This story makes my blood boil, but not in the way the New York Times hopes it will. Five Tamils (Sri Lankans, are they Tamil Tigers?) paid smugglers $55,000 each to get them to the US where they planned to apply for asylum. Instead they were caught, placed in detention where they languish supposedly because we have a screwed- up asylum system.
First question of course is where did poor struggling ‘refugee’ fishermen get $55,000 each? And, since we learned they traveled through Dubai, Moscow, Cuba and Haiti why didn’t they ask for asylum at their first stop, second stop, third stop? Legitimate asylum seekers are to ask for asylum in the first safe country in which they land! (Amazing that the reporter seems not at all interested in answers to these two important questions!)
Readers, this is not the first time we have read about the Moscow to Cuba route for illegal alien smugglers to get people to America! And, it is just assumed in every report I have read that it is aok just to work one’s way across the world with the US as the target destination. Some of them go from Cuba to Mexico and then across our land border.
Here is some of the story, but read all of it! From the New York Times via NDTV (hat tip: ‘pungentpeppers’):
New York: Five Sri Lankan men left hometowns reeling from the remnants of a ruthless civil war and embarked on a months-long human-smuggling journey that spanned seven countries.
They each paid $55,000 for a ride by air and sea to a fresh chance in the Americas. They were captured within hours of their arrival in South Florida and served as witnesses for the FBI in the investigation of their smugglers, cooperation that the men were led to believe would work in their favour as their cases made their way through immigration courts.
Three years later, they are still waiting for their cases to be resolved.
Captured in Florida:
The fisherman said that in Sri Lanka he was being extorted for money, received telephone death threats and was forced to quit his job with an opposition party. After contacting a wealthy smuggler known as Mohan, he left his wife and toddler and fled on a five-leg flight: Sri Lanka to Dubai to Moscow to Cuba to Haiti.
In Haiti, he met Mohan, and the other Tamil immigrants who would become his companions in a years-long court battle. They left Haiti for the Bahamas, then embarked for Florida on Dec. 5, 2010.
They were brought to a safe house, another Sri Lankan in the group, whose first initial is R., said in an interview at the Krome Service Processing Center, an immigration jail in Miami at the edge of the Everglades. He said they were given a warm meal, a hot bath, and an extortion demand for an additional $6,000 from each of them.
A few hours later, the FBI woke the men from their slumber.
Boo hoo! They got the wrong immigration judge:
The men applied for political asylum, each with a personal story of the persecution they suffered as Tamils. [likely a made-up story prepared before leaving home—ed]
Had their cases been heard one county south, said Ferreyra, the former federal prosecutor, their asylum claims would more likely have been accepted.
Are US immigration lawyers at the ACLU keeping them here for their own selfish reasons—as poster boys for their media/political goals?
“This just all shows how irrational and unjust the correctional immigration system is,” said Judy Rabinovitz, a lawyer for the men and the deputy director of the ACLU’s immigrant rights project. “How much have U.S. taxpayers paid to keep these people locked up?”
The men are torn between their lawyers’ insistence on fighting for asylum and their desire to go home, even if to a dangerous and uncertain future.
I agree with Rabinovitz on one thing—don’t keep them locked up at taxpayer expense! Deport them sooner than later!
In the past we have written a good bit about Sri Lankans breaking into Canada, check out some of those posts here.