A jury convicted three California lawyers and two interpreters who prosecutors said had organized massive fraud in the filing of asylum claims, generating false documents and coaching hundreds of clients to make false claims of persecution in India, Romania, and other countries so as to obtain the right to remain in this country. [Sacramento Bee; Jagprit Singh Sekhon, Jagdip Singh Sekhon, and Manjit Kaur Rai] “Meanwhile, in Boston, federal immigration authorities have begun rejecting dozens of immigration applications filed by lawyer John K. Dvorak, The Boston Globe reports. Officials allege they have found fraud, such as fake employment letters, in a significant number of Dvorak’s cases.” [Ambrogi, LegalBlogWatch]
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.”
Fun with international human rights law, continued:
Lawyers for two Iraqis accused of the murder of two British soldiers now maintain that the men cannot get a fair trial in Iraq, and are entitled to one here in Britain instead. A High Court judge will rule on the case this week. Lawyers have already received several thousand pounds for representing the Iraqis, who, although not British citizens, have their case in the British courts funded by British taxpayers. Win or lose, the lawyers will receive more from that source. If the judge rules against them, they will no doubt appeal. The appeals process is lengthy, and lucrative. If they win, then there will be another issue to be litigated: whether the Iraqis should be given asylum in the UK, on the grounds that Iraq is not a safe place for the accused.
(“Iraqi crimes have no place in our courts” (editorial), Telegraph, Nov. 16).
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).
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.)
“A ‘high risk’ child rapist is to receive thousands of pounds in damages for ‘unlawful detention’ while held pending deportation to Somalia, a High Court judge ruled yesterday. The failed asylum seeker, who cannot be named and is referred to only as ‘A’, is threatened with removal after serving an eight-year prison sentence for attacking and sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl. But yesterday Mr Justice Calvert Smith ruled that there was a period between Dec. 3 2004 and July 20 2006 when the 31-year-old’s detention became unlawful, entitling him to compensation.” Deportation from the UK to Somalia has been difficult to accomplish until recently because airlines refused to transport deportees, and “A” refused to get on a plane voluntarily. (“Rapist wins pay-out over unlawful detention”, Daily Telegraph, Dec. 8; “A failed asylum seeker jailed for child rape receives £50,000”, Dec. 8).
Nine Afghan asylum seekers who hijacked a plane at gunpoint to get to Britain should have been admitted to the country as genuine refugees and allowed to live and work here freely, the High Court ruled yesterday.
In a decision that astonished and dismayed MPs, the Home Office was accused of abusing its powers by failing to give the nine formal permission to enter Britain, in breach of their human rights.