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Court upholds strict rules in granting asylum in US

The Supreme Court upheld strict government standards Tuesday for granting political asylum, dealing a severe blow to more than 150,000 people now seeking it in the United States.

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The justices ruled that an alien must prove ''a clear probability'' that he would be singled out for persecution if he were deported to the country of his origin.

The court unanimously ruled Congress did not intend to ease immigration laws when it amended them in 1980 and reversed a lower court ruling that an alien seeking asylum need only show a well-founded fear that he would be persecuted if deported.

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