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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary ___________________________________________________________________________ _____

For Immediate Release
December 11, 2000

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

I strongly support the Attorney General's decision, at the request of the Secretary of State, to take action to terminate deportation proceedings against six individuals, and to refrain from initiating proceedings against three others. All nine individuals had served sentences in the United Kingdom for activity connected with the IRA, but are physically present in the United States. While in no way approving or condoning their past criminal acts, I believe that removing the threat of deportation for these individuals will contribute to the peace process in Northern Ireland. The Attorney General?s decision is consistent with steps taken by the British government under the Good Friday Accord to release prisoners in Northern Ireland and reintegrate them into normal society as part of a process of reconciliation. Her decision will also reinforce efforts by the governments and the parties in Northern Ireland to implement in full all aspects of the Good Friday Accord.


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