Boudin Criticizes State Department Passport Denial

The State Department uses the passport system as a means of punishing those who hold a minority point of view in political affairs, Leonard Boudin, specialist in passport law, stated at the Harvard Liberal Union forum last night.

Boudin, who was himself temporarily refused a passport in 1954, claimed passport denial is a method of punishing men for beliefs they held long before the passport laws were passed.

"The United States has got to keep the idea of a Communist menace alive for obvious reasons," he said, "but I don't know if there are any Communists left in this country."

According to Boudin, there are "three classes of United States citizens who cannot get passports: those who are Communist party members, those going abroad to aid the 'Communist movement,' and those considered by the State department to be acting under the influence or direction of the Communist party through the years, though not actually members."

Complaining of "unusual procedures" used by the State Department in passport decisions, Boudin cited several instances in which case hearings were held without notifying the applicant or his attorney.