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00:00:00
>> Raj is a Sri Lankan fisherman who sought asylum in the US after he was kidnapped by Tamil Tiger separatists. But there was a catch, a US judge determined that the $500 ransom he paid to escape the rebels amounted to material support for terrorists. After years in immigration detention, Raj was granted a waiver under rules for people who may have supported terrorists under duress.
00:00:21
He settled in San Diego and now has a green card. He asked Reuters not to show his face or use his full name.>> Thank you very much.>> But US President, Donald Trump, is considering abolishing these sort of waivers. And that could affect more than just one Sri Lankan fisherman.
00:00:34
Reuters Washington correspondent, June Torbati.>> US immigration law has a very broad definition for what terrorism is. And it's a definition that encompasses armed groups that fought authoritarian regimes as well as payments made to a terrorist group under duress or under force. So if this policy change goes through, those individuals who fall under those definitions would be barred from the United States and would have really no legal recourse.
00:01:04
>> Such waivers had been granted to Kurdish groups that battled Saddam Hussein and persecuted members of the Hmong ethnic minority in Vietnam and the Karen in Myanmar.>> America is the most generous nation on immigration. We admit 1.1 million people a year.>> Immigration hardliners such as US Attorney General Jeff Sessions have warned the waivers pose a security risk Asked to identify a case of a waiver recipient engaging in a terrorism related case, a US Customs Immigration Spokesman referred Reuters to the FBI, which referred the question to the State Department.
00:01:34
A State Department official could not point to examples of beneficiaries who have quote, gotten into trouble after arriving.