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Judge: Forced Abortion, Sterilization Not Grounds for Asylum

May 4, 1995

YORK, Pa. (AP) _ Forced abortion and sterilization in China aren’t a basis for asylum for refugees who came to America aboard the Golden Venture, a federal judge ruled.

The ruling issued Tuesday by Judge Sylvia H. Rambo of U.S. Middle District Court backs the White House policy that says people seeking asylum must show they were singled out for persecution. Communist China’s one-child-per-family policy applies to everyone.

``I am sure we will appeal it,″ said Craig Trebilcock, who represents one of the 130 refugees detained in a prison here since the rusty freighter ran aground off New York City in 1993.

Most of the 285 Chinese men and women who arrived on the freighter remain in custody in various prisons while they seek asylum on the grounds that they fled to avoid sterilization and forced abortion. Some have been deported.

A federal judge in Harrisburg last year threw out a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of the detainees, saying she did not have jurisdiction to consider it under U.S. immigration law.

Update hourly