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New York USA: Immigrant Detention & D eportation Action Alert 5/28/03 

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    Immigrant Detention: Action Alert 5/28/03  Date: 5/30/2003 5:02:21 AM Pacific Daylight Time From: nicajg@panix.com
    Message 1 of 1 , May 31, 2003
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      Immigrant Detention: Action Alert 5/28/03 
      Date: 5/30/2003 5:02:21 AM Pacific Daylight Time
      From: nicajg@...


      Immigrant Detention: Action Alert
      Advocating on behalf of immigrants currently held in detention
      May 28, 2003

      In this Action Alert:

      1.   Mass deportation of Palestinians
      2.   No more broken promises - Free Mohammad Bachir Now!
      3.   No more languishing in detention centers
      4.   Over a year in detention - Release Farouk Abdel-Muhti Now!
      5.   Four years in detention - Release Alejandro Knowles Now!
      PLUS: Contribute to the DRUM Family Fund; a note for unaffected
      communities; Know Your Rights info; Stop the Disappearances demands

      *************************************************************************
      Remember! This information is intended to be used solely to support these
      cases through contacting the authorities. If you intend to use this
      information for any other purpose, please contact the case contact person.
      *************************************************************************

      1. Mass Deportation of Palestinians Signals Shift in Policy

      The first mass deportation of Palestinians in years took place late on May
      13, 2003 when 70 Jordanians, Palestinians and Egyptians were taken from
      Batavia, New York (near Buffalo) and flown to Amman, Jordan. Once in
      Amman, negotiations resulted in the Palestinian detainees being driven to
      the Occupied Territories in the West Bank. This is a serious shift in
      policy, with implications for large numbers of Palestinians settled in the
      US. Many have lived with deportation orders for years with no likelihood
      of deportation. Now, apparently the US has changed its policy, and intends
      to send them to the occupied territories, regardless of longtime
      residence, their or their families' wishes, ongoing immigration appeals,
      political instability or danger.

      This issue is urgent, because detainees have been informed that there will
      be two more similar mass deportations this week - one from Batavia, New
      York and one from Louisiana.

      We urge you to contact your elected officials and community groups to let
      them know of this inhumane decision to send Palestinians back through
      third countries. Whatever their origin, all immigrants and asylum seekers
      facing war in their home country should be allowed to remain at liberty
      while their cases proceed.

      Please call NY and Louisiana Senators and the INS Assistant Commissioner
      for Detention David J. Venturella, and politely but firmly demand that
      detainees who are contesting their cases not be removed, that families are
      provided with information about the location and condition of detainees,
      and that all detainees be treated humanely.

      Write, call, fax, email:

      David Venturella, Assistant Deputy Executive Associate Commissioner
      Office of Detention & Removal, Bureau of Immigration & Customs Enforcement
      425 I Street NW Washington, DC 20536
      Phone 202-305-2734
      Fax 202-353-9435
      David.j.venturella@...

      Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
      476 Russell Senate Office Bldg.
      Washington DC 20510
      (202) 224-4451
      fax (202) 228-0282
      senator@...

      Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
      724 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
      Washington DC 20510
      (202) 224-5824
      senator@...

      For more infomation, please call Supriya at 718-205-3036.

      ***

      2.   No more broken promises - Free Mohammad Bachir Now!

      Stateless Palestinian refugee Mohammad Bachir--a legal permanent resident
      in the US for 23 years--has been detained since February 2002 while
      INS/BICE officials try to deport him. No country will issue him travel
      documents, so Bachir's continued detention is illegal under the Supreme
      Court's June 2001 Zadvydas v. Davis ruling. BICE officials at the Batavia
      immigration detention facility have recommended his release, but David
      Venturella, who heads the Office of Detention & Removal in Washington,
      keeps reneging on promises to release him. Bachir just suspended a hunger
      strike to give Venturella another chance to do the right thing: it is
      crucial that pressure be kept up over the next couple of weeks.

      Please contact Venturella and politely but firmly ask that he release
      Mohammad Bachir immediately.

      Call, fax, email:

      David J. Venturella,
      Assistant Deputy Executive Associate
      Commissioner, Office of Detention & Removal, BICE
      Phone 202-305-2734
      Fax 202-353-9435
      David.j.venturella@...

      Contact: Mac, 646-489-4375

      PLEASE send copies of your correspondence to detentionalertnyc@...

