Email sent to iranian.com:
Just received an email from my very close friend living in Southern California. One of her close relatives, a young Iranian male (27), went in to be fingerprinted and photographed (registerd) according to immigration regulations effective, Dec. 16, 2002. They detained him because of his driving record! Apparently, he had missed traffic school or something of that nature.
So please let others know via your site or some other means that they need to have their records cleared and clean because now we have a DMV police in immigration office who might just like to think any person from Iranian descent could be a criminal by the vice of not having a clean driving record!!!
If you have a parking ticket, take care of it today, it's grounds for global terrorism.
A reply from an immigration lawyer:
Yes, this account sounds plausible, especially if he went to the Santa Ana office, which has been even harsher than the Los Angeles office in enforcing this new “law”. It is very disheartening to hear from clients that on the Persian radio, so called lawyers are telling people to go ahead and present themselves for registration without an attorney present and that the procedure is “simple”, “friendly” and “not a big deal.” (I don't listen to Persian radio myself but this is what many clients told me). We have had accounts through the grapevine here in the immigration attorney community in Los Angeles that there are a lot of people being detained, some on worthless grounds.
It is funny that I keep reading in articles John Ashcroft and his minions stating that this is not about racist or ethnic profiling or about tightening immigration but simply about security. An Immigration and Naturalization Service officer was asked recently why they are not making any more efforts at publicity other than publishing this special registration requirement on the Federal Register (which I am sure everyone reads every day!!!) since consequences of not reporting entail not only deportation proceedings but criminal consequences. His answer was that he was going to distribute pamphlets in local MOSQUES!
Other things that do not make sense include the fact that Iranians who have fled Iran on asylum grounds and have been granted citizenship in a third country (such as Canada), or who have never been born in Iran nor resided in Iran are still considered nationals of Iran for purposes of special registration. Apparently, short of going before the council of ministers in Iran and swearing your rejection of your Iranian citizenship, the US government considers you to have allegiance to the Islamic Government.
I have been feeling so sick and nauseated the past few days. I keep waking up in an anxiety attack 10 times per night, worried about what's going to happen to all of us… This feels like just the tip of the iceberg. During World War II, they went so far as retroactively revoking citizenship of Canadians of Japanese descent and shipping them back to their country even though a lot of them were 2nd and 3rd generation Canadian citizens. Seems the same logic is applying here.
My ammeh quips that history does not repeat itself. Historians do. I have never wished so much for this to be true. My advice would be please please please have an attorney review your file before you show up in person for this special registration to assess: whether you are subject to special registration (this does not apply to females, nor to Green Card holders, nor to asylum applicants who had their claims filed or approved before November 6, 2002); and whether there is a risk of getting detained upon presentation at special registration.
It is also extremely important to have an attorney with you there who can act as your advocate and prevent some low level yahoo from hauling you into jail like a common criminal on a completely meritless basis. Remember it is your right to have your attorney present there. Lots of luck to us all!
:o( My first frowny face EVER!
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