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By Philip G Schrag

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Additional info for A Well-Founded Fear: The Congressional Battle to Save Political Asylum in America (1999, 2000)

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At the airport, he claimed asylum. 27 Yousef soon became a follower of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the leader of the Al-Salam mosque, located over a Chinese restaurant in Jersey City. 28 He too had entered and remained in the United States under unusual circumstances. S. consulates in Africa. On all but one occasion, his requests had been granted. In each case, his name should have raised questions because of his previous ties to possible criminal activities. However, the officials who granted the visas were not foreign service officers, but Central Intelligence Agency employees holding second “cover” jobs as consular officers.

115 Therefore, when Congress passed a major Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986,116 the act left in place all of the Refugee Act’s provisions for refugees and asylum applicants. Simpson’s efforts to limit asylum had failed. More accurately, his efforts had failed temporarily. The fight was not over, but Simpson accepted a temporary truce. The battle outlined in the early years of the Reagan administration would preview the struggle that would simmer for another fourteen years. The three refugee issues that Congress first debated between 1980 and 1982—ceilings on overseas refugee admissions, summary exclusion procedures, and time limits for asylum applications—would become the very issues over which the battle lines would be drawn in late 1990s.

76 With the advice and consent of the Senate, the United States ratified the protocol. It thereby agreed, as a matter of international law, not to return refugees to countries where their lives or freedom would be in danger. The refugee provision of the 1965 legislation, with its ceiling and geographical restrictions, proved inadequate almost immediately. 80 Despite dissatisfaction with the refugee provisions of the 1965 law, it would take Congress until 1980 to replace them. Meanwhile, although the Refugee Protocol required only that countries not deport refugees to countries where they faced serious danger, a new idea had entered the political arena: asylum, a more durable set of rights in the receiving country.

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