Charles Nailen/The Hoya Student members of Georgetown’s Campaign Civil Rights protest what they consider undue profiling of international students in Red Square Thursday afternoon.

Students from Georgetown’s Campaign Civil Rights protested in Red Square to condemn recent policies of the FBI and INS pertaining to international students on Thursday afternoon. The rally also aimed to articulate expectations for the university’s response to certain government regulations and requests.

Approximately 40 students representing CCR participated in the protest. The group was comprised of Amnesty International, GU Solidarity, Peace Action, Muslim Student Association and Young Arab Leadership Association members.

Speakers included CCR member Younus Mirza (SFS ’04), Professor Mark Lance, ACLU spokesman Matt Bowles and GU Peace Action member Patricia Stumps (COL ’03). Students gathered in the center of the square holding posters and banners with phrases such as “Fingerprint now, interment tomorrow” and “We demand civil rights for all students.” Several wore cardboard handcuffs and prison bars.

CCR’s goals in the protest were threefold. It hoped to influence university policy by urging prohibition of unconditional FBI access to international students’ files in order to prevent mistreatment and discrimination; to prohibit the FBI from employing campus security to deal with international students and faculty and third, to condemn the INS special registration program.

CCR bases its first grievance on the fact that the FBI recently requested that certain universities voluntarily submit contact information pertaining to foreign students and faculty. The FBI claims that such information is critical in determining whether students and faculty may have ties to known or suspected terrorists or may serve as informers. The Department of Education argues that such an action without a court order or subpoena is illegal, while the FBI and Justice Department officials say recent antiterrorism language in the USA Patriot Act allows schools to provide the data without notifying those involved. The FBI has yet to ask this of Georgetown.

The INS, however, has mandated that universities submit general contact information in regards to their foreign students through the Internet based system, SEVIS.

“SEVIS is part of many new, unnecessarily strict policies enacted by the INS that are not only extremely costly and time consuming for the University, but they also prevent some international students from returning to the U.S. to complete their education . While the university is legally bound to comply with SEVIS, it can publicly object to these stringent and bias policies as well has aid international students who need help returning to the U.S.,” Asma Mirza (MSB ’06), CCR member, said.

Second, since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, the FBI has cultivated relationships with hundreds of campus police departments to gain access to the international students and to continue with the war on terrorism. Several of the Sept. 11 hijackers enrolled at American flight schools and one entered the U.S. on a student visa, but attended class.

In response to FBI and campus police cooperation, some student activists claim that such government behavior is reminiscent of the1960s. Former President J. Edgar Hoover, for example, issued the COINTELPRO program, requiring the FBI to engage in broad and questionable tactics to monitor and to infiltrate leftist antiwar and civil rights groups.

Finally, CCR objects to the INS special registration program. This system will require some of the approximately 35 million non-immigrants who enter the U.S. each year, as well as some of those already present, to register with INS at a port of entry or a designated INS office. Special registration procedures include fingerprinting, photographs, interviews, identification verification and notification of changes of address, employment or school. Non-immigrants will also have to depart from specially designated ports and report in person to an INS officer on the date of their departure. Those who refuse to comply will be subject to detention, arrest, fines and/or deportation. All decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Individuals coming from Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria must follow the procedures of special registration.

Younus Mirza expressed has serious concern about these new stipulations.

“The INS special registration programs [give] the message that Arabs and Muslims are a threat to national security simply because of their race and religion. This is racial profiling practiced by the government and students of conscience should speak out against any type of discrimination, especially if it is on our own campus,” he said. “The fourth and fifth amendments guarantee due process and prohibit unlawful search and seizure. The government fingerprinting, photographing and interviewing people who have committed no crimes goes against these amendments and other core American ideals such as freedom and privacy from the government.”

The debate continues, however, as to whether or not foreign students are afforded the same constitutional rights as American citizens.

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