Ken Sah, spelling bee father

A number of newspapers have picked up the tale of Kunal Sah, who will be competing in his second consecutive national spelling bee this year. His parents were recently deported after sixteen years of living in the States, and some bloggers have noted the irony: here’s a successful immigrant who owned a business and raised a successful son, and they’re being deported because of “tough U.S. immigration regulations in the post-9/11 atmosphere.”

Except the deported parents are not anywhere near as sympathetic as the press coverage makes them out to be. Kanhai Lal “Ken” Sah came to the United States in 1990, and, as his visa expired in 1991, applied for political asylum, and managed to keep his case alive for fifteen years. His son Kunal was born during that time, and got American citizenship as a result, and remains in the country. But the parents’ asylum application was denied, and they were deported

Sah’s asylum claim? He feared Muslim persecution in his home country. That might engender sympathy—until one realizes that his home country is India, which has 800 million fellow Hindus for Sah to live amongst. And that Sah’s basis for fearing persecution was because, as a member of the radical Hindu nationalist organization Vishwa Hindu Parishad, he “took a very active part in organizing and conducting [anti-mosque] meeting[s]” and that he “actively participated in the riots to [attempt to] demolish the Babri Mosque.” (Vishwa eventually succeeded in destroying the mosque in 1992, causing religious riots that killed 900 people.)

The Sahs are now engaging in a public relations campaign for citizenship on the basis of the hardship created by the fifteen years they spent in the country churning the bogus asylum application. None of the press coverage mentions Ken Sah’s role in his asylum denial as a radical Hindu. Don’t believe the hype. (Sah v. Gonzales (10th Cir. 2005)). (And welcome Malkin readers.)


  • Apparently, if it attacks like a terrorist and kills innocent people like a terrorist, liberals will say it’s just a duck! Thanks for exposing the quacks at AP et al.

  • There are no terrorists and nobody got killed in this post. Sheesh.

  • Did he teach his daughter how to spell “religious extremist,” “xenophobic,” and “terrorist organization?”