’48 refugees

The reference is to Palestinians who became refugees during the war that broke out following the partition of Palestine by the United Nations in order to establish the State of Israel in the western portion of its territory. The armistice lines following this war (known today as the “Green Line”) left Israel in control of 78% of the combined territory.

13,000 Muslims

The reference is to the number of deportation orders issued under the “special registration” program in 2002 and 2003.


Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (, located in Dearborn, MI, home to the largest Arab community in the United States.


The references are to the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, all leading human rights organizations in the United States.

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah is a Palestinian-American activist and community leader based in Chicago, IL. He is the founder of the websites the Electronic Intifada ( and Electronic Iraq (

Armenian genocide

The forced displacement and massacre of the Armenian community, a predominantly Christian ethnic group, took place in the final years of the Ottoman Empire, which ruled large parts of the Middle East until World War I. The Armenians are an ancient community that has existed for millennia in various parts of Asia Minor; the nature and scale of the genocide are still a matter of acrimonious dispute, particularly with the government of modern-day Turkey.

Assyrian, Chaldean

The Assyrians and Chaldeans, closely related ethnic groups in the ancient world, exist today in the contemporary countries of Iraq, Iran, and Syria. They are predominantly Christian and have their own language. Iraqis in particular who follow the Roman Catholic religion refer to themselves as Chaldeans; Assyrians tend to follow Eastern Orthodox denominations.


CHIRLA is the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, a major immigrant rights organization in southern California.


The Coptic Orthodox Church has existed in Egypt since the earliest days of Christianity. It is an Eastern church whose adherents today are primarily of Egyptian origin.

Diversity Visa

Established in 1990, the Diversity Visa Lottery Program distributes some 50,000 visas each year to immigrants from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States, through an annual lottery administered by the State Department. (For details see


Formally titled “Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors,” this bill would permit immigrant students who have grown up in the United States to apply for temporary legal status and would make it easier for state governments to provide in-state tuition to immigrant students, regardless of their immigration status. (For details see the National Immigration Law Center).


Eid al-Fitr is the closing celebration of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. It is usually celebrated with meals to mark the end of a month of daily fasts that are broken each day at sunset.


Ibda’a is a Palestinian youth dance troupe from the Deheisheh Refugee Camp, located just outside Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

Legal framework

The reference is to two laws passed in 1996, the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA), which mandated the use of secret evidence, detention without charges, and other legal mechanisms for government restrictions of civil liberties.

Operation Boulder, Abscam

Operation Boulder (1972) involved FBI investigations, interrogations and intimidation of both citizens and noncitizens of Arab origin, often in early-morning visits, without filing of formal charges of any kind. Abscam was a sting operation conducted by the FBI in 1978, which sought to uncover corruption among U.S. officials by offering bribes on from an imaginary Arab sheikh. (See Resources for more information.)