The Senate passed its version of the House’s wide ranging anti-terrorism bill last night.
The legislation dramatically expands federal power to wiretap email and phone calls and detain or deport immigrants.
Federal officials have arrested or detained nearly a thousand people since September 11, nearly all of themimmigrants or people of Middle Eastern background. Some have been held for weeks with no charges filed against themand no evidence that they were connected to any criminal activity.
Meanwhile, human rights groups tracking hate crimes since Sept. 11 say the more violent crimes seem to be taperingoff, only to be replaced by other forms of prejudice.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations alone has received over 100 reports of workplace incidents in which peoplewere fired, demoted or harassed because of their ethnicity, religion or appearance.
The group also received nearly a hundred reports of 'airport profiling,' in which passengers were asked to leave anairplane or were subjected to what they believed was undue scrutiny.
Muzaffar Chishti, Director, Immigration Project of United Needle and Industrial Textile Employees(UNITE).