Sample Letter to BICE
|Richard D. Neville
Assistant Chief Counsel
Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Department of Homeland Security
JFK Federal Building
Boston, MA 02203
Dear Mr. Neville,
I write to urge your office to drop deportation proceedings against Amer Jubran, a Palestinian activist detained by the US government in November of 2002. It's clear that Mr. Jubran's arrest and subsequent deportation proceedings against him are politically motivated and aimed at silencing speech protected by the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution. Mr. Jubran was arrested only two days after helping to lead a pro-Palestine rally and march in Boston. The arrest was carried out jointly by agents of the FBI and the INS, who tried to interrogate Mr. Jubran about his legal activities as an anti-war organizer and advocate for Palestinian rights. When Mr. Jubran insisted on his right to have a lawyer present--a right guaranteed by the US Constitution--these officers threatened Mr. Jubran with indefinite detention and then had him transferred to an INS cell where he was held for more than 17 days before he was granted a bond hearing.
Since that time, your office has persisted in its attempts to deport Mr. Jubran under the spurious claim of immigration violations. At the February 27 pre-trial hearing when your office chose to proceed with the deportation order, the judge expressed his surprise at the lack of evidence or witnesses to support the government's case. In the week before Mr. Jubran's final removal hearing on July 24th, federal agents visited members of his witness pool--detaining one of them for more than nine hours--and interrogated them in a manner that made them fear possible repercussions if they should appear on Mr. Jubran's behalf. In spite of these actions, his primary witness gave testimony fully persuasive to the judge and all independent members of the court audience.
Your office has consistently failed to meet even minimum standards of fairness in submitting evidence and exhibits. A report filed by an FBI officer who questioned a member of Mr. Jubran's family in November, 2002
was only made available on the day of the trial itself--July 24, 2003--a full month after all such evidence should have been submitted to the court, and in spite of repeated requests from the defense attorney.
Mr. Jubran should never have been arrested. Deportation proceedings should never have been brought against him. Once brought, this matter should have been laid to rest at Mr. Jubran's July 24th trial, when the judge expressed his readiness to give a ruling. Your office nevertheless appears to be doing everything in its power to prevent this matter from reaching a fair and timely conclusion. The postponement of the trial to November 6, 2003 is now the second time your office has had the matter continued on trivial personal grounds.
At the time of Mr. Jubran's arrest, it was clear that the INS was being used as a tool to serve political ends. It is now equally clear that the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is using prolonged deportation proceedings to continue this pattern of harassment and intimidation. These abuses of police and judicial power violate fundamental rights guaranteed by the US Constitution and by international law.
I urge you to drop these proceedings at once.