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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

Department of Justice Seal Department of Justice


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2002
WWW.USDOJ.GOV
AG
(202) 616-2777
TDD (202) 514-1888

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE STATEMENT


WASHINGTON, D.C. The following is a Department of Justice statement responding to today's Washington Post article regarding absconders:

"As we have previously stated, the Justice Department's highest priority in the aftermath of September 11 is to prevent terrorists from killing more innocent Americans. As part of that mission, the Justice Department has begun a proactive initiative to locate and apprehend 314,000 absconders who have violated U.S. immigration laws, been ordered deported, and are criminal fugitives from deportation. The Department has prioritized this effort by focusing first on those individuals who are most likely to pose a risk to the public or may have information about terrorism. This initiative begins by focusing on fewer than a thousand individuals -- many of whom appear to be convicted felons -- from countries in which there has been an active al Qaeda presence or activity.

"To that end, the Department will continue to focus investigative, intelligence-gathering and enforcement operations on individuals in the U.S. from countries with al Qaeda networks. The objective is to locate, apprehend, interview and deport these fugitives, and gather valuable information to assist in the prevention of future terrorist or criminal attacks."

###

02-066


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