Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

US easing immigration rule for asylum seekers  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 10/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!

(MENAFN -Arab News) WASHINGTON: The Obama administration has eased the rules for would-be asylum-seekers, refugees and others who hope to come to the US or stay here and who gave “limited” support to terrorists or terrorist groups.The change is one of President Barack Obama’s first actions on immigration since he pledged during his State of the Union address last month to use more executive directives.The Department of Homeland Security and the State Department now say that people considered to have provided “limited material support” to terrorists or terrorist groups are no longer automatically barred from the US.A post-Sept. 11 provision in immigrant law, known as terrorism related inadmissibility grounds, had affected anyone considered to have given support. With little exception, the provision has been applied rigidly to those trying to enter the US and those already here but wanting to change their immigration status.For Morteza Assadi, a 49-year-old real estate agent in northern Virginia, the law has left him in a sort of immigration purgatory while his green card application has been on hold for more than a decade.As a teenager in Tehran, in the early 1980s, Assadi distributed fliers for a mujahideen group that opposed the government of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and was at one time considered a terrorist organization by the US government. Assadi said he told the US government about his activities when he and his wife applied for asylum in the late 1990s. Those requests were later granted and his wife has since become a US citizen. But Assadi’s case has remained stalled.“When we are teenagers, we have different mindsets,” Assadi said. “I thought, ‘I’m doing my country a favor’.”Assadi said he only briefly associated with the group, which was removed from Washington’s list of terrorist organizations in 2012, and that he was never an active member or contributor to its activities. Now he’s hopeful that the US government will look at his teenage activities as “limited.”His lawyer, Parastoo Zahedi, said she has filed case in federal court to force US Citizenship and Immigration Services to process Assadi’s green card application, but now hopes the gvernment will act on its own.“In the past, the minute your name was associated with a (terrorist) organization you were being punished,” Zahedi said. “Not every act is a terrorist act and you can’t just lump everyone together.”The Homeland Security Department said in a statement that the rule change, which was announced last week and not made in concert with Congress, gives the government more discretion, but won’t open the country to terrorists or their sympathizers. People seeking refugee status, asylum and visas, including those already in the United States, still will be checked to make sure they don’t pose a threat to national security or public safety, the department said.In the past, the provision has been criticized for allowing few exemptions beyond providing medical care or acting under duress. The change now allows officials to consider whether the support was not only limited but potentially part of “routine commercial transactions or routine social transactions.”The change doesn’t specifically address “freedom fighters” who may have fought against an established government, including members of rebel groups who have led revolts in Arab Spring uprisings.In late 2011, Citizenship and Immigration Services said about 4,400 affected cases were on hold as the government reviewed possible exemptions to the rule. It’s unclear how many of those cases are still pending.Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the rule change will help people he described as deserving refugees and asylum-seekers.“The existing interpretation was so broad as to be unworkable,” Leahy said in a statement. He said the previous rule barred applicants for reasons “that no rational person would consider.”Republican lawmakers argued that the administration is relaxing rules designed by Congress to protect the country from terrorists.Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, called the change naive given today’s global terrorist threats.“President Obama should be protecting US citizens rather than taking a chance on those who are aiding and abetting terrorist activity and putting Americans at greater risk,” Goodlatte said.


Arab News

  MENA News Headlines
 Nov 30 2015 - Did Paris attacks voice have bigger role? - Clain jailed in past for recruiting militantsArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) The voice that claimed Islamic State was responsible for the deadly Paris attacks is known to many in the small French provincial town of Alencon.To family, Fabien Clain was a ...

 Nov 30 2015 - 3 IS-tied militants killed in DagestanArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Russia's counter-terrorism agency says security forces in Dagestan have killed three militants who had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State group, including one who had ...

 Nov 30 2015 - Russian airstrikes kill 18 civilians: Syria opposition - 'Turkey increases arms shipments to rebels'Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Airstrikes believed to have been carried out by Russian warplanes killed at least 18 civilians and wounded dozens more on Sunday in a northern Syrian town held by insurgents, ...

 Nov 30 2015 - Kuwait- Panel endorses Arab Convention against Terrorism - MPs clear GCC Common LawArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) The parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee on Sunday endorsed the GCC Common Law on Anti-dumping and Countervailing Measures and Safeguards.The committee will submit its report ...

 Nov 30 2015 - Kuwait- Five to 10 daily for State Security probeArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) In the midst of strict surveillance of the land and marine borders around-the-clock, between five and 10 people are being referred to the investigation department of the State ...

 Nov 30 2015 - Kuwait- Al-Omair out of Oil in Amiri decree - Al-Jassar outArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) The Amiri Diwan annou-nced on Sunday a decree (316/2015) to amend the formation of the current Cabinet in accordance with the Constitution.The decree accepted the resignation of ...

 Nov 30 2015 - Kuwait- PM reaffirms support to France in anti-terror war - 'Global efforts vital to cut emissions'Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Repre-sentative of Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Sunday reaffirmed support ...

 Nov 30 2015 - Arab Women Awards crown winnersKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Twenty inspirational women were celebrated at a glittering gala dinner at the Arab Woman Awards UAE 2015 held at the Ritz-Carlton DIFC Dubai last week.Over 350 female VIP ...

 Nov 30 2015 - Saudi- Lohan's stepmother removed from planeArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) NEW ORLEANS: Authorities say a coast-to-coast flight was diverted to New Orleans to remove singer Lindsay Lohan's stepmother. Col. John Fortunato spokesman for the Jefferson ...

 Nov 30 2015 - Senior lawmaker worried about Americans returning from Daesh combatArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) WASHINGTON: Hundreds of Americans have traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight for the Daesh group and around 50 have returned to America a senior US lawmaker said Sunday. That's ...




Click to Apply


Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices


Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks

Saudi Arabia 

Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor


Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters

© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help