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Snakeheads, Judgmental Judges, And, Once Again, the New York Times
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March 04, 2006, 03:50 PM
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With the stirrings of real debate on immigration abroad in the land, it is gratifying to see the government and media focused on the really important issues like occasional rudeness from immigration judges when rejecting asylum applications.

The Attorney General has ordered a comprehensive review of the immigration court system because of some immigration judges ‘whose conduct can aptly be described as intemperate or even abusive and whose work must improve’. Look for a parade of media heroes putting a human face on a campaign for administrative measures aimed at easing asylum regulations.

In covering the ‘story’ (12/26/05, Adam Liptak, Courts Criticize Judges’ Handling of Asylum Cases, page 1), the New York Times cites as exhibit A one Judge Annie S. Garcy who rejected an asylum application from a Chinese illegal Qun Wang, noting inter alia, "He`s a horrible father as far as the court`s concerned."

That’s the sum of the evidence of injudicious tone and sarcasm presented by the Times against the judge.

Had the Times included a rudimentary outline of the case and noted the similarities to the thousands of asylum applications immigration judges review each year, even typical Times’ readers would be left thinking more rudeness might be in order.

One of 50,000 or so Chinese smuggled in by snakeheads each year, Mr. Wang was caught and sought to change his status from illegal alien to political asylum seeker based on a ’96 law which includes coercive population control programs as grounds for political asylum. Passage of the law was a coup for the immigration lobby, but was also seen as part of an outreach effort to the religious right.

The Times noted the judge felt Mr. Wang was obsessed with having a son and did not pay enough attention to his daughter, who is disabled.

More precisely, Mr. Wang left his family of 3 children (including 1 son according to Chinese media sources) and wife behind in China, claiming that his wife’s sterilization, ordered by state authorities, was the cause of his flight. Not noted in the Times report was the judge’s reasonable conclusion that the applicant seeks to ride on his wife’s coat tails to an asylum claim.

The Attorney General’s criticism of the immigration judge received media coverage in China where human smuggling gangs use the lure of guaranteed U.S. asylum when convincing its clients to borrow up to 60,000 dollars and undertake the perilous trip to America.

It would be hard to find a piece of humanitarian legislation that has caused more human suffering than the coercive population control clause in U.S. immigration law.

This bizarre interpretation of the ancient principle of asylum is rightfully seen in China as a huge gift to the snakeheads – almost as big a gift as the shoddy immigration reporting and analysis that pours out of the MSM these days.