The CCR and the ACLU of Southern California have challenged the McCarran-Walter Act on behalf of seven Palestinians and a Kenyan who were arrested, held without bail, and threatened with deportation because of alleged “membership” or “affiliation” with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a group which according to the INS advocates “doctrines of world communism.” According to government sources, the group was charged under the McCarran-Walter Act after a year long investigation produced no evidence of criminality.
The government has defended the statute which authorize the deportation of aliens for speech and association of a nature clearly protected by the First Amendment. by saying that the Bill of Rights is “constitutionally irrelevant” when the INS seeks to deport an alien.
The district court declined to rule on the merits of plaintiffs case, holding, however, that the Ninth Circuit should more properly consider it. The latter court disagreed and the case.is now back before the district court. where plaintiffs continue to seek injunctive relief.
David Cole, Michael Ratner, with Paul Hoffman, Carol Sobel, Mark Rosenbaum, ACLU Foundation of Southern California; Dan Stormer, Marc Van Der Hout, NLG,; Wade Henderson, Hope Nakamura, ACLU; Peter Shey, National Center for Immigrants’ Rights, Inc.