by Coalition for the Human Rights of Immigrants (CHRI)
Coalition for the Human Rights of Immigrants (CHRI) has received information that the US Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, is preparing a mass deportation flight of as many as 100 Middle Eastern detainees, most likely including Palestinians
According to the information received, this charter flight is scheduled to depart on the night of Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003, or in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Aug. 13, from the area of Buffalo, New York, heading to Amman, Jordan and possibly other destinations in the Middle East.
Information about a similar deportation on May 14 was subsequently confirmed in a Reuters story published on July 28. In that deportation, at least 25 people were kept handcuffed on the flight to Amman; on May 16, six Palestinians among the group were taken overland--through Israeli checkpoints--to the occupied West Bank. Another group of Palestinians was deported to Gaza via Egypt, according to Reuters.
CHRI has reason to believe that a number of immigration detainees at York County Prison in Pennsylvania will be included on the Aug. 12 flight. These detainees are to be transferred from York to Batavia on Aug. 11, in preparation for the flight. The deportation flight is expected to include a number of women.