Special Registration: Again

Iranians are protesting according to LA Times:

In peaceful Irvine, where Iranians who fled the Ayatollah Khomeini established a tight-knit community of professionals and young families, the last thing anyone expected was to be tossed in jail.

On Tuesday — the day after dozens of immigrants from Middle Eastern countries and Sudan were taken into custody during a government registration process — residents like Ahmad Mesbah were filled with sadness and anger.

“We suffered a lot, and that is why we are here. We love the United States, so this has been frustrating,” said Mesbah, who helps lead monthly networking meetings for Iranian professionals. “There’s also something ironic about it. This affects the cream of the crop who came here. We are scientists, doctors, engineers.”[…]

Reza Tabib was indignant that his friend Efran Haj Rasoli — a 19-year-old Irvine Valley College student — was taken into custody Monday because he lacked a residency card. Tabib said the INS wrote Rasoli a letter indicating it had been approved in 2000 but that because of INS backlogs, it had not arrived.

Ok, I don’t understand. Permanent residents are not supposed to register. If Rasoli’s application was approved by the INS, he was a Permanent Resident. He did not need to go, unless there is something we do not know. In my experience, media stories about immigration matters are extremely ignorant.

So what do you think? Will all this publicity help the US cause? I know these people who were detained are very likely to have violated immigration laws. But without any actual figures and details from INS and the Justice Department, how can we be sure? Also, there are a lot more immigration violators from Latin America and other countries. Why this selective application of the law? I know, terrorism. But explain that to the Iranian guy who had to run away from Iran because of persecution from the government there.

Atrios has a number of posts on the subject. Start here and go up.

Categorized as Immigration

By Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer


  1. I’ve read several stories of people whose applications had been approved but they had not received their green cards yet being told to register, and then being caught out by this registration process.

    From everything I’ve heard the INS procedures are so complicated and their bureaucracy so complex that most people don’t know exactly what their status is according to to the government’s records. Presumably these people felt it was better to show up than to risk arrest and immediate detention by not showing up.

    I think that this is a travesty of justice, even if some of the statements made about it are over-blown. There are probably hundreds of thousands of immigrants in this country who have some minor problem in their paperwork. These people aren’t being called in and then arrested and prepared for deportation.

    And how exactly does being born in a Muslim country make one more of a terrorist suspect than being born in another country? But that seems to be the only reason they have for singling out immigrants from these countries. That is just WRONG.

  2. For those who have dealt with the INS, you know that it is a nightmare. The INS is a hundred times less efficient than your local DPS License office. Being on the wrong side of immigration law is easy.

    It is both unsurprising but disapointing to hear of the round-ups. In the Kafka-esque world of the “war on terror”, those most sympathetic to the USA are often the ones targeted first.

    Immigrants to the USA from Syria, Yemen, and especially Iran are often most friendly to the USA. Iranian emigrants have fled the Islamic revolution, have no truck with political Islam, and often fondly remember the days of the American backed Shah.

    (Iranian emigrants include Jews, Christians, Zoarastrians, or Bahais)

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