The Immigration and Naturalization Services agents lay in waiting to arrest former USF professor Mazen Al-Najjar on visa expiration charges Saturday morning. The government has been treating Muslims and Arabs unfairly as though in a horrible
Orwellian manner since Sept. 11. While national security is still a potential risk, the government has a responsibility to be fair and act humanely, not rip fathers from their families without any warning.
The government should stop jumping so quickly to detain people of Arab descent or those who are Muslims. It is discrimination and the government is using recently passed laws and acts to justify their inappropriate acts.
Al-Najjar was released in December 2000 from a 3 1/2 year imprisonment based on secret evidence. Since he was released, he has faced great scrutiny by the U.S. government that suspects him of terrorism, though no evidence has been produced publicly to support the claims. In the meantime, Al-Najjar has been living in the United States since he came here in 1981 on a student visa, teaching and having children. He has formed a normal life that was stolen from him when he was first placed in jail.
His first detainment was unconstitutional and his second seems to be based more on fear and spontaneous reactions by the government than anything solid.
Instead of jailing Al-Najjar for a visa violation, the government should spend its time and resources pursuing known terrorists. It should also either publicly prove that Al-Najjar is a terrorist or allow him to acquire a national visa so he can stay in the country he has made a home and where his daughters were born and are citizens.
On the other hand, at the rate the United States is revoking rights and targeting certain groups of people, Al-Najjar and his family may be better treated in another country.