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  • Many Muslim visitors face fingerprinting.

    Beginning November 8, about 3,000 visitors from five Muslim countries must
    report to local offices of the Immigration and Naturalization Service
    across the country to be fingerprinted, photographed and interviewed.

    The registration of males between the ages of 16 and 45 from Iran,
    Iraq,
    Libya, Syria and Sudan is the latest effort by the government to
    tighten
    the tracking of visitors from countries that the State Department
    considers
    sponsors of terrorism.

    The fingerprints, photos and interview details will be compared against
    information contained in criminal, terrorism and immigration databases,
    according to a spokesman for the U.S. Justice Department.

    Since the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System began this
    Sept.
    11, more than 14,000 have registered and been interviewed at airports
    and
    other ports of entry. Of those, 179 have been arrested on criminal
    charges
    or immigration violations.

    The registration that began November 8 is aimed at nonimmigrant workers,
    students and others who arrived as temporary visitors in the United
    States
    before Sept. 11. Those who fail to register are subject to fines,
    imprisonment and deportation.

    Some Islamic and Arab groups have criticized the new measures as ethnic
    profiling.

    "It just falls in line with the ongoing attitude of 'round up the usual
    terrorism suspects,'" said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on
    American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based civil rights and
    advocacy
    group. "The attitude seems to be if you roust enough Muslims and Arabs,
    something will pop up."

    But Justice Department spokesman Jorge Martinez said the new system is
    not
    based on race or religion.

    "That basically counters the argument of our critics that this is
    racial
    profiling," Martinez said. "They are deemed to trigger that automatic
    registration because ... where they come from might pose an elevated
    security threat."

    Martinez said the same requirements might be placed on visitors from
    other
    countries if the need arises.

    "That can and will change as intelligence reports tell us differently,"
    Martinez said. "No country is exempt."

    The registration requirements that take effect Friday cover males born
    on
    or before Nov. 15, 1986, who are nationals or citizens from the five
    countries and who will remain in the United States at least until Dec.
    16.
    They must present travel documents and proof of residence, such as
    school
    registrations. They must check in with authorities once a year.

    It's uncertain how many of the 3,000 may live in the St. Louis area.
    Officials at several local universities said they are contacting
    international students, faculty or others who might be affected by the
    policy.

    Some diplomats, legal permanent residents and other aliens, such as
    refugees and asylum applicants and grantees, are not required to
    register.

  • #2
    Beginning November 8, about 3,000 visitors from five Muslim countries must
    report to local offices of the Immigration and Naturalization Service
    across the country to be fingerprinted, photographed and interviewed.

    The registration of males between the ages of 16 and 45 from Iran,
    Iraq,
    Libya, Syria and Sudan is the latest effort by the government to
    tighten
    the tracking of visitors from countries that the State Department
    considers
    sponsors of terrorism.

    The fingerprints, photos and interview details will be compared against
    information contained in criminal, terrorism and immigration databases,
    according to a spokesman for the U.S. Justice Department.

    Since the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System began this
    Sept.
    11, more than 14,000 have registered and been interviewed at airports
    and
    other ports of entry. Of those, 179 have been arrested on criminal
    charges
    or immigration violations.

    The registration that began November 8 is aimed at nonimmigrant workers,
    students and others who arrived as temporary visitors in the United
    States
    before Sept. 11. Those who fail to register are subject to fines,
    imprisonment and deportation.

    Some Islamic and Arab groups have criticized the new measures as ethnic
    profiling.

    "It just falls in line with the ongoing attitude of 'round up the usual
    terrorism suspects,'" said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on
    American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based civil rights and
    advocacy
    group. "The attitude seems to be if you roust enough Muslims and Arabs,
    something will pop up."

    But Justice Department spokesman Jorge Martinez said the new system is
    not
    based on race or religion.

    "That basically counters the argument of our critics that this is
    racial
    profiling," Martinez said. "They are deemed to trigger that automatic
    registration because ... where they come from might pose an elevated
    security threat."

    Martinez said the same requirements might be placed on visitors from
    other
    countries if the need arises.

    "That can and will change as intelligence reports tell us differently,"
    Martinez said. "No country is exempt."

    The registration requirements that take effect Friday cover males born
    on
    or before Nov. 15, 1986, who are nationals or citizens from the five
    countries and who will remain in the United States at least until Dec.
    16.
    They must present travel documents and proof of residence, such as
    school
    registrations. They must check in with authorities once a year.

    It's uncertain how many of the 3,000 may live in the St. Louis area.
    Officials at several local universities said they are contacting
    international students, faculty or others who might be affected by the
    policy.

    Some diplomats, legal permanent residents and other aliens, such as
    refugees and asylum applicants and grantees, are not required to
    register.

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