10 Reasons Why Amos Yee’s Asylum Victory Will Be Short-lived
In my previous post, [https://lester978.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/amos-yees-asylum-victory-may-be-short-lived/] a day after the jubilant asylum news broke, I caution not to break out the champagne so soon. Here now let me proffer 10 reasons why Amos’ asylum ruling will be reversed and he’ll be sent packing at the end of the day. Let me save the best (and the most crucial) for last i.e., the assignment of judicial errors, and instead start the list with the pro bono attorney of Amos Yee, Ms. Sandra Grossman’s telltale interview.
Reason 1: telltale signs of tentativeness of her mission — 2 days fresh in the wake of her asylum victory, Ms. Grossman was interviewed (March 27) by BBC TV anchorperson Sharanjit Leyl on the morning news program. Not only did Ms. Grossman fail to enthuse over her client’s win of asylum, she did in fact try sneak in a personal apology of sorts: quote, “I do not condone hate speech.” She further revealed it wasn’t her original idea to get involved but offered her pro bono service as a favor to a request by Human Rights Watch. All in all, she came across as giving a perfunctory nod to her work on Amos. Her next stop will be the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and beyond that the Circuit Courts of Appeal which, going by her body language, I seriously doubt she would be keen to tackle let alone the Supreme Court.
Reason 2: a nation’s obloquy that would otherwise be preserved in aspic if not rectified — In my previous post I opined that I would be surprised if the Singapore gov. would simply let the ruling stand and not kick up a fuss about it. Let me now qualify that statement further in no uncertain terms: it would be inconceivable of the Singapore Government/Embassy not to move heaven and earth to redress the obloquy inflicted on the nation by the existing misrule — all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if need be.
Reason 3: DHS (Dept. of Homeland Security) now scrambles to put right its mistakes — DHS which has opposed Amos’ claim of asylum from day one, evidently regrets failing to conduct an initial Credible Fear determination on Amos. It was also ill-prepared for evidence rebuttal at the March 7 hearing during which according to the presiding Judge, no witness rebuttal at all was mounted … but henceforth, attorneys from DHS and S’pore Embassy will now join forces throughout the appellate process to defeat Amos come what may.
Reason 4: DHS’s total distrust of Amos — Without any criminal record of violence, Amos by rights should be released on his own recognizance. Obviously, DHS has good reason to mistrust him. First, Amos lied to them about his asylum motive. Second, in Singapore Amos had 2 previous capiases (arrest warrants) on record for failure to appear as summoned. Amos can expect to be incarcerated for a long time if he chose to go all the way.
Reason 5: No love lost between Amos and DHS officials — Amos’ Facebook lambasting of DHS officials (with his classic vituperative F-bombs to boot) for their tardiness, ineptitude and treachery — he accuses them of betrayal for not paroling him — will come back to haunt him big time. When Prez Trump hears about such an ingrate crybaby on wheels, he’ll be ever more determined to put them in their place, and to cut down on the $90-plus-a-day Federal expenses needed to house and feed each asylum-seeking inmate.
Reason 6: the law-and-order motto of the Trump Admin — The POTUS has stressed it often enough how he values law and order and how he reviles those who try to sneak ahead of the pack, jumping the queue to get in. There are those asylum-seekers who are here years ahead of Amos but are still waiting for their day in court … then comes Amos, barely here 3 months, mewls and whines about how slowly the wheel of asylum justice turns For Him. Here’s a recorded transcript of his remonstration over Judge Cole’s tardiness … https://lester978.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/amos-yees-plaintive-cry-for-help-in-detention-all-for-naught/ Again, when Trump (or his Attorney General) hears about this, Amos will be put in line; he’ll have to take a number and wait his turn like the rest.