      ***

      3. No more languishing in detention centers

      Teres Mekega, (A#79130813) a Ukranian has been held at Passaic County Jail
      for ten months. For two months, the Ukranian Embassy has been
      procrastinating about providing the necessary travel documents for Mr.
      Mekega.

      Call Anton at the Ukranian Embassy and insist that they send travel
      documents to his Deportation Officer Sanichar, and to DRUM (address
      above):

      Ukranian Embassy Contact: Anton 212-371-6965

      For more information contact Supriya 1-718-287-6528

      PLEASE send copies of your correspondence to detentionalertnyc@...

      ***

      4. More than a year in detention - Release Farouk Abdel-Muhti Now!

      In February 2003, Farouk Abdel-Muhti was moved to York Pennsylvania,
      delaying his case by months and making it more difficult for his legal
      team.  On April 26, 2002, Farouk Abdel-Muhti (A# 21 063 913) was arrested
      by the Absconder Task Force at his home. The well-known Palestinian rights
      activist was then detained by the INS on the basis of an outstanding
      deportation order from 1995 (issued while Farouk was in the hospital)

      Since that time a habeas petition has been filed. The petition alleged
      that Farouk is a stateless Palestinian who cannot be deported and that his
      continued detention for deportation is therefore unlawful and goes against
      the Supreme Court's decision in Zadvydas v. Davis, setting six months as a
      reasonable time to effect a deportation.

      >From the beginning the INS has claimed that Farouk's case is just a
      standard detention and has nothing to do with his political activism. His
      defense committee holds that Farouk's detention is just part of a wider
      effort to repress activism as resistance grows to the current
      administration's illegal war policies and its failed economic policies.

      Please contact INS Assistant Commissioner for Detention David J.
      Venturella (see contact info above) and politely but firmly demand Farouk
      be returned to the New York area and released.

      Join the weekly vigils Fridays, 12 noon to 1pm, at the INS office at 26
      Federal Plaza, Broadway and Worth, Manhattan (4/5/6 to City Hall/Brooklyn
      Bridge walk west and north, N/R/Q/W to Canal, walk west and south)

      Contact: Committee for the Release of Farouk Abdel-Muhti: 212-674-9499,
      freefarouk@..., http://www.freefarouk.org; Mac, 646-489-4375

      PLEASE send copies of your correspondence to detentionalertnyc@...
      and freefarouk@...

      ***

      5. Four years in Detention - Release Alejandro Knowles Now!

      Alejandro Knowles (A#40856757) is a Cuban detainee at Passaic County Jail,
      He has been held by the INS for over four years and his health is failing.
      His mother is extremely ill, and he is concerned that he is not able to
      help her.  It appears that BICE is unable to deport him. As a result, he
      must be released.

      Please contact INS Assistant Commissioner for Detention David J.
      Venturella (see contact info above) and demand that Mr. Knowles be granted
      an administrative release. Also, please call Miss Kilsulcher, the Medical
      Officer at Passaic, and demand that Mr. Knowles receive his medication. He
      has not received any medication since Saturday May 24th. Miss Kilsulcher's
      telephone number is 973-881-4623, and her fax is 973-977-8836.

      PLEASE send copies of your correspondence to detentionalertnyc@...

      *************************************************************************
      The information here is compiled by the Immigrant Justice Solidarity
      Project (formerly known as the Detention Working Group of the Coalition
      for the Human Rights of Immigrants, or CHRI-Dets), in consultation with
      other groups organizing visitation, support and advocacy for immigrants in
      detention. The Campaign to Stop the Disappearances! is:

      Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM), 72-26 Broadway, 4th Flr, Jackson Hts.,
      NY 11372 718-205-3036 [*** note new address ***]

      Immmigrant Justice Solidarity Project (formerly the CHRI Detention Working
      Group), detentionalertnyc@...

      Prison Moratorium Project, 388 Atlantic Avenue, 3rd Flr. Brooklyn, NY
      11217, 718-260-8805 pmp@...

      ***

      Thanks to those who have called, faxed and written. Many cases in past
      bulletins have been quickly resolved. 60 detainees have been transferred
      from the horrendous conditions in Passaic to the better conditions of
      Hudson County Correctional. Letter Writing Works! Applying pressure with
      fax zaps and letter campaigns has convinced many officials and politicians
      to provide needed medical treatment, expedite bond releases and voluntary
      departures and deportations. Visitation is a lifeline for detainees and
      our advocacy helps.

