(ANAHEIM, CA, 5/21/2008) – A delegation from the Greater Los Angeles Area and San Diego chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations met last week with representatives and staffers from 17 congressional offices in Washington, D.C.
The meetings focused on a number of key issues including citizenship delays, racial profiling, anti-hunger initiatives and legislation surrounding relocation, internment and deportation of Latinos of Japanese ancestry during World War II.
The CAIR delegation reported that representatives they met with expressed support for ending the name-check backlog that has resulted in delayed citizenship applications. This move would allow people who have fulfilled all the requirements for citizenship to vote in this year’s presidential election.
The law says an applicant who has passed his or her interview and citizenship test must be granted a decision within 120 days. CAIR-Los Angeles filed a joint suit in 2006 on behalf of community members in an effort to resolve the problem.
The CAIR delegation also discussed and supported passage of the Wartime Relocation and Internment of Latin Americans of Japanese Descent Act (HR 662) – which seeks to “establish a federal commission to investigate and determine the facts surrounding the relocation, internment, and deportation of Latin Americans of Japanese ancestry by the US government during WWII and recommend any appropriate remedies based on the commission’s findings.”
“As a politically active community, American Muslims should feel empowered to raise important issues with lawmakers,” said Hussam Ayloush, CAIR-LA executive director. “By taking an active role in the democratic process, we can help our representatives make better informed decisions in shaping national policies.”
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Coordinator Munira Syeda, Tel: (714) 776-1847, E-Mail: email@example.com.