Fabricated persecution claims are an insult (and in practice a menace) to those who have suffered genuine persecution: “When he found a client seeking asylum in the United States, typically from Iraq, the suburban attorney would quickly forge that person’s name on an application and pepper the person’s life story with horrific hardships, including kidnappings, bombings and religious persecution — all false. He drew inspiration from news articles he collected.” A federal judge has now sentenced Robert Dekelaita to 15 months in prison. [CBS Chicago]
“All you would be asked is the same few rubbish questions,” said the lawyer. “Just make it up.” However, the 2010 conversation was being secretly recorded by the feds as part of an investigation that “has led to the prosecution of at least 30 people” including lawyers, paralegals and others employed by ten law firms, as well as a church employee “accused of coaching asylum applicants in basic tenets of Christianity to prop up their claims of religious persecution.” [Kirk Semple, Joseph Goldstein and Jeffrey E. Singer, New York Times] Earlier on asylum law here, here, here, etc..
A front-page story in the New York Times details how some immigration middlemen engage in systematic coaching of false persecution stories. “West Africans claim genital mutilation or harm from the latest political violence. Albanians and immigrants from other Balkan countries claim they fear ethnic cleansing. Chinese invoke the one-child policy or persecution of Christians, Venezuelans cite their opposition to the ruling party, and Russians describe attacks against gay people. Iraqis and Afghans can cite fear of retaliation by Islamic extremists.”
Your job is just to get in, we’ll provide the free lawyers once you do: “A decision to give legal aid to a failed asylum seeker and fraudster has been described as ‘barmy’. Zimbabwean Quentin Chapingidza was granted legal aid after he was charged with falsely claiming £23,500 in student loans from Harrow Council in north west London for a three-year computer course. His loan application included a fake Home Office letter claiming he had indefinite leave to remain in the UK.” [Independent]
Trouble with human rights law, cont’d: Phil Woolas, immigration minister in Gordon Brown’s Labor government, has won attention for his sharp criticisms of U.K. asylum law.
In an interview with the Guardian, Woolas described the legal professionals and NGO [non-governmental organization] workers as “an industry”, and said most asylum seekers were not fleeing persecution but were economic migrants.
“The system is played by migration lawyers and NGOs to the nth degree,” Woolas said. “By giving false hope and by undermining the legal system, [they] actually cause more harm than they do good.”
Not just a problem for Penzance: “The Royal Navy, once the scourge of brigands on the high seas, has been told by the Foreign Office not to detain pirates because doing so may breach their human rights. Warships patrolling pirate-infested waters, such as those off Somalia, have been warned that there is also a risk that captured pirates could claim asylum in Britain” on the grounds that if sent back to Somalia they could face cruel punishments such as beheading or hand-chopping. (Marie Woolf, Times Online, Apr. 13).
- Nice work: how one lawyer cleans up filing piggyback class actions after the Federal Trade Commission and other enforcement agencies cite marketers for violations [Daniel Fisher, Forbes]
- Cites inmate’s 18-year history of frivolous complaints: “Prisoner can’t sue USA Today for not printing gambling odds, Pennsylvania court says” [PennLive]
- Canada’s pioneering cap on regulation could be a model for U.S. [Laura Jones, Mercatus via Tyler Cowen]
- “He had a right to shoot at this drone, and I’m going to dismiss this charge” [Eugene Volokh on Kentucky case noted in July]
- Dear John: Los Angeles may use license-plate readers to go after drivers who enter “wrong” neighborhoods [Brian Doherty]
- Asylum law (which differs in numerous ways from refugee law, among them that it typically addresses claims of persons already here) hasn’t quite solved its own vetting problem [flashback from last year, more]
- Georgia lawyer “sanctioned for ‘deploying boilerplate claims’ and ‘utterly frivolous’ arguments” [ABA Journal]
- Makes perfect sense: to make transportation more accessible to its residents, Montgomery County, Maryland orders 20 taxi companies to close down [Washington Post]
- “New ‘Gainful Employment’ Rule Spells Trouble For For-Profit Law Schools (And Would For 50 Non-Profit Law Schools)” [Caron, TaxProf]
- “To comply with a twisted interpretation of TCPA, Twitter would have to stop providing certain services altogether.” [Harold Furchtgott-Roth] “New FCC Rules Could Make Polling More Expensive, Less Accurate” [HuffPost Pollster]
- To draft the unpassable bill: Scott Shackford on the politics and bad policy behind the omnibus LGBT Equality Act [Reason] “So How Can Anyone Be Opposed to Non-Discrimination Laws?” [Coyote] More: Establishment liberalism reluctant to admit it’s changed its thinking on religious accommodation, but that’s what’s happened [Ramesh Ponnuru/Bloomberg View]
- Update: “Court rejects claim over goat goring in Olympic National Park” [AP, earlier here and here]
- “I would receive 100 other identical stories [from asylum seekers] with only the names changed.” [The Australian, 2013]
- “Some protested that DNA testing amounted to a violation of canine privacy because dogs were not capable of consent.” [New York Times on Brooklyn condo dispute via @orinkerr]
- The one piece on bar fight litigation to read if you’re going to read only one;
- “Family sues Bronx Zoo after child swallows souvenir penny;”
- U.K.: “Policeman who smashed up pensioner’s car receives £400,000 compensation”
- “New car smell” blamed for fatal accident;
- U.S. Department of Justice: bar examiners improperly discriminate among applicants on grounds of sanity;
- “Just make it up”: undercover investigation exposes fraud in the asylum-request branch of immigration law;
- Fire department, Mennonites among recipients of quilt pattern cease-desists.
- “Court agrees that Google’s search results qualify as free speech” [Megan Geuss, ArsTechnica]
- “Manassas detective in teen sexting case sues teen’s lawyer for defamation” [Washington Post]
- Reports of SLAPP suit out of Chicago not quite as initially portrayed [Ken at Popehat]
- Compelled-speech update: Lexington, Ky. anti-bias commission orders employee training for t-shirt maker that objected to printing gay-pride messages [Kentucky.com, earlier]
- “NY high court says anti-cyberbullying law won’t pass First Amendment muster” [ABA Journal] New Arizona law against sending naked photos without subject’s consent could criminalize many sorts of speech [ACLU]
- UK scheme to muzzle nonviolent “extremists” just as horrid as it sounds, cont’d [Brendan O’Neill/Reason, earlier] Political director of U.K. Huffington Post calls for “sanctions” for press outlets that engage in “dishonest, demonizing” coverage of Muslims, immigrants, and asylum seekers [Guardian]
- SCOTUS should hear case re: right to engage in political advocacy without registering with government [Ilya Shapiro and Trevor Burrus, Cato; Vermont Right to Life Committee v. Sorrell]