DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is pleased to announce that Noel Saleh, a prominent and longtime immigration attorney in the Detroit area, joined the staff in January 2003 to expand outreach to the Arab community and coordinate legal work developed in response to new government efforts to control terrorism at the expense of civil liberties.

"Our workload has expanded significantly since John Ashcroft began leading the war on terrorism. Many governmental policies have had a particularly severe effect here in Michigan, where we have the largest Arab population in the country,” said Kary Moss, ACLU of Michigan Executive Director. Having Noel on staff will allow us to expand our work. We know that we haven’t seen the last of discriminatory activities that affect the immigrant population and the attack on civil liberties for all of us, citizens and non-citizens alike.” 

Saleh’s responsibilities will include community education and outreach as well as development of litigation (in coordination with the ACLU national office) to challenge some of the restrictive provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act and other assaults on civil liberties in the wake of 9/11. This one-year position is the result of several grants from the Norman Foundation, Joyce Foundation and Tides Foundation.

Saleh said, “I cannot imagine a more important organization to work for at this moment in time. The ACLU, and particularly the ACLU of Michigan, has been a leader in challenging John Ashcroft’s efforts to increase government surveillance, decrease the power of the courts, and create a separate system of “justice” for immigrants and non-citizens.”

Before joining the ACLU staff, Noel private practice specializing in immigration law. Recognized nationally as a leading immigrant advocate, Noel successfully challenged “secret evidence” and “special interest” cases. In addition, Noel brings with him a long history of community involvement. He is the Vice-President of ACCESS (the major Arab-American community organization); the Detroit American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC); Executive Board of the Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit and a member of the Michigan Advisory Committee to the U. S. Civil Rights Commission.