Government Drops Affiliation Charges Against Six of Eight Defendants
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The government decided to speed up deportation proceedings against six of eight aliens arrested in January by dropping charges that they were affiliated with a Marxist Palestinian group, a federal attorney said.
The six were among seven Jordanians and a Kenyan who were arrested Jan. 26. They were accused of overstaying visas and violating the McCarran-Walte r Immigration Act, which bars aliens from taking part in activities promoting world communism.
William Odencrantz, regional counsel for the Western region of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, said Thursday that the charges were dropped as ″an economy of effort″ because simple immigration violations would be proven easily$
″The person was admitted, the time has expired, they have not left,″ he said.
The other two, Khader Musa Hamide, 33, of Glendale and Michel Ibrahim Nasif Shehadeh, 30, of Long Beach, still face McCarran-Walter charges. Both are legal residents and did not face the immigration violation charges.
The six affected by the government’s action are Aiad Khaled Barakat, 26, of Glendale; Naim Nadim Sharif, 28, of Northridge; Bashar Hasam Amer, 24, of Alta Loma; Julie Nyanguigu Mungai, 29, the Kenya-born wife of Hamide; Ayman Mustafa Obeid, 24, and his brother, Amjad Mustafa Obeid, 23, both engineering students at California State University Long Beach.
Authorities said the eight were be affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a group linked to terrorism. The government alleges Hamide is the leader of the Popular Front in California and that Shehadeh is the Los Angeles-area leader. All eight have denied affiliation with the PFLP.
The change in the government’s position was announced at a meeting between attorneys for the eight aliens, INS attorney Elizabith Hacker and Immigration Judge Ingrid Hrycencko, said defense attorney Marc Van Der Hout.
The eight were arrested at Southern California residences and then imprisoned for more than two weeks. They were released after a Feb. 17 bond hearing.