[ An open letter posted April 13 on the website of Ms. Sandra Grossman, Amos Yee’s pro bono U.S. asylum attorney–http://immigrationcourtside.com/2017/03/29/update-on-singapore-asylum-grant-grossman-law-reports-that-amos-yee-remains-detained-in-wisconsin-pending-possible-dhs-appeal/ ]
Ms. Grossman, allow me to preface my remarks here with the following: I’m a fierce critic of Amos Yee for what he misrepresents. Here’s a link to a sample of what I’ve posted extensively about his shenanigans being passed off as ‘free speech’: https://lester978.wordpress.com/2017/03/02/the-trinity-of-fallacies-an-anatomy-of-the-amos-yee-asylum-debacle/
Notwithstanding the above, I’m obliged to write to commend you on one particular point but at the same time highlight several others for your due consideration:
1. I unreservedly commend you for the critical statement in your March 29 media update regarding the totally whimsical arbitrariness in the detention of asylees as practiced by the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) through its enforcement arm, ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement). Yes, on this score I am advocating Amos’ immediate release — not on his own recognizance though, rather, on bail because Amos cannot be taken at his word due to his past capiases in Singapore (with 2 of them for failure to appear as summoned). Holding an asylee indefinitely such as Amos, someone with no history of violence, would be unconscionable — a practice that is out of character with the American tradition of equity and fairness. Hence, if you are a true believer in Amos’ cause of ‘free speech’, you should be exercised enough to do the whole nine yards to file a writ of habeas corpus on his behalf before a district judge. Or better still, initiate a class action suit against DHS/ICE with Amos as the lead plaintiff. And that takes me to my next point, namely, of the very many genuinely deserving asylum-seekers, does Amos Yee per se merit such pro bono A-team treatment?
2. In one of my recent posts, the ‘Ten Reasons’, I listed in Reason 8, that as the poster boy of ‘free speech’ which Amos once dubbed himself, his cause has generated virtually zero, zilch, zippo, nada public sympathy/support both in America and at home … those who follow him not to cheer but to jeer him; the avalanche of negative online posts speaks volumes. https://lester978.wordpress.com/2017/03/29/ten-reasons-why-amos-yees-asylum-victory-will-be-short-lived/
3. The legal opinion of the Honorable Judge Cole to grant asylum to Amos is drawn from one of about 250 Immigration Judges appointed to the bench; Amos did luck out with a very liberal 6-month-old new judge. But as I see, the appeal process henceforth is stacked against him as explained in my post titled the ‘3 reasons’. https://lester978.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/3-reasons-why-judge-coles-ruling-of-asylum-for-amos-yee-will-be-overturned/
4. I congratulate you on your marvelous diligence in preparing for the asylum merit hearing on March 7 that exhausted some 7 hours of witness testimonies. Judge Cole, however, did note in his ruling, that the plaintiff (DHS) offered no rebuttal witness at all; in effect, you won by default. At the end of the appeal process though, if there was to be a ‘re-trial’, the DHS attorneys would have learnt and avoided their previous errors.
5. One thing for certain you can count on is that the Singapore Government will not take the obloquy of being labeled ‘persecutor’ of a teen malcontent lying down … read the short article in its entirety at this link: https://lester978.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/why-overturning-amos-asylum-ruling-is-a-life-death-matter/
6. And finally, Amos should be properly apprised of all his available options because crucial years of his young life are at stake. Ms. Melissa Chen, his so-called mentor, saw fit to delete this recent posting of mine on her Facebook (with link shown below) that touches on the hard facts confronting Amos. I trust as his attorney, you would duly advise him of not just the cheery prospects of the imminent DHS appeal against his asylum ruling, but also the downside of the pendency of the whole process. https://lester978.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/a-surreal-private-conversation-with-amos-yee/
Sincerely, Lester Kok April 13, 2017
April 14, 2017
Richard Tan Lester Kok I don’t quite understand your letter. Can you summarize it in simple English in one sentence please?