July 10, 2013

Ch-ch-ch-ch-chestions: "After FBI probes, questions on granting of asylum"

The Boston Globe finally gets around to asking the question that has been ignored for months: Why in the world were these crazy Chechen dudes legally in the U.S.? 

A few politicians such as Rand Paul had raised the issue, but Sen. Paul's impertinent skepticism was slapped down by New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, who explained, showing his deep knowledge of the technicalities of the Constitution and of immigration law:
The ethnically Chechen Tsarnaevs came here from neighboring Dagestan. And when did the United States start excluding immigrants from dangerous places? Seems to me that they fall into the categories of “huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” not to mention “wretched refuse” of teeming shores and the “homeless, tempest-tossed.” 

As we all know, those famous phrases are in the Zeroth Amendment, which supersedes all the rest of the Constitution.

Anyway, the Boston Globe looks into the various Chechens' grants of asylum:
After FBI probes, questions on granting of asylum 
By Maria Sacchetti |  GLOBE STAFF     JULY 05, 2013 
Ibragim Todashev told federal immigration officials he feared persecution in his native Russia and needed safe harbor in the United States. He won asylum in 2008, then a green card. Then, relatives said, Todashev made plans to return to the country he’d fled. 
Before he could follow through on those plans, the 27-year-old was shot and killed in Orlando on May 22 by an FBI agent investigating the Boston Marathon bombings.

Are we ever going to be allowed to hear more about that?
But Todashev’s willingness to return to a place he said he feared is raising new questions about his asylum claim, and focusing new attention on the asylum case of his friend, suspected Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. 
“I haven’t seen any justification for the granting of asylum to any of them, to be honest,” said Mark Kramer, director of the Cold War Studies program at Harvard, who is not involved in either case. “I am baffled because I’ve known of others who applied and been turned down in cases that seemed to me far more deserving than these.” 
Federal immigration officials say they cannot discuss the cases because asylum claims are generally confidential to protect applicants, who might be victims of war, rape, or other atrocities. But critics say the law also protects people who concoct stories to win asylum and eventually, US citizenship.

Thousands of foreigners seek asylum every year in the United States. According to federal law, to be granted asylum, they must fear persecution in their homeland based on their political opinion, race, religion, nationality,or membership in a particular social group, such as people who are gay or lesbian. 
Federal officials can revoke asylum for reasons that include if immigrants voluntarily return to the homeland they feared, but revocations are rare. Since 1994, immigration officials have rescinded 1,582 asylum grants, less than 1 percent of roughly 300,000 granted during that time. ...
Todashev and the Tsarnaevs were ethnic Chechens, and in the past, the US government has granted asylum to Chechens who fled two brutal civil wars that started in 1994, when Russian troops clamped down on an uprising of Islamic separatists in Chechnya, a semiautonomous region in southern Russia. 
But Todashev’s father, Abdulbaki, has told the Globe that his son had no reason to fear persecution in Chechnya. He said his family fled the fighting in Chechnya but returned home five or six years ago. Now he is a department head in the local government.
Ramzan Kadyrov & friends

So, the elder Todashev reports to the mayor of Grozny, who reports to Ramzan Kadyrov, who reports to Vladimir Putin. That's kind of like the son of Rahm Emanuel's Commissioner of Streets and Sanitation in Chicago applying for asylum in Switzerland because he wants to work on his slalom skills and is afraid that if Rahm ever loses re-election, his dad's career will be at risk.

The Todashevs and Tsarnaevs were on the winning side in the Chechen troubles.
“He was too young to fight in the war, and he has nothing to fear here now,” Todashev said. “He would have faced no oppression here.” 
His father said Ibragim left for America in 2008 on an exchange visa to study English. Abdulbaki Todashev also obtained a visa in 2006 but never used it, a federal official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. 
On May 22, a Boston FBI agent shot and killed Ibragim Todashev, who had two prior arrests for violent attacks, after he allegedly initiated a violent confrontation during an interrogation. His family and friends dispute that account and called for an independent investigation. 
Todashev’s father said his son, who recently received a green card, was planning to come home to visit his family. He was the oldest of 12 children.

