Judge Orders 11 Israelis To Return To Homeland - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Judge Orders 11 Israelis To Return To Homeland

CLEVELAND (AP) - Eleven Israelis who were detained by the Immigration and Naturalization Service must return to their homeland.

Cleveland attorney David W. Leopold, who represents all 11, said government attorneys presented no evidence of national security concerns.

Leopold said the government charged that the Israelis were selling toy helicopters in shopping mall carts in Ohio. The shopping malls, Leopold said, were in Findlay, Lima and Toledo.

The tourist visas, Leopold said, had not expired and contained no fraudulent information or other types of fraudulent documents.

The decision was made by an immigration judge, Elizabeth Hacker, in a closed-door hearing at the Federal Building in Cleveland on Tuesday.

Two of the 11 had been held in the Medina County Jail for several weeks after they were arrested by INS agents in Findlay, south of Toledo, on Oct. 31.

Leopold said the nine men and two women were given until the end of December to make travel arrangements for the return to their homeland.

The government's original allegation against them, Leopold said, was that they were working in "unauthorized employment" while they were in the country on tourist visas.

(Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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