A little background on me:
I’m 23 years old, male and Moroccan. I obtained a 2 year student visa for the U.S and came here a year ago. I will be starting my 3rd semester next monday.
Today, I was listening to the radio on my way to college and I heard something about thousands of arabic people piling up in INS offices and something about it being the end of a deadline. I didn’t pay much attention to it but tonight, i decided to check the INS webpage to see if I could find any mention of this and see what all the fuss is about. Here is what I found out:
If you are a national or citizen of […] Morocco[…] and were inspected by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and last admitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant on or before September 30, 2002; and
- If you are a male, born on or before December 2, 1986; and
- If you will be in the United States at least until January 10, 2003.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
You must come to a designated INS office to be registered (photographed, fingerprinted, and interviewed under oath) between December 2, 2002 and January 10, 2003.
If you remain in the United States for more than 1 additional year, you must report back to a designated INS office within 10 days of the anniversary of the date on which you first registered. For example, if you were registered December 20, 2002, you would report back between December 10 and December 30, 2003.
If you change your address, employment, or educational institution, you must notify the INS in writing within 10 days of the change, using Form AR-11 SR.
IT IS VITAL THAT YOU COMPLY
If you do not follow these procedures, you may be considered to be out of status and deportable. You may be subject to **arrest, detention, fines and/or removal from the United States. **Any future application for an immigration benefit from the United States may be adversely impacted. If you do not properly exit through a designated port, any future attempts to reenter the United States may be impacted. Decisions will be made on an individual basis, depending on the circumstances of each.
I entered the country legally, I am a law-abiding “resident”, I come from a country that has collaborated with the fight against terrorism I have no criminal record or anything that could induce anyone to think that i might be a threat to this country, I did not receive a phonecall/letter from the INS informing me of this. (I have a driving license that states my current address so it can’t be that hard).
BUT because I never watch the news nor read papers, I can now be arrested, jailed, fined, deported and denied any further entrance to this country.
God bless America!
I don’t really have the words to describe how I’m feeling. Betrayed? Maybe it’s a tad dramatic. Disappointed? That’s an understatement. Terrorized (pun intended)? Not quite. But afraid, yes, quite afraid…
PS: I’m going to the INS first hour on monday 13 hoping for the best. Wait & See.
PPS: Hey! It just occured to me that some american citizens have to report address changes to the authorities as well. I think they’re called sex offenders.