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Immigrant Detention: Action Alert 1/14/03

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  • SIUHIN@aol.com
    Immigrant Detention: Action Alert 1/14/03 Date: 1/15/2003 7:07:53 AM Pacific Standard Time From: nicajg@panix.com
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 17, 2003
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      Immigrant Detention: Action Alert 1/14/03
      Date: 1/15/2003 7:07:53 AM Pacific Standard Time
      From: nicajg@...

      [Please note info about hunger strike at Passaic!]

      Immigrant Detention: Action Alert
      Advocating on behalf of immigrants currently held in INS Detention

      January 14, 2003

      In this Action Alert:
      1. Contribute to the Emergency Family and Legal Fund
      2. Release Abdalla Sameh after 9 months in custody
      3. Release Jamaican detainee Nicholas Powell!
      4. Write to Passaic County Jail Warden Charles Meyers to demand better
         conditions - Support the Hunger Strike
      5. Case Update: Farouk Abdel-Muhti
      6. Case Update: Mohamed Bachir
      7. Case Update: Nabil Elgendy - Bond money needed

      Remember! - This information is intended to be used solely to support these
      cases through contacting the INS. If you intend to use this information for
      any other purpose, please contact the case contact person.
      _________________________________________________________________________
      1. Immigrant families need your support!
         Contribute to the Emergency Family and Legal Fund

      Since September 11th, almost 2,000 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 over 100
      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 below). Your donations are tax deductible.
      _________________________________________________________________________
      2. Release Abdalla Sameh after 9 months in custody

      Egyptian detainee Abdalla Sameh A#79120268, has been held at Passaic County
      Jail for over nine months. He is being charged for over staying his visa and
      has appealed for bond (June 28,2002) and applied for asylum (September 4,
      2002).  Both cases are pending although they should not take more than 6
      months.

      Call, write or fax the court clerk to demand that his appeal be scheduled
      immediately as it has been 9 months.
      Call, write or fax the District Director to demand he be granted
      reasonable bond release!

      Write, call, fax, email:
      Court Clerk
      Board of Immigration Appeals
      New Jersey District
      970 Broad Street, Room 1135
      Newark, NJ 07102
      (973)645-3524

      Andrea J. Quarantillo
      INS District Director
      INS Newark District Office
      970 Broad St. Rm. 136
      Newark, NJ 07102
      Phone: 973-645-4421 Fax: 973-645-2304

      ______________________________________________________________________
      3. Release Jamaican detainee Nicholas Powell!

      Nicholas Powell, A 38 204 099 from Jamaica and in detention at Sussex County
      Jail needs your support! Nicholas has been held for over a year in INS
      custody due to minor criminal convictions. The INS has been unable to deport
      him back to Jamaica, which often refuses to accept deportees, and
      continues to hold Nicholas in violation of the Supreme Court's June 2001
      ruling in Zadvydas v. Davis. Nicholas also has family in the Bronx,
      including a daughter (whose mother is partially handicapped) and his own mother. Even
      the INS has admitted that he has strong family and community ties (he also
      has a job ready for him when he is released).

      The Head Quarters Post Determination Unit (HQPDU) in DC has the power and is
      required to release him but continues to hold him against the law and
      against his human rights.

      Write, call or fax David Venturella and demand Nicholas' release:
      David Venturella, Director
      HQPDU
      INS Headquarters
      801 I Street NW Suite 900
      Washington, D.C. 20536
      Fax: 202/353-9435
      Ph: 202/305-2734
      david.j.venturella@...
      _______________________________________________________________________
      4. Write to Passaic County Warden and demand better conditions for
      Detainees! - Support the Hunger Strike

      As of 10 am Tuesday January 14th, five men started a hunger strike to
      protest their detention by the INS and demand improvements in food, health
      care, air quality and physical contact family visits, and a resumption of
      the Friday Islamic services the prison provided until a month ago.

      Detainees at Passaic have also reported that the air diffuser grills are
      blocked up and appear not to have been recently cleaned.  There is a lot
      of dust, the air quality is poor and there is a white substance (possibly
      asbestos) coming down from the ceiling.  Certain areas also have old
      exhaust fans with the grills stuck facing inwards. As punishment for
      prisoners, officers turn them on, letting in outside pollution.  At times,
      prisoners can smell the carbon monoxide from outside units on the roof.
      There are also frequent roof leaks and complaints of roaches.  Write to
      the Warden to demand better conditions.

      Warden Charles Meyers
      11 Marshall Street
      Paterson, NJ 07501
      Phone: 973-881-4620; FAX: 973-881-2485
      ________________________________________________________________________
      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 INS detentions. We have four suggestions of
      appropriate ways to show your support:

      1. 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 Eric 212/254-2591 email
      ericschwartz11@...

