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Immigration status waived for those reporting missing

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The U.S. government urged undocumented immigrants Friday to report any friends or family missing in the World Trade Center terrorist attacks without fear that their immigration status will be investigated.

"We have heard disturbing reports that some people whose loved ones are missing have not come forward because of immigration issues," said a statement from James Zigler, commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. "We cannot let that happen."

He said the INS is committed to the rescue and recovery of victims at the disaster scene, and would not probe the information given by victims' loved ones.

"I want to personally urge the immigrant community to come forward and assure everyone that the INS will not seek immigration status information provided to local authorities in the rescue and recovery efforts," Zigler said.

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