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Political Asylum

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NEWS
August 24, 2013
The keepers of our classified national secrets ought to be ashamed. To think that two low-level employees like Bradley Manning (aka "Chelsea") and Edward Snowden were allowed access to the crown jewels of the national security establishment is an embarrassment. I never thought I'd see the day when an American would seek political asylum in Russia or a man sentenced to Fort Leavenworth would demand to live as a woman. What's wrong with this picture? Everything! Roz Ellis
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NEWS
August 24, 2013
The keepers of our classified national secrets ought to be ashamed. To think that two low-level employees like Bradley Manning (aka "Chelsea") and Edward Snowden were allowed access to the crown jewels of the national security establishment is an embarrassment. I never thought I'd see the day when an American would seek political asylum in Russia or a man sentenced to Fort Leavenworth would demand to live as a woman. What's wrong with this picture? Everything! Roz Ellis
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NEWS
By ROGER SIMON | June 27, 1993
Just because something is legal does not automatically mean it is right.Slavery, let us remember, used to be legal.Last week, the Supreme Court said it was legal to return Haitian refugees to Haiti without giving them a hearing.This was not a big surprise.Not all that many people thought Bill Clinton's policy of returning these people to Haiti to face prison, torture or death was against U.S. law.But many people thought it was wrong.And they still do.Once upon a time, Bill Clinton, too, thought it was wrong.
NEWS
By JENNIFER MCMENAMIN and JENNIFER MCMENAMIN,SUN REPORTER | June 30, 2006
It took Tialhei Zathang 6 1/2 years to escape persecution in his homeland of Myanmar, win asylum in the United States and obtain permission for his wife and children to join him. But less than four months after his family came out of hiding in India and moved into a Catonsville apartment with him, Zathang was arrested and charged with murder in the stabbing of his wife during what police said was an argument over his drinking. "If I had a chance, I would not drink again," the former math teacher quietly told a Baltimore County judge yesterday, wiping away tears as he prepared to be sentenced for Hlawntial Zathang's death.
NEWS
By Knight-Ridder News Service | December 4, 1991
MIAMI -- In a historic and startling victory for Haitian refugees, a federal judge ruled yesterday that thousands of Haitians living in tent cities and aboard ships cannot be forced back to their strife-torn homeland until the U.S. government gives them a greater opportunity to claim political asylum.U.S. District Judge C. Clyde Atkins gave the federal government seven days to come up with a plan to ensure that no Haitians are returned if they have a well-grounded fear of political persecution.
NEWS
May 18, 1995
Indian-AmericansThe banner headline and sensational tone of your May 4 report on allegations against Lalit Gadhia, a prominent Indian-American Baltimore Democrat, of violations of minor Federal Election Commission regulations appeared more to castigate the Indian-American community than focus on the alleged infractions.An uninitiated reader is likely to get the impression that this community is involved in some kind of clandestine operation to influence the U.S. political and legislative process.
NEWS
February 24, 1994
College students who have had to pay fees to apply for financial aid will understand. The Immigration and Naturalization Service wants to charge $130 for anyone applying for political asylum. This should reduce demand volume. It should insure a more conservative, respectable type of political refugee.No doubt fearing ridicule, Attorney General Janet Reno immediately backtracked on the INS proposal to this extent: It would waive the fee for anyone who can't pay. What, then, is it for?A much more meaningful INS proposal would deny a work permit for six months to political asylum applicants, instead of giving it immediately to anyone who has been instructed on how to apply.
NEWS
By Knight-Ridder News Service | March 30, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Major elements of the Clinton administration's long-awaited plan for speeding up the review of political asylum claims, released yesterday, came under immediate attack from some immigration advocates.Among the most contentious issues are proposals designed to discourage "frivolous" claims for asylum: charging a $130 fee per applicant, requiring a wait of at least 150 days to obtain a work authorization, and granting greater discretion to asylum hearing officers to decide whether to interview an applicant face-to-face.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | April 25, 1993
Two years after it was altered to abolish harsh and arbitrary procedures, the U.S. system of political asylum cannot cope with the growing crowds of people at the nation's gates, immigration officials say.Nationwide, 250,000 foreigners are waiting in line to see one of only 150 asylum officers. Some have been waiting for years. All say they fear persecution at home, and immigration officials estimate that tens of thousands really are running for their lives.Under the law, most are allowed into the United States immediately.
NEWS
By Scott Shane and Scott Shane,SUN STAFF | February 23, 1999
In a ruling that spotlights the corruption of the Russian legal system, a U.S. immigration judge has granted political asylum to a Russian banker accused by Moscow prosecutors of stealing millions from a bank he helped found.Judge John M. Bryant wrote in his decision that he was convinced by testimony from several experts -- including a former KGB agent and a former Soviet Communist Party official working for the CIA -- that banker Alexandre P. Konanykhine was targeted for prosecution for political reasons.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | July 30, 2004
TOKYO - North Korea denounced the South Korean government yesterday for granting asylum this week to nearly 460 North Korean defectors, characterizing Seoul's actions as "abduction and terrorism." North Korea, which has had good relations with the government of President Roh Moo Hyun, broke two days of silence during which two groups of North Korean defectors were airlifted by the South Korean authorities to Seoul. They came from Vietnam, according to human rights groups in Seoul. As more details emerged of what has amounted to the largest-ever single arrival in the South of Northern defectors, it became clearer that the group's size had resulted from the increasing popularity of a smuggling route out of China, and not from a rise in people fleeing directly from North Korea.
