" that a non-citizen, including a legal permanent
resident, "may have been involved" in terrorist activity, broadly
defined, or "may be a risk to the national security." The certification is unreviewable
in any court. Any person so certified is
liable to mandatory (and possibly indefinite) detention, and to summary
deportation. Legal challenges can only
be brought by habeas in the District Court of the
We understand that if organizations or individuals have objections to the bill, staff needs to hear them now -- i.e., before introduction -- because, during the current crisis, members will be reluctant, to put it mildly, to be publically identified as voting against the bill or even as substantially amending it.
SUMMARY OF MAJOR
IMMIGRATION-RELATED PROVISIONS, MOBILIZATION AGAINST TERRORISM ACT (
Certification of aliens
The proposal creates a provision for the INS Commissioner, after consulting with the FBI director, to "recommend" to the AG that an alien be "certified" as an alien the INS "has reason to believe may further or facilitate acts of terrorism" as broadly defined, "or any other activity that endangers the national security of the United States (NOT defined).
Lack of Judicial Review
The proposal says that this "recommendation [to certify] is not reviewable by any court."
Expansion of Administrative
Removal to LPRs "certified"
The proposal amends the administrative (expedited) removal section of the current INA section 238(b). Currently this section permits administrative, non-immigration judge removal for non-lawful permanent residents who were convicted of committing an aggravated felony. (This is not the expedited removal at the border, but rather, is a little-known provision whereby INS agents, without any court supervision, order the removal and remove non-LPRS who were convicted of aggravated felonies).
Section 238(b) would be expanded to permit expedited, administrative
removal for any alien, including LPRs, who were
"certified" under the provision described above. This administrative removal order
itself would not be judicially reviewable except by a
filing in the United States Court of Appeals for the
Conclusive Presumption of Removability for Aliens Certified
This proposal says that an alien "certified" is "conclusively presumed to be removable from the
Mandatory Detention of Aliens
This proposal says that when the AG concurs with the recommendation to "certify," he shall take the alien into custody and shall maintain that custody irrespective of any relief from removal" the alien may have or may be granted "until the Attorney General deems" that the alien may no longer be "certified."
Habeas Corpus and Judicial Review
This proposal expressly limits all judicial review, including habeas corpus under 28 USC 2241, of decisions to detain or remove persons "certified." Without regard to the place of detention, judicial review of the detention of "suspected terrorists" is available only by habeas corpus in the United States District Court in the
Violation of Entry Requirements -
This proposal permits conviction and a prison sentence for commission of a crime of violence OR for recklessly operating a conveyance while eluding inspection or failing to stop, or "an intentional violation of arrival, reporting, entry, or clearance requirements" of numerous sections of the INA, specifically, 231, 232, and 234 through 238. A conviction under this section is punishable by a five-year prison term.
The proposal would apply to all aliens, no matter if they entered the
IN THE NAME OF NATIONAL SECURITY?
The tragic events of September 11 must never happen again noone would argue with that. But instead of working to
resolve the crises that have fostered terrorist activity, the
NON-CITIZENS WILL BE TARGETED
The proposed Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) would allow the Attorney General to certify any non-citizen that the INS has reason to believe may further or facilitate acts of terrorism& or any other activity that endangers the national security of the United States. The government is not required to charge such people with any crime, or to substantiate its reason to believe in any way. All non-citizens certified under the ATA, including lawful permanent residents, are subject to indefinite detention without a court order. According to the ATA, the recommendation to certify is not reviewable by any court. Once someone has been certified under the proposed measures, s/he can be imprisoned or summarily deported with very limited options for legal defence. This proposal applies to all non-citizens, regardless of when they entered the country and when they are alleged to have committed such acts.
The INS is moving ahead with
plans to institute a tracking system to monitor over half-a-million
international students already one of the most closely monitored populations in
ALL AMERICANS WILL BE SUBJECT TO INCREASED SURVEILLANCE
The government is proposing a vast expansion of its powers to order wiretaps without legal scrutiny. This extends to use of the FBI s Carnivore Internet-surveillance technology and the National Security Agency s Echelon system for surveillance of electronic communications. Wired reports (9/12) that since September 11 many internet service providers were quietly going along with the FBI s request to monitor the Net with Carnivore.
The ATA would allow the use in US courts of information gathered by foreign governments by methods that violate US constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure.
THE PROPOSED MEASURES WILL UNDERMINE DEMOCRATIC FREEDOMS AND POLITICAL STABILITY IN OTHER NATIONS
The CIA is seeking the lifting of current restrictions on working with human rights violators. As Robert Scheer commented in the Los Angeles Times (9/17): The CIA, which originally helped train Osama bin Laden& will now have its powers expanded to do more of the same.
The ATA gives tacit permission to other governments to gather intelligence information by methods that violate US constitutional protections. It may in fact put pressure on these governments to produce such information.
