April 1, 2014 | Posted in: News
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.