The Bush administration has rejected the prospect of
mass deportations of Muslim illegal aliens.
The administration plans to relay this message to American Muslim
leaders amid the current nationwide alert for an Al Qaida attack. Hundreds
of Muslims have been detained as illegal aliens as part of a crackdown by
federal law enforcement authorities, Middle East Newsline reported.
On Tuesday, FBI Director Robert Mueller will meet American Muslim
leaders to discuss federal measures against Al Qaida threats. Muslim groups
have filed a class action suit against the government, charging that the
Immigration and Naturalization Service has arrested Muslims illegally.
Muslim groups said the millions of Muslims in the United States have
been the target of a backlash since the Al Qaida suicide attacks on New York
and Washington in September 2001. They said at least 15 Muslims and a Sikh
have been killed in attacks around the country.
Officials said Mueller plans to discuss the attacks on Muslims as well
as policy toward illegal aliens. They said this will include a law passed
over the last year that requires citizens from many Arab and Islamic nations
to register with the INS. The procedure also includes photographing and
Muslim groups have expressed concern that the law will result in the
detention and deportation of hundreds of thousands of Arab and Islamic
immigrants who arrived illegally or whose visas have expired. The Alliance
of Iranian Americans, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the
Council on American Islamic Relations, and the National Council of Pakistani
Americans have asked a federal court to issue an injunction to prevent the
prospect of mass arrests.
But officials said the administration plans to reassure Muslim groups
that special procedures enacted over the last year will be limited to those
immigrants regarded as security threats.