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American Muslim

Islamic Institute - January 12, 2001

Ashcroft supported Bush position against Secret Evidence Act

Former Senator John Ashcroft, who is currently President-Elect Bush’s nominee for Attorney-

General, has stated this week that he supports Bush’s stance on the repeal of secret evidence.

During the elections last Fall, President-Elect Bush made clear his stance on the issue. During the second presidential debate, he stated that Arab and Muslim Americans were being subjected to unfair and discriminatory practices in immigration hearings where secret evidence is used against them. He also expressed his support for legislation put forward by Senator Spencer Abraham to repeal the practice of using secret evidence in such immigration hearings.

Ashcroft made it clear that he supported President-Elect Bush’s stance on the issue, as well as for the legislation put forward by Senator Abraham to stop the use of secret evidence.

Abraham’s bill, S. 3139, is also known as the Secret Evidence Repeal Act of 2000. It was introduced during the 106th Congress last September, and was referred to the Judiciary Committee for debate.

However, due to other pressing matters and the upcoming elections, the legislation did not get beyond the committee for a full vote in the Senate. The bill aims to “ensure that no alien is removed, denied a benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act, or otherwise deprived of liberty, based on evidence that is kept secret from the alien.”

The Islamic Institute would like to commend John Ashcroft for his support of the repeal of the use of secret evidence as laid down in S. 3139.