Bush administration eases anti-terrorism restrictions on asylum, legal residency - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Bush administration eases anti-terrorism restrictions on asylum, legal residency

(Washington-AP) January 12, 2007 - The Bush Administration is easing some anti-terrorism restrictions put in place after the 9/11 attacks.

Foreigners who have helped armed groups not considered terrorists will be allowed to seek asylum or resettle in the US.

Homeland Security says the administration has been struggling with the "unintended consequences" of anti-terrorism laws. Officials say the changes will take care of most of the "heart-wrenching cases."

In one case, the Patriot Act prohibited asylum for a Sri Lankan fisherman who paid a $500 ransom to a group who had kidnapped him.

Hundreds of foreigners already in the country say they were forced to help violent groups. The applicants will have to show that they were forced to provide the support or did so "under duress" to be granted asylum or legal permanent residency.

The policy changes don't apply to people who have helped groups such as al-Qaida.

Posted 8:03am by Bryce Mursch

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