Protests in San Francisco as Muslims Forced to Report to Federal Agents

November 21, 2003

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On November 21, 2003 The San Francisco Chronicle reported on area protests by activists and civil rights advocates against the policy that requires men from 23 predominantly Muslim countries to register with federal agents once a year. The article reported that "as of Oct. 30, 83,519 men had voluntarily reported to immigration offices around the country to be fingerprinted and interviewed. Of those, 13, 799 were put into deportation proceedings, 2,870 were detained, and 143 were arrested on criminal charges, said Sharon Rummery, spokeswoman for BCIS in San Francisco..." Rummery said that Muslim countries were not being singled out for increased enforcement but that the countries affected were selected because 'that's where al Qaeda and other terror organizations have been active or the U.S. has security concerns.' But Lawrence Swain, executive director of the Fremont-based Interfaith Freedom Foundation, was not convinced. 'I supported (the special registration process) in the beginning, but it soon became clear that it was nothing but a government sting to deport Muslims on technicalities, so eventually I took a position of complete opposition,' he said."