Fw: “Special Registration” Has Not Ended - Statement by the Blue Triangle Network
----- Original Message -----
From: Blue Triangle Network National Office
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2003 12:00 AM
Subject: �Special Registration� Has Not Ended - Statement by the Blue Triangle Network
(Statement is also attached as a PDF file)
�Special Registration� Has Not Ended
Statement by the Blue Triangle Network
�Special Registration� has not ended! Only the re-registration requirements have been eliminated. Registration at the border, departure controls, and a �case-by-case� imposition of registration requirements at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security continue. Immigrants still face denial of entry into the United States, detention, and deportation. What does �Special Registration� mean? It means that the government has accomplished its goal of forcing 82,000 men and boys from 24 Muslim, Arab and South Asian countries and North Korea to register, subjecting many to humiliation and, in some cases, detention and brutality. It means that the government has started deporting 13,000 of them. It means that the government knows where the other 69,000 live and work or attend school. It means that in August the Homeland Security Department began operating a system to keep track of foreign students, deporting those who did not take enough hours or change schools without permission. It means that the government will launch US-VISIT on January 5, which will digitally photograph and fingerprint millions of people who visit the United States each year on tourist, business and student visas.
>From its inception this program has been a form of collective persecution carried out under the guise of protecting the public. Special Registration has caused intense fear and trauma in Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities across the country. A Pakistani community in New York has been devastated, with many of its members fleeing to Canada. Families have been split up, with fathers detained and deported. Targeting people exclusively from Muslim majority countries has reinforced the totally fraudulent myth that Muslims represent some internal threat to the U.S. Last December, hundreds of men who showed up to register were handcuffed, flown around the country, detained in overcrowded facilities and subjected to verbal and physical abuse. Only after thousands of people from the Iranian community in Los Angeles demonstrated in the streets, inspiring protests around the country, did the authorities release many of those detained.
We must ask, how many thousands more Muslim, Arab and South Asian immigrants would have been rounded up by the U.S. government and held in secret, indefinitely and without charges in the wake of September 11 if the government had at that time the information in its databases that it now has and is gathering? One part of �Special Registration� has ended. But the information it sought to obtain is being gathered in other ways, away from the public spotlight, outrage and demonstrations. The repression against Muslim, Arab and South Asian immigrants has not stopped. And we must step up the movement to stop it.
First they came for the Communists and I didn�t speak up because I wasn�t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn�t speak up because I wasn�t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn�t speak up because I wasn�t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics and I didn�t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, but by that time, no one was left to speak up.
Pastor Martin Niemoeller, Nazi Germany
BLUE TRIANGLE NETWORK
P.O. BOX 7451
DEARBORN, MI 48121-7451
This statement has been endorsed by Solidarity USA. Solidarity USA is a legal rights group that is dedicated to protecting the civil liberties and legal rights of all Americans.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]