NOVEMBER 06, 2009
Five Muslim illegal immigrants detained in New York after Middle Eastern terrorists attacked the area on September 11 have won $1.26 million from the U.S. government to settle a lawsuit accusing federal authorities of violating their rights.
The illegal aliens were among 170 Arab and Muslim men jailed for immigration law violations in New York during post 9/11 roundups. The nation had just suffered the worst terrorist attack in history at the hands of Middle Eastern extremists and security was on high alert, especially in the area surrounding the Big Apple.
The Middle Eastern immigration violators were jailed at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn and most have been deported. The five who sued the government claimed that then Attorney General John Ashcroft, prison personnel, FBI supervisors and other officials violated their rights by imprisoning them on the basis of their race and religion. The Muslims from Pakistan, Egypt and Turkey assert that they were illegally detained victims of racial profiling.
In a separate lawsuit another illegal immigrant detained during the same period, Ehab Elmaghraby, settled with the U.S. government for $300,000 a few years ago. He was deported to his native Egypt in 2003 after pleading guilty to credit card fraud. Like the five who just settled, Elmaghraby claimed in his lawsuit that he was beaten in jail and denied access to phones and lawyers.
A New York-based social justice group represented the Muslims who just got a check from Uncle Sam. In the lawsuit attorneys alleged that the “non-citizens” were swept up by federal agents in a racial profiling dragnet following 9/11. The complaint accuses the government of violating the illegal aliens’ rights under the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments and under international human rights law. No mention that they violated federal law by living in the U.S. illegally.
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