Lawmakers in Trenton testify before state?s Homeland Security Committee

Heated words were exchanged on both sides as many people testified before the state?s Homeland Security Committee on Monday. Many lawmakers expressed anger at the federal government for being kept in the dark about the proposed ports deal. But a group of people from the state Arab organizations also testified, saying the state can?t get caught up in emotion and needs to stick to the facts. Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union) said the port deal was not simply a case of bad communication but an alarming instance of selective amnesia about the lessons of 9/11. Aref Assan of the American Arab Forum called such statements a form of economic profiling against Arabs and testified to fears that this is a knee-jerk reaction without facts. Lawmakers say they are not profiling but pointing out the hazards of entering into an agreement for control of the ports with any country for a 30-year term. Assemblyman Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. (D-18) reminded the committee that 30 years ago Iran was an ally of the United States and the administration supported Saddam Hussein as a good leader for Iraq.

Related Story:Senators, teamsters rally in Newark against U.S. ports deal

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