One day after their case was thrown out by a judge, federal officials Tuesday refiled deportation charges against eight Los Angeles-area immigrants and denied that they were "shopping" for another judge.
William Odencrantz, regional counsel for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, along with INS Regional Director Harold Ezell and District Director Ernest Gustafson, told a news conference that the government will aggressively pursue the deportation cases despite Monday's setback.
"It's going forward," Ezell said. "What's behind is behind. What's ahead is ahead. We're going for it."
Tuesday morning, Gustafson personally refiled the same charges against the eight aliens--accusing two of them of subversion and six others of various visa violations.
"I think if she had listened a little bit longer, she would have understood," Odencrantz said of the action by Immigration Judge Ingrid K. Hrycenko.
He accused her of deciding in "a fit of temper" to throw out the charges against the alleged members of a Palestine Liberation Organization faction.
"I don't see why (the cases) could not go back to the same judge," Odencrantz added. "I have the highest personal regard for Judge Hrycenko."
But Hrycenko said Tuesday that INS attorneys had, in effect, insulted the integrity of the bench by switching key witnesses without telling her.
"I don't tolerate misrepresentations by either side nor ignoring of my orders," she said in an interview.
Hrycenko said that if the government wants to restart the case--with or without her--she does not care. Government sources said Monday that they would be pleased if Hrycenko were taken off the case.
It was not immediately clear how soon the cases could be set for a hearing again. The decision as to who will hear the case is normally up to Immigration Court officials.
At a news conference, Odencrantz emphatically denied that immigration officials were "judge shopping"--attempting to find a judge more sympathetic to their views.
Hrycenko on Monday dismissed deportation cases against the eight aliens--seven Jordanians and a Kenyan--after INS attorneys failed to comply with her order to produce a key immigration investigator for questioning.
The eight were arrested last January and accused of belonging to a Marxist faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.