Since 9/11, immigration has become increasingly tangled with criminal enforcement and national security.

April 1, 2014 | Posted in News | By

Undocumented ImmigrantWhy Has President Obama Deported More Immigrants Than Any President in US History?

No group has been exempt, but Latino, Afro-Caribbean and Muslim immigrants have suffered some of the most stringent enforcement, reflecting the racial profiling to which these populations are subject in the criminal justice, immigration and national security systems. Little of this has changed under Obama and much of it has gotten worse, thanks to his administration’s embrace of what they call a “smart enforcement” approach. Under this approach, the administration aggressively deports immigrants targeted as criminals or terrorists—even when it is clear that they do not pose any danger.

(Mohammad) Qatanani is the Palestinian imam of the Islamic Center of Passaic County. For the past fourteen years, the government has sought to deport him under allegations that he has ties to Hamas, which is classified as a terrorist organization by the US government. The government also has argued that Qatanani violated immigration law when he did not disclose on his 1999 residency application that he was questioned (but never arrested) by Israeli police in 1993. In 2008, an immigration judge in New Jersey ruled that the government had no case against Qatanani, and granted him legal permanent residence. Despite widespread support for Qatanani, including from Governor Chris Christie, DHS appealed the lower court’s decision and is pursuing his deportation in the Bureau of Immigration Appeals.

read more…

Rights in Crisis in Post-9/11 America A Panel with Jeanne Theoharis and Arun Kundnani

March 31, 2014 | Posted in Event, News | By

The Muslims Are Coming

Friday, April 4, 2014 – 6:30 – 8:30 pm – Room C 205

Prevailing liberal analyses of the War on Terror have tended to focus on its overseas injustices, missing the experiences and targeting of Muslims in the US. While recent revelations on the NSA’s massive data collection have elicited outrage, the sprawling counterterrorism structures of policing, surveillance, and criminalization of Muslim communities and the pattern of rights abuses in federal terrorism prosecutions have drawn less scrutiny. This panel attempts to explore the ways that racialization and Islamophobia are central to the national security state at home, looking at the flawed ideas of “radicalization” that underpin it and the rights abridgment that characterizes the domestic War on Terror.

Arun Kundnani is the author of The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, extremism, and the domestic War on Terror (Verso Books, 2014). Born and bred in London, he moved to New York in 2010 on a fellowship with the Open Society Foundations. His first book The End of Tolerance: Racism in 21st century Britain (Pluto Press, 2007) was selected as a New Statesman book of the year. A former editor of the Journal Race & Class, he currently teaches at New York University and John Jay College.

Jeanne Theoharis is professor of political science at Brooklyn College and co-founder of Educators for Civil Liberties. She is author or co-author of seven books, including the recent, award-winning biography The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks. She has written extensively on rights abuses and the domestic War on Terror for The Nation, Slate, the Progressive and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Copies of Arun Kundnani’s The Muslims are Coming! will be available for sale.

Co-sponsored with Educators for Civil Liberties

Free & Open to the Public

read more…

Podcast: Why Is British Government Stripping Individuals of Their Citizenship & How Is US Responsible?

March 24, 2014 | Posted in News | By

UK Home Secretary Theresa MayIn the United Kingdom, dual citizens are having their citizenship revoked. They typically are not being notified about it, and some times they are outside of the UK when this happens. There are also a few cases where individuals who have had their citizenship revoked were subsequently targeted in United States drone strikes or they were kidnapped, interrogated and wound up in a US prison.

Aviva Stahl, a journalist and contributor for The Nation, wrote an article on this troubling development in the UK, which she says “creates a two-tiered racialized system of citizenship.”

“Only dual citizens can be deprived, either someone who is naturalized or someone who has foreign-born parents,” Stahl explained. “It basically means that white so-called indigenous citizens kind of maintain all of their citizenship protections but people of color don’t.”

Stahl joins Rania Khalek and I(Kevin Gosztola) to discuss her recent story on how the British government is stripping dual citizens of their citizenship.

Listen at The Dissenter on Firedoglake

read more…

Inside the Kafkaesque World of the US’s ‘Little Guantánamos’

March 23, 2014 | Posted in News | By

Little GuantanamosWe sat together on her couch, her small, eight-year-old hands clutching a photo of her father, Yassin Aref.  “My daddy only held me twice before I was five,” Dilnia told me. For the first five years of her life, she only knew him as the man on the other side of a plexiglass window in a communication management unit in an Indiana federal penitentiary. Read More: Inside the Kafkaesque World of the US’s ‘Little Guantánamos’


read more…

New Comment Period Opened on Federal Communications Management Units

March 11, 2014 | Posted in News | By

As many readers will know, two federal prisons in the Midwest contain so-called Communications Management Units opened during the Bush years. As described by the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has filed a federal lawsuit against the CMUs:

In 2006 and 2008, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP or “Bureau”) secretly created the Communications Management Units (CMUs), prison units designed to isolate and segregate certain prisoners in the federal prison system from the rest of the BOP population. Currently, there are two CMUs, one located in Terre Haute, Indiana and the other in Marion, Illinois. The CMUs house between 60 and 70 prisoners in total, and over two-thirds of the CMU population is Muslim, even though Muslims represent only 6 percent of the general federal prison population.

Unlike other BOP prisoners, individuals detained in the CMUs are completely banned from any physical contact with visiting family members and friends. Other types of communication are also severely limited, including interactions with other prisoners and phone calls with friends and family members.

Individuals detained in the CMUs receive no meaningful explanation for their transfer to the unit or for the extraordinary communications restrictions to which they are subjected. Upon designation to the unit, there is no meaningful review or appeal process that allows CMU prisoners to be transferred back to general population.