      2. Donate money to the DRUM bond and support fund, each dollar goes directly
      to support families of those detained, or to provide the bonds to set
      detainees free! (contact DRUM)

      3. Offer to drive detainee family members and community members to make
      visits to detainees. Contact mac 212-254-2591 smack@...

      4. If you or anyone you know has legal expertise become part of the much
      needed legal network to represent and assist detainees in their cases.
      Contact Megan 212-254-2591 meggie@...

      ______________________________________________________________________

      5. Case Update: Release Palestinian Activist Farouk Abdel-Muhti.

      Last April, 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 since Apr. 26 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.

      In response the government bases its case on various claims: that Farouk
      must prove he is in fact a stateless Palestinian, that Farouk must prove he
      is cooperating with efforts to deport him, and that the US can deport
      stateless Palestinians and is in fact working on arrangements with Egypt and
      Jordan to send Palestinians through those countries to the Occupied
      Territories.

      This last claim is the most outrageous part of the government's reply, since
      it is well known that the policy of US president George W. Bush and Israeli
      prime minister Ariel Sharon is todrive Palestinians out of the territories
      to make way for Israeli settlers--not to repatriate masses of Palestinians
      from the US. The most reasonable explanation for this claim is that the US
      is laying a basis for detaining large numbers of Palestinians as
      thesituation worsens in the Middle East.

      >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 and
      politely but firmly demand Farouk's release. You can reach Venturella at
      INS, (address below)

      * Join the weekly vigils Fridays at the INS office at 26 Federal Plaza 12
      noon, Broadway and Worth (4/5/6 to City Hall/Brooklyn Bridge walk west and
      north, N/R/Q/W to Canal, walk west and south)
               Contact: Mac 646-489-4375

      -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      6. Case Update: Release Palestinian Mohammed Bachir

      Mohammed Bachir A #41 796 593 was arrested in February of 2002 by the
      Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) based on allegations that he
      had missed an appointment with the INS in July 2001, while he was
      hospitalized. He has frequently spoken to the media communicating INS
      abuses, as well as human rights organizations and activists. He has also
      organized hunger strikes around the conditions of confinement. The INS has
      reacted to Mr. Bachir's activities by transporting him to different
      detention centers throughout the United States.

      Mr. Bachir was sentenced to time served late last fall and ordered released.
      However, the INS refused to comply and placed him back in custody. In a
      sinister move they cut all his communication with supporters and his legal
      team, and for a month he literally disappeared. He has since resurfaced far
      from his family and community in the Batavia INS Detention Center near
      Buffalo NY. Despite the inability of the INS to deport him as a stateless
      Palestinian, they seem determined to make his life miserable and hold him by
      any means necessary, whether these means are legal or not.

      Please write, call or fax David Venturella to demand Mr. Bachir be released
      immediately!

      Write, call, fax, email:
      David Venturella, Asst. Commissioner on Detentions
      Immigration and Naturalization Service
      425 I Street NW
      Washington, DC 20536
      Ph 202/305-2734
      Fax 202/353-9435
      David.j.venturella@...

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      7. Case Update - Brutality Victim and Detainee Nabil Elgendy - BOND MONEY
      NEEDED

      Nabil Elgendy A 24 998 596 an Egyptian national currently detained at
      Hudson County Jail, was ordered to appear before an immigration judge on
      November 30, 2001 on two misdemeanor charges. Nabil has a green card and
      is married to a US citizen; they have a 17 year old son.

      Nabil alleges that he was subjected to racist verbal abuse and severely
      assaulted by two guards while handcuffed. He received injuries severe enough
      to require treatment at the Hackensack University Medical Center Hospital,
      where he received 50 stitches to a wound in his face where he was thrown
      against the wall.  He had 7 stitches in his nose and 43 near his right eye.

      Thanks to agitation by supporters, Nabil has now been granted a $3000 bond
      for his criminal charges. $1300 has been raised, but $1700 is still needed
      in order for him to be released, and attend his new immigration hearing.
      Please support Nabil by making bond money available. Contact Bekah at
      347-277-1989 to help.

      -----------------------------------------------------------------------
      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 DRUM and ask for Namita, or call CHRI, and leave a message for Lara
      of the KYR Committee.

      -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      What is Special Call-In Registration & How is it impacting Thousands around
      the country?

      * In November, 2003, Attorney General John Ashcroft issued a directive to
      register men and boys over the age of 16 years from a list of 20 countries
      with the Department of Justice.  These registration requirements mark the
      latest in an unending series of attacks on immigrants rights and civil
      liberties since September 11th, 2001.

      * The DoJ barely allowed 2 weeks notice for boys and men AROUND THE
      COUNTRY to come in and register for the first deadline which was on
      December 16th. Most communities affected say that the DoJ did not notify
      the communities suffiently or in some cases at all.

