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Blogger from Singapore in U.S. Immigration Detention

Blogger from Singapore in U.S. Immigration Detention

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently detained a teenage blogger, who is a native of Singapore, at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, who was entering the country on a tourist visa, but told immigration officials that he was seeking asylum. Government officials in Singapore imprisoned 18-year-old Amos Yee for four weeks in July, 2015, and another six weeks in September, 2016, for allegedly mocking Christians and Muslims in his blog posts, as well as criticizing religion, politics, and late Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. As per his attorney, Yee is actively seeking asylum, although immigration authorities would neither confirm nor deny the allegation. Officials took Yee to the McHenry County Jail following his detention pending federal immigration court proceedings. Since Yee’s stated intention in entering the U.S. was to seek asylum, he was present in the country without a valid visa or entry document, as he only had a tourist visa. These facts made him inadmissible to the U.S. and subject to the expedited removal process. However, because Yee is seeking asylum, he first will go through a credible fear interview with a U.S. asylum official. That official will determine whether Yee is potentially eligible for asylum on the basis that he currently faces a credible fear of persecution or torture at the hands of Singapore’s government officials. If Yee passes the credible fear threshold, then he is likely to be released from detention pending a court hearing on his request for asylum. During this time period, he would be able to remain in the U.S. and seek work authorization. Given the current backlog of asylum cases and immigration cases in general, it may take years before Yee’s case reaches a court hearing date. Individuals who believe that they qualify for asylum or have another valid deportation defense need an experienced California immigration attorney who can assist them with this often complex process. At Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., we know how to stand up for the rights of those who are legally entitled to remain in the U.S. Call us today at (510) 756-4468 and schedule an appointment with one of our deportation defense lawyers, and learn how we can assist you.

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