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PRAYER MAY COST INS OFFICIAL HIS JOB

The top immigration official in Western states, whose appearance at a party for Ferdinand Marcos embarrassed the White House, is likely to be replaced, a Justice Department spokesman said.

David Runkel, chief spokesman for Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, on Thursday described Harold Ezell as a "short-termer" in the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which is part of the Justice Department.Ezell, 52, said earlier this week that he made an error when he attended a party given in Honolulu in August by ousted Philippines leader Marcos and his wife, Imelda.

After news organizations obtained a homemade videotape of the party last week, he said he also erred in leading partygoers in a prayer asking for the couple's safe return to the Philippines, which would be against President Corazon Aquino's wishes and U.S. policy.