“I don’t feel good about it — lying to people”

A New Yorker writer sympathetically if uneasily profiles one of the many who choose to pursue legal immigrant status (with lawyers’ help) by petitioning for asylum on the basis of made-up atrocity stories. “‘I have never been raped,’ she admitted, giggling with embarrassment… ‘Telling that story makes me sad, because I know it’s true for someone.'” But not necessarily true for most of those in her position: “There’s one [a story] for each country,” explains a lawyer. “There’s the Colombian rape story — they all say they were raped by the FARC. There’s the Rwandan rape story, the Tibetan refugee story. The details for each are the same.” [Suketu Mehta, “The Asylum Seeker: For a chance at a better life, it helps to make your bad story worse,” New Yorker](& Legal Ethics Forum)


  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of “Infidel,” also lied about being raped in order to gain asylum in the Netherlands. She was advised to do so by a lawyer, who told her that she might not be accepted if she didn’t claim rape.

  • The whole concept of asylum really should be revamped under a new international agreement. The dramatic increase in migration is nothing like what was envisioned under the original 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. The thing I hate about the asylum process is that even without lying, it’s so incredibly random and haphazard. It’s a real lottery, a few people make it and win the prize, with most left out in the cold.

    Moreover, even if every asylum seeker was 100% honest, then what you are doing is transferring the less corrupt people out of a country and leaving only the corrupt – meaning that no one is left behind to effect real change. The process is unsustainable.

    And if you really wanted to be fair, and grant asylum to every single person in the third world who has ever been abused or afraid for their life, then the entire third world would move to the West.

    Then there is another legal problem that many countries are ignoring: The “Safe Third Country Rule”. In other words, asylum seekers are supposed to claim asylum in the very first free country they reach, not go shopping around for the best one. Courts have rarely enforced this policy. This is especially ludicrous in the case of the UK, a very popular magnet for asylum seekers – it’s almost impossible to reach the UK from any third world country without stopping in some stable country along the way! If they actually enforced this rule, it would cut down on most of these bogus applications.