Mass Arrests of Muslims in L.A. Spark Protests

Between 500 and 700 Iranian and other Muslim men were detained
by immigration officials Thursday in Los Angeles after complying
with an order to register with the U.S. government, reports the
BBC. The arrests sparked massive protests by the families of the
detainees and civil liberties groups.

INS officials said the detainees were being held for visa
violations and other offenses and would not confirm the number of
men detained. But local Islamic activists said that many of the
detainees had been working and paying taxes in the U.S. for a

Ramona Ripston, executive director of the Southern California
chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, called the move
?shocking? and reminiscent of the internment of Japanese-Americans
during World War II. ?We are getting a lot of telephone calls from
people,? she said. ?We are hearing that people went down wanting to
cooperate and then they were detained.?

New immigration rules require all male immigrants aged 16 and
over from suspected terrorist countries, including Iran, Iraq,
Libya, Sudan, and Syria, to register with immigration authorities
by Monday, December 2316.
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