I am now officially eligible for deportation! Yay!!

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

I think you’d better read this
thread first.

:frowning:

Well, ok. You did it. Now I’m sweating…

I was never a very organized person. Especially not with paperwork. I changed my adress about 6 months ago and had no idea I had to notify the INS about it.

I frankly don’t know what I’m going to do…

how could this possibly be happening?

Or this: CNN: Foreign students fret over INS tracking.

I said it in the other thread and I’ll say it here: this is not only shameful: it is counterproductive.

Indeed it is. Fear leads to anger and anger to hatred. Most people like me will just bite the bullet, say macha’llah (God’s will be done) and go on with their lives (if they’re not deported that is) but even if a fraction of a fraction takes the violent path, this policy will have accomplished the contrary of what it intends…

Why take this bully approach? If your objective is to keep track of these people, there are much nicer ways to do it. Scaring people into doing what you want and punishing some of them for complying is just wrong.

Just some quick thoughts: on the one hand this has been all over the news so I’m not sure how you missed it.

OTOH, I have to agree that there this does chill my blood to a degree.

On the hopeful side there may be an extention on the deadline:
NYT.
Washington Post
(Free registration on both, FYI.)

Mind you an extention is just my interpretation of what is possible. Considering the current administration I wouldn’t be surprised if they just respond with a “So sorry, too bad.”

My advice would be to contact the ACLU or some other legal help quick.

Hell and handbaskets.

I hope things work out for you, and your tuition isn’t blown.

If worst comes to worst, you’re still welcome in Canada, if that’s any consolation at all.

Careful, there. Never know who’s reading. This could get you into some derious trouble… :rolleyes:

I hope things work out for you.

I’m really sorry about some of the recent stupid-ass administrative behaviors of my country.

“My country right or wrong” but only in the same inflection as “my kitty cat, healthy or sick”. Time to take the nation to the vet.

I am very sorry for your plight, but I can’t believe you didn’t notify the INS of an address change; that alone is a potentially deportable offense!

Whenever anyone change addresses in the US, they notify many people, agencies, companies with which they do business, etc. The post office has a packet with everything needed to do so. It just seems like common sense (at the very least) that as a guest in this country you would let the INS know as well.

I agree with Asylum above that this was all over the news (which you apparently don’t partake of, which is OK of course), but I would be very surprised if the INS did not attempt to send a notification to you via mail.

The change of address notification requirement is quite clear in the Immigration and Naturalization Act (Sec. 265. [8 U.S.C. 1305]). The procedure for doing so is a component of the INS’s FAQ on its web site.

I sincerely hope that come Monday you are able to sort everything out and all will be fine, but I think blaming the INS for your error is a bit disingenuous.

first they started with the sex offenders and i did nothing
then came the Arabs and i did nothing
than they came for me

Of course, had he sent in the form in the first place, it probably would never have gotten processed and he would be in the same boat… rolleyes

By not watching the news. Some of us don’t, you know.

PLEASE talk to the international student office at your school before you go in to INS! INS has been behaving in a very zero-tolerance manner. And PLEASE have someone go in with you when you go to INS, both to advocate for you AND to make sure someone knows where you are if anything goes wrong.

I hope the “special registration” process will be substantially revamped or even eliminated, but in the meantime, it would really suck to end up in INS detention.

Eva Luna, Immigration Paralegal

Eva raises a good point. Gozu, didn’t your international student office notify you of this requirement? It seems to me that this is something they would be fairly concerned about.

I always thought that if the INS wanted to get a hold of me, they could simply contact my college (i haven’t changed colleges) and obtain my address, phone number or whatever information they need. This is entirely my fault. I used to study in Spain and there, all you need to do is renew your student visa before it expires…and I grew used to it.

I never considered the possibility i had to do more than that here. As I said, i’m terrible with paperwork and bureaucracy. I keep thinking they’ll act in a logical manner when in fact, they often don’t.

What’s worse is that today is saturday, so most of the hotlines aren’t working. And i can’t postpone going to the INS on monday. I just called my father to inform him of all this and he showed 0 sympathy and support. (not that he doesn’t love me, he just doesn’t care if I get deported or not.)

I doubt I can get any kind of legal help between now and monday. I’ll just have to go and see what happens.

I see two issues:

  • You are guest within the United States. It is your responsibility to read the guest rules on the back of the motel door. Ignorance is no excuse. If the circumstances were reversed and an American in Morroco were subject to similar actions, what would be your opinion in your country about your American guest?

  • Herr Bush & Co. have cranked up the paranoia machine quite a bit lately. Oh yes, of course, you don’t stay in touch with the news.

While I can sympathize with your plight, keep in mind there are many Americans who are fighting against Bush and his policies. We are doing what we can.

But you have to do your part, too. Staying informed is pretty critical, ya know.

Aren’t these the same American people that raised hell wanting to know how the guys got in the country and flew airplanes into several buildings and killed a few people? So now they are trying to improve their act, get it together, make a few mistakes in the process of trying to get some control, and hey, we can sit back and tell them what a sorry job they are doing.
If it were a perfect world and the people coming in through INS followed the rules and did as they were supposed to do as visitors in a foreign country and kept up on current issues applying to their stay in the country we wouldn’t have to worry about homeland security.

Ultress

If you were a terrorist, would you find a way around the rules ?

All that has happened here is that those who have nothing to do with radicalism are being pushed into a corner, the actual useful effect of this policy is that if a serious incident occurs again, the politicians will be able to say that they took lots of measures.

Not, you will note, effective measures, it just means they have found someone to hit out at.

Meanwhile the terrorists will be virtually unaffected by this registration process, they will have their support groups, their networks the forged papers , the false identities, and this draconian measure will not do anything useful in this regard.

Here’s the interesting part:
Out of the nineteen 9/11 terrorists, I can recall only a few of them entering on non-immigrant student visas (F-1). Can someone explain this enormous focus on students when I don’t think the INS can track a regular non-immigrant’s arrival and departure, leave alone his/her movements within the US?

Shouldn’t the focus be on creating effective systems to track arrivals and departures and to integrate intelligence and perform background checks. Do they need a system to check if students register for nine credits or moved from an apartment to on-campus housing or paid their library dues. As one article mentioned, there is significant potential for government abuse here. As of now, even if various tracking information were supplied, I can only vizualise that information going to the bin.