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Jordanian's arrest 'a silencing,' lawyer says



Jordanian's arrest 'a silencing,' lawyer says
Copyright 2002 Providence Publications, LLC
The Providence Journal-Bulletin (Providence, RI)
DATE: November 16, 2002, Saturday All Editions
SECTION: News; Pg. A-03
BYLINE TOM MOONEY Journal Staff Writer
* Amer Jubran of Cumberland sits in the ACI facing "immigration violations"
after being arrested days after leading a pro-Palestinian rally in Boston.

      Two days after Amer Jubran led a rally in Boston this month defending the
rights of Palestinians, immigration officials entered his house in Cumberland
without a warrant, never identified themselves, and arrested him, his lawyer

   Jubran was also allegedly denied a lawyer at first and threatened with
imprisonment and deportation if he didn't answer questions.

   He now sits at the Adult Correctional Institutions, unable to obtain
immediate bail -- a victim, his lawyer, Nelson K. Brill, says, of the nation's
new homeland security initiative gone awry.

   Jubran is a Jordanian who has been a permanent and lawful resident of the
United States for three years as well as a vocal supporter of Palestinian
rights, said Brill.

   On Nov. 2, he led more than 100 members of a group he co-founded called the
New England Committee to Defend Palestine in a legal rally through Boston.

   Two days later, as Jubran was preparing for work, Immigration and
Naturalization Service investigators and FBI agents arrested him at his
Cumberland home.

   "It's clearly a silencing, a move to silence people and remove them from the
public arena," said Brill, an immigration lawyer based in Brookline, Mass., "and
to create this environment where people are going to be afraid to speak out."

   "This is what's happening in all different communities around the Providence
area, around the Boston area," Brill said. "This is a routine situation for
investigators of immigration, whether they are with state or local police or the
FBI. They are going into private homes without warrants, without identifying

   Paula Grenier, a spokeswoman for the Immigration and Naturalization Service
in Boston, would say only that Jubran was arrested for "immigration violations."

   She said immigration privacy protections "precludes us from giving out
information about their case."

   Grenier said, however, that immigration officials "do have the authority to
make warrantless arrests" since immigration proceedings are civil in nature and
not criminal.

   In discussions with immigration officials since Nov. 4, Brill has learned
Jubran was arrested on allegations he committed fraud three years ago on his
entry application by misrepresenting the day of his marriage.

   Brill claimed the charge has been drummed up now to strip Jubran of his
permanent residency and that the INS is using the allegation to deport him.

   "Under the guise of fighting terrorism, protecting our nation's borders, we
have these kinds of operations going on which don't do anything to instill
public confidence with these agencies. On the contrary, it creates an
environment of terrorism, of people being afraid to say anything because they
know they are going to be overpowered by the government."

   Jubran is not a threat to the United States, Brills said, "and he will have
literally dozens of people, including a Boston city councilor, who will be in
his corner and who support him as a person with good moral character."

   More than 30 people demonstrated outside the JFK Federal Building in
Government Center in Boston yesterday morning on Jubran's behalf, both Brill and
Grenier said.

   While Fourth Amendment protections against search and seizures may not,
technically, apply in immigration proceedings, Brill said other protected
rights, do, such as the Fifth Amendment right to due process.

   And in Jubran's case those rights were violated, he said: for example, agents
didn't identify themselves, Jubran wasn't told the grounds of his arrest, he was
not afforded a lawyer or told of his right to remain silent.

   On the contrary, Brill said, Jubran was told "you are going to jail and you
will suffer and we will deport you in two weeks' time."

   "These individuals, from what Amer tells me, forced their way into his
apartment after he was taking a shower and arrested him, handcuffed him without
telling him anything about his rights, about the grounds for his arrest and
without telling him who they were."

   Brill said that because of the pressure Jubran's supporters have placed on
the INS in the last few weeks, he learned Thursday that Jubran would have a bail
hearing next Thursday.

   Presumably, he says, the government will then state the case against him.