THE WAR ON TERRORISM IS ALSO A WAR ON CIVIL LIBERTIES!
was produced by the
Tue Sep 18 2001
From: Kamala Visweswaran <email@example.com
Subject: [FOIL] For Fact Sheet on MATA: MOBILIZATION AGAINST TERRORISM ACT
You may think this is unrelated to any noncitizens
you assist. Think again. It could
apply to anyone our government decides fits its expansive definition of terrorism and terrorist. As we frequently said about the secret evidence provisions, this could have
included Nelson Mandela,
Gerry Adams and those fighting against repressive regimes in
They also wish to add a new crime: If you "disregard" or "disobey" a border patrol officer you could be imprisoned for six months; this it not limited to noncitizens. I will let you know the response strategy soon. Unfortunately, as you can imagine, this is being fast-tracked.
Subject: [FOIL] For your attention
Gautam Premnath spotted this on the EducationGuardian.co.uk site and thought you should see it. To see this story with its related links on the EducationGuardian.co.uk site, go to http://education.guardian.co.uk
In a bid to tighten security after the
Staff and agencies,
A motion has been put before the US Senate demanding that no new visas
be issued to overseas students after it was reported that Hani
Hanjour, one of the hijackers from the American
Airlines flight which hit the Pentagon, entered the
And in a move to further tighten the system, American universities will
let the government monitor all international students, as the country asks how
the terrorists who attacked
The Association of International Educators has announced it will now accept a tracking system that will give police information about students' names, universities, dates of attendance and academic majors.
In effect, all 515,000 foreign students attending American universities will be under scrutiny from 2003.
"The time for debate on this matter is over, and the time to devise a considered response to terrorism has arrived," a spokesperson for the AIE said.
Since the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre, intelligence officials have admitted that the government has been concerned for years about foreign nationals being given the training required to make chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.
10 years ago, there were already 10,000 overseas students being trained "in advanced technologies in chemical, biological and nuclear fields."
Although they recognise that there is now a real concern about overseas students' motives, some university administrators are defending the need for openness.
The dean of international programmes at
Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited
Know Your Rights information.
-- Partnership for Civil Justice
From the Partnership for Civil Justice, in
At this time, when pain and outrage are such strong and natural
reactions to massive death and destruction, we remind the
government that its
actions must be guided by the principles in the Constitution,
the legal foundation for the
There are reports around
the country of Arab and Muslim people being targeted and assaulted, including a man with a knife accosting a
vigil sponsored by the American Kurdish Information
Network, in its 192nd
democratic freedoms ostensibly in response to Tuesday’s acts. The Partnership for Civil Justice has raised concerns about, and has vigilantly opposed, the apparent trend of both the District and federal governments to restrict fundamental civil liberties, and to move towards increased surveillance and criminalization of political dissent, under the guise of security.
In response to recent inquiries, we offer the following “Know
Your Rights” information in the hope that it will
be used in the prevention of racial and ethnic bigotry and government
repression of political
organizing. September 11th’s tragedy should not be
compounded by the repression of
democracy and liberties in the
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
What rights do I have?
The Right to Advocate for Change. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the rights of groups and individuals who advocate changes in laws, government practices, and even the form of government.
The Right to Remain Silent. The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution provides that every person has the right to remain silent in the face of questions posed by any police officer or government agent. The Right to be Free from "Unreasonable Searches and Seizures." The Fourth Amendment is supposed to protect your privacy. Without a warrant, no government agent is allowed to search your home or office and you can refuse to let them in. Know, however, that it is easy for the government to monitor your telephone calls, conversations in your office, home, car, or meeting place, as well as mail. E-mail is particularly insecure. The government has already begun stepping up its monitoring of e-mails. Use of an encryption program such as PGP offers relatively secure protection for e-mail communication.
CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS CANNOT BE SUSPENDED EVEN DURING
A STATE OF
What should I do if agents come to question me?
1. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TALK TO THE POLICE, FBI, INS, OR ANY OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENT OR INVESTIGATOR. You do not have to talk to anyone: on the street, at your home or office, if you've been arrested, or even if you're in jail. Only a judge has the legal authority to order you to answer questions.
2. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LET POLICE OR OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENTS INTO YOUR HOME OR OFFICE UNLESS THEY HAVE A SEARCH WARRANT OR ARREST WARRANT. Demand to see the warrant. The warrant must specifically describe the place to be searched and the things to be seized. If they have a warrant, you cannot stop them from entering and searching, but you should still tell them that you do not consent to a search. This will limit them to the scope of the search authorized by the warrant.
3. IF THEY DO PRESENT A WARRANT, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO MONITOR THEIR SEARCH AND ACTIVITIES. You have the right to observe what they do. You have the right to ask them for their names and titles. Take written notes including their names, badge numbers, and what agency they are from. Have your friends who are present act as witnesses. Give this information to your lawyer. A warrant does not give the government the right to question, nor does it obligate you to answer questions.