Many CMU prisoners have neither significant disciplinary records nor any communications-related infractions. However, bias, political scapegoating, religious profiling and racism keep them locked inside these special units. The Bureau’s purpose and process for designating federal prisoners to the CMUs remain undisclosed to the public.

Yesterday, No Separate Justice received the following email from our colleague Daniel McGowan, who spent time in Marion’s CMU: “You may remember that the original comment period of 2010 netted 700+ letters and emails against the restrictions outlined in the proposal. The Department of Justice ended the comment period and has sat on their hands since then in terms of getting actual legal approval to run the CMUs. As someone who was at Marion CMU during this time, I can tell you that knowing people out there cared enough to put their concerns in writing on our behalf was heartening and reenergized my efforts to close the CMUs. The BoP has opened public comment period for just two weeks. Please check out the links below and send a clear message to them about these units and how they should be closed immediately.”

The following document, which appears online here, provides full instructions on how to submit comments. The deadline for submitting comments is March 25.

Communication Management Units

This Proposed Rule document was issued by the Federal Prisons Bureau (BOP)

For related information, Open Docket Folder


Proposed rule; Notice to Reopen Comment Period.


In this document, the Bureau of Prisons (Bureau) reopens the comment period of the proposed rule published on April 6, 2010 (75 FR 17324) which proposed to establish and describe Communication Management Units (CMUs) by regulation. We now reopen the comment period for fifteen (15) additional days in order to allow inmates and interested parties additional opportunity to comment.


Written comments must be postmarked and electronic comments must be submitted on or before March 25, 2014. Comments received by mail will be considered timely if they are postmarked on or before that date. The electronic Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) will accept comments until Midnight Eastern Time at the end of that day.


Written comments should be submitted to the Rules Unit, Office of General Counsel, Bureau of Prisons, 320 First Street NW., Washington, DC 20534. You may view an electronic version of this regulation at *www.regulations.gov You may also comment by using the comment form for this regulation. When submitting comments electronically you must include the BOP Docket No. in the subject box.

For Further Information Contact

Sarah Qureshi, Office of General Counsel, Bureau of Prisons, phone 202.307.2105.

Supplementary Information 
Posting of Public Comments

Please note that all comments received are considered part of the public record and made available for public inspection online at Such information includes personal identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter.

If you want to submit personal identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) as part of your comment, but do not want it to be posted online, you must include the phrase “PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also locate all the personal  identifying information you do not want posted online in the first paragraph of your comment and identify what information you want redacted.

If you want to submit confidential business information as part of your comment but do not want it to be posted online, you must include the phrase “CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also prominently identify confidential business information to be redacted within the comment. If a comment has so much confidential business information that it cannot be effectively redacted, all or part of that comment may not be posted on

Personal identifying information identified and located as set forth above will be placed in the agency’s public docket file, but not posted online. Confidential business information identified and located as set forth above will not be placed in the public docket file. If you wish to inspect the agency’s public docket file in person by appointment, please see the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT paragraph.


In this document, the Bureau of Prisons (Bureau) reopens the comment period of the proposed rule published on April 6, 2010 (75 FR 17324) (2010 proposed rule) which proposed to establish and describe Communication Management Units (CMUs) by regulation. We now reopen the comment period for fifteen (15) additional days in order to allow inmates and interested parties additional opportunity to comment. We do so in response to current ongoing litigation with which the Bureau has been involved. We reopen the comment period for 15 days instead of the typical 60-day length of a proposed rule comment period because the rule was previously open for a 60-day public comment period in 2010 and we received over 700 comments during that time. We now reopen the comment period for a limited time to allow further comments from interested parties while striving to expedite the regulation development process.

The 2010 proposed rule codifies and describes the Bureau’s procedures for designating inmates to, and limiting communication within, its Communication Management Units (CMU). Currently, the Bureau operates two CMUs, separately located at the Federal Correctional Complex (FCC), Terre Haute, Indiana (established in December 2006), and the United States Penitentiary (USP), Marion, Illinois (established in March 2008). For further information, please see the proposed rule published on April 6, 2010 (75 FR 17324).

read more…

New Campaign Highlights Post-9/11 Civil and Human Rights Abuses

January 13, 2014 | Posted in News | By

From Solitary Watch, by Aviva Stahl, January 13, 2013:

Panelists at the NSJ launch event. Photo by Liliana Segura.

Panelists at the NSJ launch event. Photo by Liliana Segura.

This past weekend, activists across the country and around the world marked the 12th anniversary of the arrival of the first prisoners to the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Detainees there have endured numerous forms of torture, including waterboarding, “stress positions,” prolonged solitary confinement, and force-feeding, as well as indefinite detention without trial, and many advocates have pressed for their immediate transfer to the United States and to the federal civilian justice system.

But not everyone believes that the torture and injustice will end if Guantanamo shuts its doors. Last Tuesday, members of a new campaign called No Separate Justice held a launch event in New York City. The campaign focuses exclusively on exposing the civil and human rights abuses in “War on Terror” cases prosecuted on American soil–abuses that are almost always directed against Muslims.

The campaign will center around four core areas: conditions of confinement (including extreme solitary confinement and deprivation); fair trial and due process concerns (like the classification of evidence held against detainees, even those being charged); First Amendment and material support charges (notably the use of “preemptive prosecution” based on individuals’ perceived political activities or beliefs); and surveillance and entrapment (through “sting” operations that actually persuade individuals to conspire to illegal acts).

On the night of the launch the auditorium at Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village was packed despite the bitter cold. Brooklyn College Professor Jeanne Theoharis opened and moderated the evening, stepping in for journalist Liliana Segura, who had lost her voice. Theoharis urged audience members to break the silence about what Muslims face when they are charged in U.S. courts. “We know that most of the greatest injustices in American history have been legal.”…

Read the full post here.


read more…