      ***

      Immigrant families need your support!
      Contribute to the Emergency Family and Legal Fund

      Since September 11th 2001, almost 5,000 people of Arab, South Asian, and
      Muslim origin have been rounded up by the US government and disappeared.
      For months now, the FBI, the INS, and other law enforcement agencies have
      been racially profiling immigrants and raiding homes and workplaces, in
      many cases arresting people in the middle of the night and in front of
      their families. The vast majority of these people continue to languish in
      county jails and federal prisons without ANY charges brought against them.

      Our communities and families need your support. DRUM works with detainees
      and their families as part of the campaign to Stop the Disappearances!
      Many detainees are experiencing deteriorating health as they languish in
      jails simply because they cannot afford bail or bond money and have no
      support outside. Others still are in urgent need of funds to help support
      the families left behind. Please help fight for their release by sending a
      donation to our special fund. Please make your checks out to "The Brecht
      Forum" and write "Fund" in the memo.  Mail your checks to DRUM (address
      above). Your donations are tax deductible.

      ***

      A NOTE FOR UNAFFECTED COMMUNITIES

      Stop the Disappearances Campaign! is dedicated to following the leadership
      of those in communities directly affected by INS detentions, especially
      DRUM's constituency of families of detainees and detainees. However, we
      encourage those who are not from these communities to show their support
      and get involved in the fight to end immigrant detention. We have four
      suggestions of appropriate ways to show your support:

      - Form an action team! This is a group of five or more people who commit
      to making a call or fax each day for a period of a week every few weeks on
      the situation of someone in detention. Contact Abby,
      abigailjane77@...

      - Donate money to the DRUM, each dollar goes directly to support families
      of those detained, to pay for collect calls from jail, or to provide the
      bonds to set detainees free! (contact DRUM, see address above)

      - Offer to drive detainee family members and community members to make
      visits to detainees. Contact mac 646-489-4375, smack@...

      - If you or anyone you know has legal expertise become part of the needed
      legal network to represent and assist detainees in their cases. Contact
      Megan, meggie@...

      ***

      Know Your Rights!

      Trainings and Wallet-Sized Palm-Cards (Spanish, Arabic, English and Urdu)
      are available from the Know Your Rights Committee of CHRI.

      You have these rights in the USA (regardless of your immigration status!):

      - You do not have to answer any questions by the police, FBI, INS, or
      other law enforcement.  Do not talk without a lawyer.  Say you want to
      see a lawyer.
      - You do not have to sign any paper without a lawyer with you.
      - You do not have to let the police, FBI, INS or anyone else come into
      your house without a "warrant" (special paper from a judge).  Tell your
      roommates not to let them in without a warrant.
      - You do not have to answer any questions about your immigration.
      - You do not have to show identification unless you are driving a car.
      (Backs of cards list places to call for legal assistance, finding a
      lawyer, and other resources)

      For more information or a complete training, in Spanish or English, please
      call CHRI: 212-254-2591, and leave a message for Lara of the KYR
      Committee.

      ***

      STOP THE DISAPPEARANCES!
      Our demands:

      1.   Release all detainees being held for immigration violations.

      2.  Repeal the racist Patriot Act, the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and
      Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), and the 1996 Anti-Terrorism and
      Effective Death Penalty Act.

      3.       Release a real list of all 9/11 detainees.

      4.       Provide detainees with immediate, full and proper access to legal
      information and representation.

      5.  Ensure all facilities used for detention meet the INS standards for
      detention.

      6.  Inform detainees of when they will appear before a judge, be released,
      or be deported.

      7.  Stop holding detainees who have been granted bond or ordered removed.

      8.  End all cooperation between the INS and local law enforcement.

      The goal of the Campaign to Stop the Disappearances! is to end the
      detention of immigrants. We do not believe that immigrants should be
      imprisoned because of their immigration status. Writing letters and doing
      visitations are tools we are using to build an ongoing campaign, directed
      by the priorities and needs of detainees, their families and their
      communities. The campaign was launched on Martin Luther King Day, January
      21, 2002 and seeks justice and due process for detainees.

      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
      END FORWARDED MESSAGE(S) / FIN DE MENSAJE(S) REENVIADO(S)
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
      This message distributed by / Este mensaje distribuido por:
      Coalition for the Human Rights of Immigrants (CHRI)
      Coalicion para los Derechos Humanos de los Inmigrantes
      339 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012 tel 212-254-2591 / 888-575-8242
      fax 212-674-9139 email <chri@...> http://www.itapnet.org/chri

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