      * Registration involves being digitally photographed, fingerprinted and
      interrogated under oath.  Interview questions include names and addresses of
      parents, friends and American contacts, date and location of entry to the
      US, religious practices and if one has committed terrorist activity.  The
      INS officer may also ask to see travel documents, any government-issued
      identification, proof of residence, proof of school matriculation and proof
      of employment.  Many people are being arrested for not having "sufficient"
      documentation with them when registering.

      * The consequences for not registering include criminal charges and
      deportation, yet hundreds have faced arrest, detention, deportation,
      interrogation and criminal penalties even after complying.  People arrested
      include those with pending greencard applications or pending adjustment of
      status applications.

      * Following the first deadline, reports say that between 1,000 and 2,500
      men from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan or Libya have already been arrested,
      with many detained in inhumane conditions.  Immigrant groups and news
      sources have reported overcrowded jail cells, detainees being hosed down
      with cold water, shackled and transported to other states.

      * The deadline to register for "nonimmigrant" men from Afghanistan,
      Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Qatar,
      Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen is coming up January
      10th, 2003

      * The deadline for "nonimmigrant" men from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia is
      February 21st, 2003

      * Over the past 15 months, thousands of Arabs, South Asians and Muslims
      have been detained with over 99% not charged with any crimes related to
      terrorism.  The Campaign to Stop the Disappearances, along with over 20
      civil rights, community and faith-based organizations is calling for an
      immediate end to the registration initiative and the release of all those
      currently being detained since the 9/11 sweeps began.

      * Call or fax Attorney General John Ashcroft (phone 202-353-1555, fax
      202-307-2825) and INS District Director Edward McElroy (phone 212-264-3972,
      fax 212-264-5439) to demand an end to these round-ups immediately!  A sample
      letter is provided on the reverse side.


      Sample Letters:

      John Ashcroft US Department of Justice
      950 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20530-0001
      Fax: 202-307-2825

      Mr. Ashcroft,

      I am writing to express my anger at the current program of Special
      Registration for men from 20 countries. Requiring people to register on the
      basis of ethnic origin and immigration status is the worst form of racial
      profiling. The targeting of specific countries of origin generally in the
      Middle East, South Asian area, and more and more immigrant communities shows
      pre-meditated racism. As well, the targeting of people who are not Legal
      Permanent Residents or Citizens reeks of xenophobia.

      I am also outraged at the use of these registrations to effect the detention
      of immigrants from these areas. According to the New York Times, the
      detentions reached such large numbers in Los Angeles that the INS ran out of
      plastic handcuffs. The entire program has the appearance of mass roundups
      similar to the internment of the Japanese during the WWII, and other
      occasions in this country's history of which we are all ashamed.

      I am a member of the community organization(s) _____________________ I can
      assure you that our organization is outraged and mobilizing. We will not
      allow the United States to become the kind of country where people are
      rounded up and detained on the basis of national origin. We will not be
      party to this racism and xenophobia.

      In fury,
      [Your name]
      ____________________________________________________________________________

      Edward McElroy
      District Director UBS
      26 Federal Plaza New York, NY 10278

      Mr. McElroy,

      I am writing to express my anger at the current program of Special
      Registration for men from Muslim and other countries. Requiring people to
      register on the basis of ethnic origin and immigration status is the worst
      form of racial profiling. The targeting of specific countries of origin in
      the Middle East, and South Asia, shows pre-meditated racism. As well, the
      targeting of people who are not Legal Permanent Residents or Citizens reeks
      of xenophobia.

      I am amazed that the New York district of the INS, a district that has one
      of the largest and most diverse immigrant populations in the United States,
      has allowed itself to go along with this program. Surely, living in New York
      City has had some sort of impact on your policies? Surely, you can see the
      racism of rounding people up based on their ethnic origin.

      I am also dismayed that you have not publicly gone on record to state how
      many people have been detained in this process in the New York district.
      Apparently you are afraid of public reaction to this mass roundup. How long
      do you think you can keep this information as your own guilty little secret?

      I am a member of the community organization(s) _____________________ I can
      assure you that our organization is outraged and mobilizing. We will not
      allow the United States to become the kind of country where people are
      rounded up and detained on the basis of national origin. We will not be
      party to this racism and xenophobia.

      In fury,
      [Your Name]
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      The information here is compiled by the Coalition for the Human Rights of
      Immigrants (CHRI) - Detention Working Group, in consultation with other
      groups organizing visitation, support and advocacy for immigrants in
      detention.

      ***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.****

      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.

      The Campaign to Stop the Disappearances! is:

      Coalition for the Human Rights of Immigrants (CHRI)
      339 Lafayette St.,
      New York, NY 10012
      chri@...
      212-254-2591

      Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM)
      73-16 Roosevelt Ave. 2nd Flr.
      Jackson Hts., NY 11372
      drum@...
      718-205-3036

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

      Check our web site at www.itapnet.org/chri for updates and detainee
      profiles.

      Please copy all correspondence to detentionalertnyc@...

      <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
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