By his polygamous father's two wives.
The case of the Tsarnaev family is more complex. Friends and relatives say Anzor Tsarnaev, the father of the suspected Marathon bombers, suffered effects from persecution, though it remains unclear what those effects are. 
His son Tamerlan, 26, died after a shoot-out with police in Watertown, and his other son Dzhokhar, 19, remains in federal custody. 
Relatives said Anzor Tsarnaev came to America in April 2002 and won political asylum, which also likely covered his wife and children. The country he feared persecution in is Kyrgyzstan, the former Soviet republic where he was born, according to a federal official who spoke on condition of anonymity. 
Maret Tsarnaeva, Anzor Tsarnaev’s sister, told the Wall Street Journal that Tsarnaev was fired from his job in the prosecutor’s office in Kyrgyzstan after the second war erupted in Chechnya. She said he suffered persecution in Kyrgyzstan because he was Chechen, and that she helped write his application for asylum. 
“We were lucky to take him out of Kyrgyzstan alive,” Tsarnaeva, who lives in Canada, said in an interview broadcast online after the bombings. She did not elaborate and did not respond to messages left on her cellphone. 
Representatives at the Kyrgyz Embassy in Washington declined to comment but said they would look into reports that Anzor Tsarnaev suffered persecution there. 
About a year ago, according to media reports, Tsarnaev moved to Dagestan, the southern Russia home of his former wife, though researchers say the fighting is now more intense than when he came to America. His former wife, Zubiedat, also returned home, and their son Tamerlan, visited last year. 
Former neighbors in Kyrgyzstan told reporters that Anzor Tsarnaev also visited his hometown of Tokmok in the past year, a decade after he sought asylum.
Anzor Tsarnaev had suffered health problems and divorced in 2011. But one former neighbor said Tsarnaev seemed content. 
“He was very happy and proud of his sons’ success in the US,” Badrudi Tsokoev, a former neighbor told the Associated Press, describing Tsarnaev’s visit. “We also were happy for him.” 
David Filipov contributed to this story. Maria Sacchetti can be reached at msacchetti@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @mariasacchetti.

But this ignores Uncle Ruslan's role in his nephews coming to the U.S. From a June 6th article by Philip Martin of WGBH summarizing a two hour interview with Uncle Ruslan Tsarni, the D.C. area lawyer and international energy industry wheeler-dealer:
At the end of World War II, the Tsarnaevs were forcibly relocated from Chechnya to the Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan. 
As a trained lawyer, Ruslan moved to the U.S. in 1995, living in Washington state. By the end of the '90s, he moved back to Kyrgyzstan. 
Meanwhile, his brother and sister-in-law, Anzor Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, were living hours away with their four children, including Tamerlan and Dzhokhar. 
When Anzor and his wife fled to the U.S. in 2002, they brought with them just one child, young Dzhokhar. Once here, they applied for political asylum. Tamerlan stayed behind with his uncle Ruslan, who told me Tamerlan was a "wonderful 14-year-old." 
In 2003, Ruslan helped arrange for passports for Tamerlan and his two sisters to rejoin their family who, by then, were living in Cambridge. 

Unmentioned is that Uncle Ruslan used to be married to former CIA insider Graham Fuller's daughter. The possibility that Uncle Ruslan pulled some deep state strings to get his brother's family asylum seems worth investigating, but, you know, that stuff's secret so we're not supposed to learn about it.


Anonymous said...

Surly Maitre d': Why are you here? And why would you bring a pressure cooker to a restaurant?

Track Suit Guy: Do you have any idea who I am (produces a copy of the NYT and angrily points to Rosenthal's article)... I'm wretched refuse

Shaken Maitre d': (turns ashen) Forgive me, Mr. Refuse, I, I, I dddddidn't recognize you.Right this way, sir.... Garcon, fetch our honored guest a magnum of Armand De Brignac!!! It's on the house, sir. My apologies, once again.

-The Judean People's Front

countenance said...

A few politicians such as Rand Paul had raised the issue

The same Rand Paul who wants to swing our borders wide open otherwise.

As we all know, those famous phrases are in the Zeroth Amendment, which supersedes all the rest of the Constitution.

Zing! A French firm is working on an algorithm to detect snark and verbal irony. Now, I consider myself the snarkiest bastard on the internets (and I'm looking forward to the glorious day soon when I see "Blog - Countenance" on Steve Sailer's blogroll), but I just might have to cede my title to thee if you keep this up. That French firm could get plenty of practice by reading Sailer.

FredR said...

It seems pretty clear that there's a very big error rate in our asylum process, mostly on the side of letting in people who don't actually have reason to fear persecution back home. This New Yorker article indicated that its pretty common to make up a story that an immigration court then finds convincing: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/08/01/110801fa_fact_mehta

FredR said...

I guess my point is it doesn't seem like there needs to have been any hanky-panky for a few undeserving applicants to get asylum.

Matra said...

This New Yorker article indicated that its pretty common to make up a story that an immigration court then finds convincing

That must be the case in France too as they've given political asylum to the pro-Pussy Riot FEMEN protester who sawed down that wooden cross in Kiev.


Anonymous said...


And this is why liberals in MSM use stuff like gay rally to make everyone feel and think as one.

Anonymous said...

