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Dear Editor:
This protest is being held Saturday, January 4, 2003, Noon to 1 PM Place: INS Los Angeles District Office, Federal Building, 300 N. Los Angeles Street, Los Angeles, Ca. 90012 because of the mass warrantless illegal arrests of Middle-Eastern males who showed-up for INS's mandatory registration program in Los Angeles in December where many are still being detained. The program is supposed to "register" people, not target them for mass illegal arrests; Thousands of men who did not register by December because they rightly feared illegal arrest or because of the chaos at the INS office deserve an extension to register; The thousands of men required to register in January - February, 2003, should not again face mass arrests. The men arrested in December who are still detained should be quickly released on reasonable bails. Los Angeles appears to be the only city which used the registration program as a vehicle to make mass illegal arrests.

The protest is organized by the groups we represent in the pending lawsuit entitled American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, et al. v. Ashcroft. Please remember that Ashcroft's "registration" program is starting with Middle Eastern males, but will soon encompass Latinos and all other immigrants. If mass arrests are permitted now in Los Angeles, there will be massive mass arrests here in the future. The INS in other major cities did NOT use the registration program as an excuse to make mass arrests.

Peter A. Schey, President
Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law