More Racist Profiling

February 4, 2003

On January 16, the Department of Justice announced that beginning on March 28, the INS "Special Call-In Registration" program will be expanded to include 5 more countries, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan and Kuwait. All men aged 16 or over from these countries who entered the U.S. before September 30, 2002, on non-immigrant visas will be required to undergo special registration, interrogation and other procedures.

Altogether now, since December of last year, foreign visitors from 25 countries (including 24 Arab or Moslem countries and North Korea) are being forced to undergo this "special registration" which includes registering at an INS office, being photographed, fingerprinted and interrogated about religious beliefs and political affiliations. Failure to provide information, even about family members, is considered grounds for deportation. In addition visitors from these countries must report back to the INS every year, notify the INS within 10 days of any change in address, employment or educational institution and present themselves for further interrogation before leaving the U.S.

The first two rounds of registration have already resulted in more than 1,000 arrests mostly on minor, technical violations, many of which have turned out to be clerical errors on the part of the INS itself. Hundreds are expected to be deported. In addition, many visitors have not even been notified of the new regulations but now stand in violation of immigration procedures and are considered deportable.

This "Special Registration" is out-and-out persecution on the basis of national origin and religion and a brutal violation of basic human rights, including the right to be free of government violence and persecution, the right to be free of religious and political intimidation, the right to equality before the law, etc.

These attacks on the people's rights are part of the government's program of war and repression. Precisely because the government is preparing and waging aggressive, imperialist wars against the Arab and Moslem peoples, it is seeking to silence the voices of opposition.

Make no mistake about it. The attacks against foreign nationals and immigrants show the direction in which the government is moving. As the war program intensifies, so too will the repression. If unchecked by the democratic struggles of the American people, the government will keep marching down the road towards pogroms, concentration camps and fascism.