Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Federal appeals court allows ethnic Korean from China to stay in US

The New York Times tells the story of Jinyu Kang, a woman who feared torture if she returned to China, because she had been helping North Korean refugees in the PRC:
Saying that government lawyers let their zeal for victory in a deportation case outweigh their responsibility to be fair, a federal appeals court last week ordered the United States to provide a haven for a woman facing the likelihood of torture in China.

The woman, Jinyu Kang, an ethnic Korean citizen of China who now lives in New York, had fled a Chinese arrest warrant for giving food and shelter to Korean refugees. Others named in the same warrant and caught by the Chinese police had described beatings, suffocation, electric shocks, sleep deprivation and other forms of torture to get them to disclose details about the human rights group to which they all belonged.

“It is disappointing, even shocking, that the government fails to acknowledge that the evidence is not only strongly in Kang’s favor, but, indeed, compels the conclusion that she will likely be tortured,” said the decision, issued by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which covers Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the United States Virgin Islands.

The decision details “the horrific experiences” suffered by members of the group, and cites testimony that Ms. Kang’s son, who is still in China, was also tortured by the police during interrogation about his mother’s whereabouts. (Ms. Kang declined to talk about the case with a reporter through her lawyer, Man C. Yam.)
When I hear of stories like this, it makes me wonder what is behind the thinking or apparent cruelty of the bureaucrats or lawyers involved. Do they simply not believe Ms Kang? Do they not realize the seriousness of her plight? Do they wish to avoid having the US turn into a safe haven for more such people? Do they simply not care about the people whose lives they are so adversely affecting (ditto here)? The article presents other bewildering examples that will have you scratching your head.

At any rate, good on the Court of Appeals for figuring this out. I hope the government lets it go.

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1 comment:

  1. Bad apples ruin it for everyone. I sometimes read and comment on an international forum, and from time to time, people will post questions like, "I just got approved for asylum, but I'm not allowed to visit my home country, so if I marry a US citizen, can I get a green card?" People seeking to obtain US residency and a path to citizenship under false pretenses make it more difficult for legitimate applicants. I'm very glad to hear Ms. Kang won her case. That is what the appeals process is for.

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