Reason 7: Amos’ serious character flaws will be documented in appellate brief — Eventually, detailed reports of his jailhouse fracas with fellow Muslim inmates will be submitted as evidence against him as a troubled teenage hellion and not some dissident as the Judge made him out to be. Ironically, his jailhouse misconduct would be used to argue in favor of Singapore’s communal harmony law back home he had twice violated before. [ In Feb. he was punished with 2 weeks of solitary confinement for cussing out an imam during a jailhouse session of Quran study. http://www.theindependent.sg/amos-yee-allegedly-in-solitary-confinement-in-the-usa-for-insulting-muslims-in-jail/ ]
Reason 8: Amos has hardly any fan base/support in the U.S. to generate even a modicum of public interest in his case — No local celebrity or major American TV/Internet news media have glommed onto his cause; only BBC TV bothered to report on his asylum news … conspicuous by their absence were CNN and The Rubin Report both of which did give him generous airtime previously back in Singapore. [Addendum, March 30 2017 — this may indeed be gutting for Amos to take in: unbeknownst to him, he has unhappily created for himself a no-win situation in terms of public sympathy; the liberal media has boycotted him because of his ‘hate-speech’ notoriety, and neither are the Christian Evangelicals (many of whom are Trumpists) nor the American Muslims, both of whom he has savagely pilloried, interested in his plight.]
Reason 9: Amos is no ready-made asset to the nation — America much like any country welcomes immigrants with skills mix; Amos has none to offer. (Do not confuse teenage logorrhea with special talent.)
Reason 10: Judge Cole erred in many areas in his published legal opinion —
i) Judge Cole was erroneous in his conclusion that the Singapore Gov. has acted nefariously to ‘stifle political dissent’ in Amos’ case. The evidence against is undeniable: no sooner was Amos released after serving his sentences in 2015 and 2016 than he was left free to vent his thoughts on the Internet i.e., via his Facebook, as uninhibitedly and offensively as he pleased; his continued berating of the Singapore gov. as dictator/tyrant/autocrat is writ large on his Facebook wall. So if it was simply a case of stifling dissent, the S’pore Gov. has flunked miserably.
ii) Judge Cole has mistakenly elevated Amos to folkloric status of a notably susceptible class of individuals the world over who may face persecution in their mission, like authors, journalists, activists … Amos is none of those but a vociferous teenage vlogger hell-bent on scoring narcissistic publicity to satisfy his own ego. Judge Cole has now opened the floodgates to untold number of future Amos wannabe copycats.
iii) Judge Cole has wrongly concluded that Amos was unfairly targeted for selective prosecution, citing the examples of Calvin Cheng and Jason Neo who purportedly went scot-free after causing similar controversies according to Judge Cole. But Judge Cole chose to completely ignore the fact that those 2 individuals mentioned did make amends immediately through public apologies for their indiscretion — apologies in a civilized world do count for something — as opposed to Amos’ unapologetic, recalcitrant attempts at extravagating, upping his ante at each turn to flout and challenge the laws of his home country. While it is the American tradition to allow say Andres Serrano to dip a crucifix in a jar of his own urine and called it art exhibition, Judge Cole failed execrably to appreciate the not so subtle nuances of mores outside of America, and that simulated copulation with holy book by Amos on his Facebook/YouTube has no artistic or free speech value for the overwhelming majority of Singaporeans.
iv) Judge Cole has conveniently and completely circumvented mention in his ruling of Amos’ infamous offense he was charged with in 2016 regarding his Internet video of defiling the Quran with simulated act of sexual penetration; such an egregious wounding of the faithful could have easily earned him a fatwa of death. The Singapore gov. acted responsibly to stop him and very likely saved him from extremist retaliation.
v) Judge Cole’s conclusion/presumption of a current miasma of well-rounded fear of persecution permeating in Singapore is contradicted outright by the open identity of one of Amos’ witnesses, namely, Mr. Kenneth Jeyaretnam who was nothing loath to come forward publicly without fear to testify for Amos.
vi) Judge Cole is right to criticize Amos’ 4-week sentence in 2015 as being overly harsh and long for a teenage first-time miscreant. But he’s completely off-base to equate that with orchestrated state persecutions of Amos who was allowed total freedom of travel in and out of his country throughout the last 2 years like any of his fellow citizens.
vii) Judge Cole is also correct to single out the 2015 obscenity charge against Amos for criticism. But such trivial criticism doesn’t amount to a hill of beans for meritorious asylum consideration which should rightfully be reserved for the genuinely persecuted individuals. His such relaxed standard for Amos’ asylum by implication, should extend granting of the same to those millions of Falun Gong practitioners in the East deprived of their freedom to practice what they believe.
viii) Judge Cole’s error in misapplications of 3 names in his ruling will be noted in appellate brief, i.e., ‘Long’, ‘Ngreng’ and ‘Yew’.