State Department Ends Ban On Colombian Journalist

July 27, 2010

U.S. Should End Practice Of Banning People On Ideological Grounds, Says ACLU

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK – A prominent Colombian journalist who was once barred from the United States today received a visa to come to this country to study. The American Civil Liberties Union, American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and PEN American Center sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier this month expressing alarm over reports that Hollman Morris had been denied a visa to travel to the U.S. Morris was one of 12 international journalists selected to participate in the Nieman fellowship at Harvard University during the 2010-11 academic year. However, when he applied for a visa in order to attend the program, he was told by the U.S. embassy in Bogota that he had been found permanently ineligible for a visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act. The reversal of that decision means Morris will likely be able to come to the U.S. to participate in the program.

The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU:

"We welcome the State Department's decision to end the exclusion of Hollman Morris from the United States. With the ban lifted, leading human rights groups and journalists will be able to engage with Mr. Morris on important human rights issues facing the world. We hope the decision to lift the ban on Mr. Morris is a signal that the Obama administration is committed to facilitating, rather than obstructing, the exchange of ideas across international borders. The administration should now make clear that it will end the practice of ideological exclusion once and for all."

The ACLU/AAUP/PEN letter to Secretary Clinton is available online at: www.aclu.org/national-security/letter-secretary-state-clinton-regarding-ideological-exclusion-colombian-journalis

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