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JUDGE: NO BASIS TO HOLD JORDANIANS WITHOUT BAIL

Nov. 7, 2001 – A federal judge ruled Wednesday that prosecutors could not detain four Jordanian men charged with illegal immigration offenses.
The Jordanians are among 14 men from Arab nations who have been arrested in the last two weeks on St. Thomas by a team of federal agents. All have been charged with entering the United States without inspection, a misdemeanor offense.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Resnick on Wednesday denied the request by prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's Office to hold the Jordanians until their case is resolved. Resnick said he found no evidence to indicate that the men could be a danger to society and concluded that any flight risk could be addressed through bail conditions.
"There's nothing here that I would grant detention on," Resnick said. "I'm convinced there is no danger."
The men, who remained in custody Wednesday, are to be released after defense attorneys outline bail conditions that are acceptable to the judge, Resnick said. Those papers are expected to be filed in the coming days, according to attorney Clive Rivers, who represents defendant Ra Ed Awad Mustafa Alghazawi, 33.
Assistant Federal Public Defender Kristen Downs, who represents the other three defendants, said she had found people who could meet the requirements to serve as third-party custodians for the defendants.
Alghazawi and the three others — Yaser Mohammad Hammad, 25; Eyad Ahmad Abdel Mustafa, 30; and Amer Abdel Rahim, 20 — were arrested Oct. 26 at the Miller Manor Guesthouse. All have said they illegally entered the U.S. territory by boat from St. Martin, according to William Monk, a special agent with the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
At the time of his arrest, Alghazawi already had applied to live in the United States legally under an amnesty program for people who entered the country before Dec. 25, 2000, Rivers noted. He had married a U.S. citizen and paid the $1,000 fee to have his application processed, and the case was pending at the time of his arrest.
"If they start arresting everyone who has applied for amnesty, the jails would be full," Rivers said. "It would send shockwaves through the nation."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugh Mabe indicated Wednesday that prosecutors planned to charge Alghazawi with marriage fraud, but those charges have not been filed.
Mabe asked for detention because prosecutors believe the Jordanians pose a flight risk, saying there is little to keep them from trying to flee. "They have no reason to come back for court proceedings; they have every reason to abscond," he said.
Eight Syrian men who were arrested Oct. 24 already have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor immigration charges. All have indicated they plan to apply for political asylum.
Two other men, 26-year-old Fareed Ratib Yousef of Jordan and 21-year-old Firas Adnan Jamel Al Sayed of Palestine, were picked up Nov. 1. They are being held in custody until a Nov. 14 court hearing.

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Nov. 7, 2001 - A federal judge ruled Wednesday that prosecutors could not detain four Jordanian men charged with illegal immigration offenses.
The Jordanians are among 14 men from Arab nations who have been arrested in the last two weeks on St. Thomas by a team of federal agents. All have been charged with entering the United States without inspection, a misdemeanor offense.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Resnick on Wednesday denied the request by prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's Office to hold the Jordanians until their case is resolved. Resnick said he found no evidence to indicate that the men could be a danger to society and concluded that any flight risk could be addressed through bail conditions.
"There's nothing here that I would grant detention on," Resnick said. "I'm convinced there is no danger."
The men, who remained in custody Wednesday, are to be released after defense attorneys outline bail conditions that are acceptable to the judge, Resnick said. Those papers are expected to be filed in the coming days, according to attorney Clive Rivers, who represents defendant Ra Ed Awad Mustafa Alghazawi, 33.
Assistant Federal Public Defender Kristen Downs, who represents the other three defendants, said she had found people who could meet the requirements to serve as third-party custodians for the defendants.
Alghazawi and the three others -- Yaser Mohammad Hammad, 25; Eyad Ahmad Abdel Mustafa, 30; and Amer Abdel Rahim, 20 -- were arrested Oct. 26 at the Miller Manor Guesthouse. All have said they illegally entered the U.S. territory by boat from St. Martin, according to William Monk, a special agent with the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
At the time of his arrest, Alghazawi already had applied to live in the United States legally under an amnesty program for people who entered the country before Dec. 25, 2000, Rivers noted. He had married a U.S. citizen and paid the $1,000 fee to have his application processed, and the case was pending at the time of his arrest.
"If they start arresting everyone who has applied for amnesty, the jails would be full," Rivers said. "It would send shockwaves through the nation."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugh Mabe indicated Wednesday that prosecutors planned to charge Alghazawi with marriage fraud, but those charges have not been filed.
Mabe asked for detention because prosecutors believe the Jordanians pose a flight risk, saying there is little to keep them from trying to flee. "They have no reason to come back for court proceedings; they have every reason to abscond," he said.
Eight Syrian men who were arrested Oct. 24 already have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor immigration charges. All have indicated they plan to apply for political asylum.
Two other men, 26-year-old Fareed Ratib Yousef of Jordan and 21-year-old Firas Adnan Jamel Al Sayed of Palestine, were picked up Nov. 1. They are being held in custody until a Nov. 14 court hearing.