02.08.12

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Removal Of Former Liberian Peace Council Leader For Human Rights Abuses

[The Anti-Atrocity Alien Deportation Act, enacted in 2004 as part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (P.L. 108-458), was written by Senator Leahy (D-Vt.) to bar from admission to the United States non-citizens who have committed torture, extrajudicial killing, or severe violations of religious freedom.  The law also allows the United States to deport such persons who are inside the United States.  The Child Soldier Prevention Act was signed into law in 2008 as P.L. 110-340.  It makes the recruitment or use of child soldiers a ground of inadmissibility or deportability.]

“I first wrote the Anti-Atrocity Alien Deportation Act after learning that an Ethiopian refugee who was resettled in Atlanta came face-to-face with her persecutor in a hotel elevator.  We needed a way to ensure that human rights abusers could not find protection in the United States and live side-by-side with their victims. 

“I am pleased to see the use of these provisions to prevent human rights abusers from seeking lawful immigration status in the United States.  The Anti-Atrocity Alien Deportation Act ensures that non-citizens who commit extrajudicial killing in their countries of origin cannot gain the benefit of immigration status in the United States.  Mr. Boley was found inadmissible based on that law.  In fact, he is believed to have ordered the extrajudicial killing of seven of his own soldiers in Liberia, among other atrocities he is accused of committing.  He was also found inadmissible for the recruitment and use of child soldiers, based on an inadmissibility ground that was added to the law in 2008, and that I strongly supported.  There is no room in this country to harbor those whose actions violated human rights in these ways.”

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