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Over 1000 foreign rights abusers living in US: DHS

[JURIST] More than 1,000 suspected human rights abusers from 85 countries are currently living in the United States, according to to a statement [text] delivered by Marcy Forman, director of the Investigations Office of the US Department of Homeland Security [official website], to the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law. Forman noted that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website] has over 140 pending investigations of 800 leads on rights violations committed predominantly in Central and South America, Haiti, the Balkans, and Africa by people now residing in the United States, but added that the US often cannot assert jurisdiction over crimes committed in foreign countries. According to Forman, ICE has since 2003 arrested more than 100 and deported 238 suspected human rights abusers.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) [official website] chaired the Wednesday hearing [press release] examining rights violations committed abroad by people now living in the US. He noted that "America has become a safe haven for the perpetrators of some of the world's most notorious war crimes" and urged lawmakers to make identification and prosecution of rights violators a priority. AFP has more.

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