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Nation IN BRIEF : WASHINGTON, D.C.

Asian Bias Alleged at White House Gates

September 11, 1997|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Several Americans with pre-approved clearances to visit the White House were initially prevented from entering the complex because security guards assumed their Asian surnames meant they were foreigners, according to Secret Service officials and the White House aide who had cleared them in advance. In two instances, security guards raised questions about the guests' nationality, even though the visitors were U.S. citizens and were on a list that showed they had received permission to enter, the Washington Post reported. Both the White House and Secret Service acknowledged some mistakes have been made but blamed them on low-level security officials overwhelmed by requests for White House clearance.

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