NEWS
By Scott Shane and Scott Shane,SUN STAFF | November 25, 2003
In February 1999, after a tangled legal battle that featured testimony from FBI, CIA and KGB officers, a U.S. immigration judge granted political asylum to former Russian banker Alex Konanykhin, saying he faced persecution and possible death if he were returned to Russia to face embezzlement charges. Since then, Konanykhin and his wife, Elena Gratcheva, have built an Internet advertising business that creates slick video spots for companies selling on the Web. Their Manhattan company, KMGI Studios, employs 14 people, has been featured on CNN, and has attracted an impressive client list including Volvo and American Airlines.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | June 12, 2000
Huang Xiang talks of being tortured by authorities in his native China for writing subversive poetry. Ana Maria says her husband was beaten in their native Romania because she belongs to the Anglican church. Boris describes being attacked by thugs in his native Russia because he's Jewish. These three are typical of the thousands of men and women annually who seek political asylum in the United States, claiming their lives are in danger in their native countries simply because of who they are or what they believe.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | February 16, 2000
WASHINGTON -- Trying again to head off the return to Cuba of 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez, his Miami relatives have mounted a new defense of the power of U.S. courts to force the Justice Department to rule on whether to grant the boy asylum. His great-uncle Lazaro Gonzalez told a federal judge in Miami, "If the attorney general wishes to remove Elian to Cuba, she cannot do so without first considering his asylum request." That is a duty that Attorney General Janet Reno must perform, Gonzalez said, and a duty that clearly can be enforced in court.
NEWS
By Scott Shane and Scott Shane,SUN STAFF | February 23, 1999
In a ruling that spotlights the corruption of the Russian legal system, a U.S. immigration judge has granted political asylum to a Russian banker accused by Moscow prosecutors of stealing millions from a bank he helped found.Judge John M. Bryant wrote in his decision that he was convinced by testimony from several experts -- including a former KGB agent and a former Soviet Communist Party official working for the CIA -- that banker Alexandre P. Konanykhine was targeted for prosecution for political reasons.
NEWS
May 18, 1995
Indian-AmericansThe banner headline and sensational tone of your May 4 report on allegations against Lalit Gadhia, a prominent Indian-American Baltimore Democrat, of violations of minor Federal Election Commission regulations appeared more to castigate the Indian-American community than focus on the alleged infractions.An uninitiated reader is likely to get the impression that this community is involved in some kind of clandestine operation to influence the U.S. political and legislative process.
NEWS
By Scott Shane and Scott Shane,SUN STAFF | November 25, 2003
In February 1999, after a tangled legal battle that featured testimony from FBI, CIA and KGB officers, a U.S. immigration judge granted political asylum to former Russian banker Alex Konanykhin, saying he faced persecution and possible death if he were returned to Russia to face embezzlement charges. Since then, Konanykhin and his wife, Elena Gratcheva, have built an Internet advertising business that creates slick video spots for companies selling on the Web. Their Manhattan company, KMGI Studios, employs 14 people, has been featured on CNN, and has attracted an impressive client list including Volvo and American Airlines.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | February 16, 2000
WASHINGTON -- Trying again to head off the return to Cuba of 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez, his Miami relatives have mounted a new defense of the power of U.S. courts to force the Justice Department to rule on whether to grant the boy asylum. His great-uncle Lazaro Gonzalez told a federal judge in Miami, "If the attorney general wishes to remove Elian to Cuba, she cannot do so without first considering his asylum request." That is a duty that Attorney General Janet Reno must perform, Gonzalez said, and a duty that clearly can be enforced in court.
NEWS
By Knight-Ridder News Service | March 30, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Major elements of the Clinton administration's long-awaited plan for speeding up the review of political asylum claims, released yesterday, came under immediate attack from some immigration advocates.Among the most contentious issues are proposals designed to discourage "frivolous" claims for asylum: charging a $130 fee per applicant, requiring a wait of at least 150 days to obtain a work authorization, and granting greater discretion to asylum hearing officers to decide whether to interview an applicant face-to-face.
NEWS
February 24, 1994
College students who have had to pay fees to apply for financial aid will understand. The Immigration and Naturalization Service wants to charge $130 for anyone applying for political asylum. This should reduce demand volume. It should insure a more conservative, respectable type of political refugee.No doubt fearing ridicule, Attorney General Janet Reno immediately backtracked on the INS proposal to this extent: It would waive the fee for anyone who can't pay. What, then, is it for?A much more meaningful INS proposal would deny a work permit for six months to political asylum applicants, instead of giving it immediately to anyone who has been instructed on how to apply.
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