The default presumption ought to be that asylum claimants in first-world countries aren't legitimate asylees. (This is entirely aside from the question of what responsibility we have in the first place for cleaning up after other countries' civil wars, excessive fertility rates, institutional dysfunction, etc.)

If you're escaping genuine persecution, then you shouldn't mind applying for asylum in a poor or middle-income country, particularly one in your own neck of the woods.

Why did these people go to America rather than one of the other half-dozen 'stans? Because they could get away with it.

Anonymous said...

Tuesday an immigration judge in El Paso granted political asylum to a Mexican citizen whose family members had been killed by extortionist working for criminl gangs in Juarez, MX.


The story states, "While Mexicans have been granted asylum before, this case is unusual because the local court also considered extortion with the threat of violence — referred to as extortion-plus — as grounds for relief under the law, an unusual step that could pave the way for others in similar circumstances in cities throughout the U.S."

In Mexico, extortion without the threat of violence, well, just aint extortion.

Anonymous said...

The asylum system, like the entire immigration system itself, is completely corrupted. ADjudicators are rated, and their jobs therefore depend, upon completing cases. Approving a case can take as little as 20m. Denying a case requires at least 1hr and that's for a simple denial. Denials musr also be signed off by a sup. Plus you must be able to write coherently, which already excludes probably 15pc. of the officer corps. There is absolutely no benefit, no attaboy, no reward,for uncovering fraud or denying cases. Only hassles and bad ratings. It is strictly a numbers game, and there are very few of us who refuse to play it. I don't think anybody who has not worked for INS/DHS could even begin to fathom how horrribly, horribly rotten the system is, no matter which party controls the WH. apologies spelling i'm on tablet.

Anonymous said...

And it's fixing to get a whole lot worse now that we gotta make way for the Homo Superior....

PC Makes You Stupid said...

Rosenthal knows it's not about money or votes.

Why do you block comments against genocide?

hbd chick said...

"In 2011 Murder Inquiry, Hints of Missed Chance to Avert Boston Bombing"

"It was the most brazen crime in the memory of this Boston suburb: three men murdered with knife slashes to their throats in a second-floor apartment at 12 Harding Avenue; each corpse precisely positioned, stomach down, head turned a quarter to the right, marijuana sprinkled on top....

"In the immediate aftermath of the murders, investigators theorized that the killings had been the work of professionals, based on the savageness of the attacks on the three victims, at least two of whom were adept at martial arts, and the lack of evidence at the scene. One early theory was that the assailants might have been part of a “cartel” that felt betrayed by one of the men, according to two law enforcement officials. They said that at least two people had been at the apartment near the time of the deaths, that the killers most likely knew their victims, and that the homicides were not random."

Pat Boyle said...

Look to Science Fiction movies to understand this and many other phenomena.

When the UFOs arrive, where do they land? If they are here only for anal probes, they prefer to land in the American Midwest. But if they want to meet Earth's government they land in either New York or Washington.

In the fifties they favored Washington but since the UN is nominally the site of world government they often land in New York.

The real site of world government is Washington DC. Look at it another way if you were a small nation with a limited budget where would you spend your funds so as to get the most bang for the buck? Would you fund a big UN delegation or a lobbying effort on Capitol Hill?

The president and the Congress are the de facto world rulers. Since we are a democracy that means that American citizens bear some of the responsibility to run the planet. But we are sorely lacking in our understanding of much of anything outside our shores.

We worry about a race riot after the Zimmerman verdict. If there is such a riot it will kill maybe ten people. Yet the recent Osh race riot may have killed 1,000 people and not one in a million Americans has ever heard of it.

The problem with the Tsarnaevs is that they are part of a struggle that involves Uzbeks and Kyrgyzs and Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. Damn few Americans can even spell these names much less speak knowledgeably about their various political issues.

Yet as the leader of all earth's peoples that is just what's required of us.

I have no solution for this problem. I think we will continue to bumble along making bad judgments based on one part crude analogies and three parts blind ignorance.

Or maybe it's just another question for public education. When we find those Supermen teachers, they can lecture on the various ethnic divisions among the Turkic peoples.


Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

The default presumption ought to be that asylum claimants in first-world countries aren't legitimate asylees."

I would go further. The default presumption ought to be that we do not accept asylees.

NOTA said...

Mr Anon:

At least, it's hard to see how we could be the most reasonable destination for refugees from Chechniya. Cuba, Haiti, or El Salvador--that's at least plausible, since we're a nearby country. But refugees coming here from Chechniya have to cross a dozen other countries, any of which could offer them asylum. What's wrong with applying for asylum in France or Austria or Turkey or Iran or Pakistan? We're ontp the other side of the damn globe from Chechniya, we have no particular cultural or historic ties to it, etc.