- The Washington Times - Friday, November 10, 2000

Disabled immigrants excused from oath

ANAHEIM, Calif. Immigrants who have disabilities that limit their ability to take the oath of allegiance can still be granted citizenship under new legislation.

About 1,000 immigrants yearly qualify to become citizens but have disabilities that prevent them from reciting the oath of allegiance.

The legislation, approved last month by Congress and signed Monday by President Clinton, was spurred by cases such as that of 25-year-old Vijai Rajan of Anaheim, Calif., whose parents sued the Immigration and Naturalization Service charging discrimination after her citizenship application was denied.

Miss Rajan, who was born in India and whose parents are naturalized citizens, is unable to understand or recite the oath because she has cerebral palsy, Crohn's disease and other ailments.

The law does not grant instant citizenship to disabled immigrants. It allows the attorney general to grant a waiver for "an individual with a disability, or a child, who is unable to understand or communicate an understanding of the meaning of the oath."

Police at GOP protest must turn over notes

PHILADELPHIA State police must turn over notes, memos and other investigation information regarding state troopers who posed as protesters during the Republican National Convention, a city judge ruled.

State police have a week to turn the information over to the defense attorneys for about 75 protesters arrested at a Philadelphia warehouse, Municipal Judge James M. DeLeon said Wednesday.

The activists' attorneys said the undercover officers may have overstepped bounds of privacy or legality by participating or encouraging demonstrators, who have since been charged with misdemeanor conspiracy to obstruct highways.

Four state troopers pretending to be union carpenters spent a week under cover in the warehouse where activists were making giant puppets for use in street protests, city prosecutors have said in court. The troopers were gathering evidence used to raid the warehouse Aug. 1 and arrest everyone inside.

Defense attorney Bradley S. Bridge said in court that his clients had provided him with information suggesting that the troopers either broke the law themselves or encouraged others to do so.

State police attorney Joanna Reynolds said some of the information revealed by the judge's order might reveal infiltration methods or names of informants, but she said police would comply.

Man goes on trial for biting his dog

SAN FRANCISCO A San Francisco man who bit his dog as part of a "primal" training regime has been ordered to stand trial on felony charges of animal cruelty.

Furniture mover Steven Maul, 24, is said to have forced his 80-pound Labrador puppy "Boo" to the ground on two separate occasions to administer nips to the neck as part of an unorthodox discipline system.

"Nothing here was cruel or hurtful," Mr. Maul's attorney, Jasper Monti, told Tuesday's San Francisco Chronicle after a judge ordered Mr. Maul to stand trial on the charges. "My client in fact has French kissed his dog. My client is very oral."

Witnesses described Boo as yelping wildly as Mr. Maul bit him on the neck. In both cases, they called authorities to intercede.

Mr. Maul has described the bites as part of "nature's way" of dog training by harnessing evolutionary models of pack behavior. He has denied that his bites draw blood, leave a mark or cause pain. "There's no hurting involved," he told one reporter. "It's communicating to the dog that you are dominant."

Boo is being cared for by the Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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