San Francisco Examiner Sunday, November 11, 1979
‘ILLEGAL’ IRANIAN STUDENTS FACE DEPORTATION
Examiner News Services
WASHINGTON — President Carter, concerned that demonstrations in the United States could have an adverse effect on the 65 US. hostages in Iran, ordered the Justice Department yesterday to deport Iranian students who are violating the terms of their entry visas.
Carter ordered that all Iranian students report to the federal immigration service at once.
White House press secretary Jody Powell said there is reason to believe ' "many" of the. Iranians in the United States on student visas are violating immigration laws.
The National Association for Foreign Student Affairs said there are 45,239 Iranian students in the United States this year.
Powell said the Justice Department was ordered to take the necessary steps to commence deportation proceedings against, those who have violated immigration laws.
The order applies only to students, and presumably to persons here on student visas who are no longer attending classes.
Powell noted that simply participating in a legal demonstration would not be cause for. deportation, because a person legally in this country is deemed to have the same constitutional rights as a US. citizen. A student visa, however, does impose certain requirements the students must meet to remain in good standing.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service will issue a notice requiring Iranian students to report their location and status to the nearest INS office, Powell said. He did not know
precisely when that would happen.
Additional steps, such as contacting college officials, will be taken to find Iranian students and determine their status, he added.
"For students found to be in illegal status, deportation proceedings will be conducted in accordance with constitutional due process requirements," Powell said. He conceded that could take some time
Powell said: "I think the activities past and planned for the future here are not in the best interests of our principal goal. (of securing the release of 65 US. hostages at the US. Embassy in Tehran). There is an obligation to enforce the law.'
The administration is known to believe that demonstrations may further escalate tensions and adversely affect the safety of the hostages. Protesting Iranian students already have clashed with US. citizens the last few days, and more demonstrations were planned.
Powell said several hundred Iranian students have been subject to deportation since Carter ordered in January that their visas be scrutinized. That order followed violent demonstrations against the family of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in Beverly Hills.
Carter last week ordered a demonstration permit revoked for Iranian students in the nation's capital Apparently he felt that did not go far enough.
A Justice Department spokesman said Carter's order probably will lift a moratorium on the departure of Iranian students imposed in April because of the turmoil in Iran. He said at that time some of the students whose visas had run out had asked to remain in the United States because they feared to return home and their requests were granted.
A White House official, who did not wish to be identified, said the administration "considered carefully" whether the deportation order would result in retaliation against the hostages.
"There is also concern that the activities here may not have the best impact," the official said, apparently referring to demonstrations.
The White House is known to believe the action is a legitimate way of dealing with a sensitive situation it feels is compromised by public demonstrations and possible violence.