(PHOENIX, AZ, 3/20/06) – On Monday, March 20, representatives of the Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-AZ), along with members of the local Muslim community, met with Rep. Ed Pastor regarding the ouster of Dr. Nadeem Hassan from the United States.
According to an article in the January 28 issue of the Arizona Republic: “Hassan had lived in the United States for more than 15 years, and practiced medicine at Maricopa Medical Center under a temporary-work permit. He applied for permanent residence in 2002 and, last year, sued the government for its delayed handling of the green-card request. He and his wife, Amber, also sought visas so they could travel in December to Mecca for the Muslim pilgrimage known as hajj.
“The Hassans were granted visas. Last week, while they were still overseas, Citizenship and Immigration Services, or CIS, denied the green card and revoked their travel authorization, leaving them stranded. When the Hassans returned Jan. 18 to New York, they were held by Customs and Border Protection agents who threatened to jail them unless they voluntarily left the country. They flew to Pakistan. Hassan has no criminal record and is not charged with terrorism.”
Rep. Pastor said in Monday’s meeting that he was aware of the concerns of the Muslim community regarding the civil liberties of each individual. He stated: “People fought many battles to uphold and protect these liberties and freedoms and we must take care of them.”
Rep. Pastor also mentioned that he voted against the Patriot Act twice, and strongly believes that violating the constitutional rights of individuals will not win the war on terror.
“We were honored that Congressman Pastor took the time to meet with us. Hopefully this meeting will assist in producing a positive outcome in Dr. Hassan’s case,” said CAIR-AZ Director Nure Elatari.
CONTACT: Nure Elatari (602) 312-2223, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Bushra Khan (602) 262-2247, Email: email@example.com