The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Rachel Myers, (212) 549-2689 or 2666;

State Department Ends Ban On Colombian Journalist

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


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

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:

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

(212) 549-2666