Skip to comments.Amnesty Plan Aids Terrorist Detainees
Posted on 04/09/2002 2:58:58 PM PDT by Tumbleweed_Connection
Terrorist detainees could delay deportation or even apply for permanent legal residency under a congressional scheme offering amnesty to illegal aliens.
"What you have is a statute on its face that says terrorists can apply for green cards, and have," said Mike Hethmon, staff attorney of Federation for American Immigration Reform.
The Washington Times reported today, "Congress is considering allowing another round of applications under section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which lets those who are in the United States illegally, but who meet certain requirements, apply for legal status."
The law states that terrorism is a deportable offense, but specifies that anyone considered deportable for terrorism may apply for an "adjustment of status."
The Immigration and Naturalization Service, widely attacked for its gross incompetence even after Sept. 11, insists that suspicion of terrorism is still cause for deportation. Whether the INS will enforce the laws is anyone's guess.
Pro-immigration activists say the problems with 245(i), passed in the House last month by one vote and awaiting action in the Senate, should not torpedo the amnesty scheme.
"It seems to me it would be a pretty easy thing to fix. I see that as pretty much an argument people are making to blow a lot of smoke," said Tennessee immigration lawyer Greg Siskind.
However, organizations seeking controls on immigration say "the inconsistency in the law would give a lawyer a good case. If Congress passes the 245(i) extension without changing the inconsistency, it will mean it has reaffirmed the law, and that would trump the INS regulations," the Times reported.
"This isn't a secret; it's not an oversight anymore," Hethmon said. "If they go ahead and pass it as it is, the [detainees] can say the legislative intent is clearly to allow this to proceed."
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