4. IF THE POLICE OR FBI OR INS OR ANYONE ELSE TRIES TO QUESTION YOU OR TRIES TO ENTER YOUR HOME WITHOUT A WARRANT, JUST SAY NO! Police and other law enforcement agents are very skilled at getting information from people. Many people are afraid that if they refuse to cooperate, it will appear as if they have something to hide. Don't be fooled. The police are allowed to (and do) lie to you. Although agents may seem nice and pretend to be on your side, they are likely to be intent on learning about the habits, opinions, and affiliations of people not suspected of wrongdoing, with the end goal of stopping political activity with which the government disagrees. Trying to answer agents' questions, or trying to "educate them" about your cause can be very dangerous. You can never tell how a seemingly harmless bit of information that you give them might be used and misconstrued to hurt you or someone else.
5. IF YOU ARE STOPPED ON THE STREET, ASK IF YOU ARE FREE TO GO. If you are stopped by the police, ask them why. If they do not have a good reason for stopping you, or if you find yourself chatting for more than about a minute, ask “Am I under arrest, or am I free to go.” If they do not state that you are under arrest, tell them that you do not wish to continue speaking with them and that you are going to go about your business. Then do so.
6. ANYTHING YOU SAY TO THE POLICE, FBI, INS, ETC. WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU AND OTHERS. Once you've been arrested, you cannot talk your way out of it! Don't try to engage the cops in dialogue or respond to their accusations.
7. THE FBI MAY THREATEN YOU WITH A GRAND JURY SUBPOENA IF YOU DON'T TALK TO THEM. They may give you a subpoena anyway, so anything you tell them may permit them to ask you more detailed questions later. You may also have legal grounds to refuse to answer questions before a grand jury. If you are given a grand jury subpoena, you should call a lawyer immediately (see contact information at the end). Tell your friends and movement groups about the subpoena and discuss how to respond. Do not try to deal with this alone.
8. IF YOU ARE NERVOUS ABOUT SIMPLY REFUSING TO TALK, TELL THEM TO CONTACT YOUR LAWYER. They should stop trying to question you once you announce your desire to consult a lawyer. You do not have to already have one. Remember to get the name, agency, and telephone number of any investigator who visits you.
How should I respond to threatening letters or calls? If your home or office is broken into, or threats have been made against you, your organization, or someone you work with, share this information with everyone affected. Take immediate steps to increase personal and office security. You should discuss with your organization and with a lawyer whether and how to report such incidents to the police and the advisability of taking other legal action. If you decide to make a report, do not do so without a lawyer present.
What if I suspect surveillance? Prudence is the best course, no matter who you suspect, or what the basis of your suspicion. Do not hesitate to confront suspected agents politely, in public, with at least one other person present, and inquire about their business. If the suspect declines to answer, he or she at least now knows that you are aware of the surveillance. If you suspect government agents are monitoring you, or are harassing you, report this as described at the end of this packet.
What if I am not a citizen?
1. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO REVEAL YOUR IMMIGRATION STATUS.
2. DO NOT TALK TO THE INS, EVEN ON THE PHONE, before talking to an immigration lawyer. Many INS officers view “enforcement,” meaning deporting people, as their primary job. They do not believe that explaining immigration options is part of their job, and most will readily admit this. (Noncitizens who are victims of domestic abuse should speak with an expert in both immigration law and domestic violence.) A noncitizen should always speak with an immigration law expert before speaking to the INS either in person or by telephone.
3. KNOW AND ASSERT YOUR RIGHTS!
All noncitizens have the following rights,
regardless of your immigration status:
1. The right to speak to an attorney before answering any questions or signing any documents;
2. The right to a hearing with an Immigration Judge;
3. The right to have an attorney at that hearing and in any interview with INS (however you do not have the right to a free, government-paid lawyer); and
4. The right to request release from detention, by paying a bond if necessary. Noncitizens must assert these rights. If you do not demand these rights, you can be deported without seeing either an attorney or a judge. Leaving the
4. TALK TO AN IMMIGRATION
LAWYER BEFORE LEAVING THE U.S. Anyone not a
Partnership for Civil Justice In
Washington, DC, request assistance or report incidents of harassment to (202) 530-5630, or firstname.lastname@example.org
National Lawyers Guild National office: (212) 627-2656, www.nlg.org National Immigration Project: (617) 227-9727
First Amendment Foundation. A resource on civil liberties and the right of political dissent. (202) 529-4225.
American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Report hate crimes and harassment against Arab Americans and Muslims to (202) 244-2990. Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Advocating for American-Muslim rights and against acts of discrimination. (202) 488-8787
Speak Out is the country's only national not-for-profit organization that promotes progressive speakers and artists on campuses and in communities nationwide. Committed to social, political, cultural and economic justice, Speak Out encourages critical and imaginative thinking about domestic and international issues through artistic and educational forums. Speak Out works with 200 speakers and artists who represent the breadth of social movements as well as critically-acclaimed exhibits and films which inform and empower young people to take action for positive social change. For a complete listing, send us your full mailing address.
Speak Out Phone: (510) 601-0182
On the Web: http://www.speakoutnow.org
Purnima M. Manghnani, MPH
Harder + Company Community Research
Anti-Discrimination Hotline Set Up
verbal and physical assaults against Muslims, Arab-Americans and other
The hotline number is
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