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Report on AIA Call-in to the White House to Protest the Special Registration and the Mass Arrests

Alliance of Iranian Americans

From all the reports, it appears that the Call-in to the White House Campaign has been a complete success. Throughout the one hour that the White House was blanketed with our phone calls, AIA members were reporting to me that people had to wait to talk to the operators, since the volume of calls were so much. I personally talked with an operator who confirmed that people had been calling in and that he was completely familiar with our issues. Upon inquiry as to whether AIA's message to the White House will be conveyed correctly to the President, he responded: "Let me assure you sir, that we are all very familiar now with your issues."

I want to take the opportunity now to thank all the organizations and every one of the individuals out there who participated in the Call-in Campaign and propagated AIA emails. Without your help, this would not have been this successful, or this much fun. May be we can again mention fun, despite all the hardship that has come our way.

Below please find the copy of the Press Release that went out earlier to the news organizations.

AIA's next campaign is to call for a Congressional Inquiry into the Mass Arrests of the Iranian Americans. I welcome all the participating organizations involved in the Call-in Campaign to contact me to organize the Congressional Inquiry together.


Babak Sotoodeh

Washington, DC, Jan. 7- Today, the Alliance of Iranian Americans (AIA) staged a call-in to the White House, between the hours of 11 a.m. and 12 noon, Pacific Time to ask for the dismantling of the Special Registration. It was widely reported that the White House switchboard was overwhelmed by the number of calls, from callers who had coordinated to call in the specific one hour time frame for the maximum effect. A number of local as well as national immigrant rights groups joined AIA for the call-in, with the majority of the callers being from the Iranian American community, whose population is estimated to be around 2 million people nationwide.

The essence of the call-in to the White House was that during Dec. 11-18, the INS unlawfully arrested large number of Iranian American immigrants, especially in Los Angeles, as they came forward to voluntarily comply with new "special registration" requirements. The number of the detainees in Southern California in that time span is estimated to exceed 1000 Iranian American immigrants.

The callers asked the operators to convey to the President that:

1. As one of the two (2) million Iranian Americans they are opposed to the Special Registration and want all the detainees released.

2. They are against the Special Registration and want the Special Registration program to be dismantled completely.

The feed back from the White House was positive despite the long waits experienced by the callers who wanted to talk to the White House operators. The White House representatives indicated that the message will be conveyed to the President.

... Payvand News - 1/8/03 ... --

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