DC rally for civil rights on January 19th

A broad coalition of civil rights groups will hold a rally on January 19 at 12:00 to 2:30 p.m., at the Washington DC Convention Center to draw attention to the damage done to civil liberties protections in the wake of new anti-terrorism legislation.

The coalition, including the CAIR, ACLU, National Action Network, MPAC, Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, AMC, People for the American Way, AAI, Black Leadership Forum, Blacks in Government, and other organizations will rally to remind Americans of the spirit of Martin Luther King.

"The civil rights gains of the 60s and 70s took place in the context of immense social change and a foreign war," said Jason Erb, Director of Governmental Affairs. "Dr. King recognized that civil rights and national
security are not contradictory, but complimentary," said Erb.

CONTACT: Jason C. Erb, 202-488-8787, [email protected]


Conyers condemns discriminatory INS deportation policy

Rep. John Conyers, Jr, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement in response to reports that the Justice Department will focus on Middle Easterners who have not complied with
deportation orders:

"We must have a rational law enforcement policy to ensure that people who are issued deportation orders actually leave the country. The fact that there are over 300,000 people in the United States who have ignored deportation orders is indicative of INS's lack of resources to enforce our immigration laws. However, it is un-American to single out individuals for more aggressive law enforcement scrutiny on the basis of race, sex or national origin without evidence of criminal behavior.

A policy that focuses on finding people based on their national origin is short sighted as it will fail to meet its desired result - to protect America from terrorism. The Justice Department should not be using racial
profiling; rather it should treat people in similar circumstances equally. This decision by the Justice Department is just one more in a long list of decisions that use race or ethnicity as a determinative factor
to guide law enforcement rather than focusing on specific evidence of criminal behavior."


Editorial: Haddad case suspiciously secret

Rabih Haddad, a leader of the Ann Arbor Muslim community, was arrested on Dec. 14 by the Immigration and Naturalization Service on charges of overstaying his tourist visa. Since then he has been detained and has been denied bond on two separate occasions, the latest reasons proferred by the court being risk of flight and danger to society.

Haddad has visited the U.S. off and on for more then a decade and in that time has founded the Global Relief Foundation, taught at a local Islamic school, served as assistant to the leader of Ann Arbor's mosque and applied for permanent residency.

While it is within INS jurisdiction to arrest or detain visitors for overstaying visas, the elements of secret evidence, racial profiling and inconsistency indicate justice is not being served in this case…

…While the government warns that terrorism will undermine democracy and freedom, it should take care to uphold the civil liberties that are fundamental to those values.