Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Shocking Mendacity

From the hearing officer of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EIOR), Leonard I. Shapiro, who granted Obama's aunt political asylum. Apparently the grant of asylum was not based on the laws governing such claims, as she was inelligible to file a third claim for asylum while under removal proceedings for two failed and fraudulent claims that were rejected by other more intelligent hearing officers.

The immigration judge [sic. Hearing Officer] who granted President Obama’s aunt asylum three months ago based his decision on the fact that an anonymous federal official had disclosed information about her immigration status to the media, a “reckless’’ act that exposed her to heightened threats of persecution in her native Kenya, according to the ruling, obtained yesterday by the Globe.
Interestingly enough, the Boston Globe has not released a copy of the decision and their reporter does not know much about immigration law as she gives another reason for the approval:

Shapiro agreed with Onyango’s assertion that she had been singled out for publicity and, unlike her relatives in Kenya, would be a “target.’’ He also outlined “serious interethnic conflict’’ that had consumed Kenya in recent years and resulted in hundreds of deaths. She belongs to the minority Luo ethnic group and said that she feared for her life if she had to return to Kenya.

The fear of future persecution base on membership in a group is a standard for asylum, but a violation of the Privacy Act of 1974 is not. There are measures in the Privacy Act for redress including criminal and civil penalties. None of which is relevant to her claim. And none of which are of concern to a Hearing Officer.

More importantly, her previous claims were exposed as fraudulent and even Shapiro acknowledged that.

In his ruling, Shapiro said Onyango’s testimony in February was sometimes confusing and inconsistent with what she said during her last quest for asylum six years ago. While Onyango did not prove that she suffered persecution while she lived in Kenya, he said he believed that her fear of future persecution was genuine.

But Shapiro's venture into criticizing the release of information that Obama's aunt was illegal was information that the public had a right to know, was without foundation. He is a Hearing Officer in an immigration proceeding, not a judge of any sort; not a federal magistrate judge or a District Court judge. Any leak of information should have had no bearing on his decision, which is fatally flawed in itself. Zeituni Onyango is not the only relative of Obama's from Kenya. He has dozens of close relatives, and the closest, his half-brother, lives openly and without problem in Kenya. He is, of course, of the same Luo tribe as Auntie Onyanga and just as well known and unmolested.

Worse yet is his finding that her claim of possible future persecution had credibility given that even Shapiro acknowledge that her previous statements in asylum proceedings had no credibility:
In his ruling, Shapiro said Onyango’s testimony in February was sometimes confusing and inconsistent with what she said during her last quest for asylum six years ago.

Of course, what confusing and inconsistent mean is that the statements had no credibility. And, since there was no real evidence present supporting her claim of possible future persecution, credibility is all she had to present and her past statements were not credible. In fact, her previous statements to the EOIR were lies, plain and simple. She lied to get asylum and she failed twice with those lies. No Hearing Officer of any intelligence would have accepted at face value any claim, not only after two sets of lies, but her repeating those obvious lies again.

Even more interesting was Shapiro's false claim that President Bush issued an order to stop arrests and deportations of all illegal aliens in response to the leak of Onyango's status, but, in fact, Bush was informed about Onyanga's status before it was leaked and the order issued before the leak. The leak was in response to the order, not the cause of the the order:
"The disclosure intentionally linked the Respondent's status as an asylum applicant with President Obama's presidential campaign, and the effect was to politicize confidential information about the Respondent which the United States government had no authority to release," Shapiro wrote. "The illegality and political ramifications of this breach were made apparent when, following the breach, President (George W.) Bush swiftly issued a directive requiring federal agents to obtain high-level approval before arresting fugitive immigrants."

More of Shapiro's decision are basically lies:

Shapiro found that because Onyango's identity and status were disclosed, she would be a target in Kenya not only for those who oppose the United States and Obama but for members of the Kenyan government "who oppose President Obama's politics and/or his ethnicity, which the Respondent shares."

Shapiro, however, said Onyango's relationship to Obama is distinct from her Kenyan family members' relationships to him because she has lived in the United States since 2000 and applied for U.S. asylum.

One of Onyango's Cleveland-based lawyers, Scott Bratton, said the asylum process is confidential, in part to protect people who may be sent back to their home countries. Leaking the information just before the election put Onyango at greater risk, he said.

"She is known to everybody now," he said. "She is known to have applied for asylum. She's been thrust into the spotlight, and because of that she has a fear of returning."

There is, of course, no evidence that her life here made her more of a target for anything in Kenya. It is just her unsubstantiated claim. As are all of Shapiro's findings based on such unsubstantiated claims. Claims from a person show to be a liar.

The Kenyan government actually celebrated Obama's election and organized trips for Obama relatives to the U.S. for the inauguration:
It also noted the Kenyan government celebrated Obama's election as president and sponsored a delegation of several family members to travel to the 2009 presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C.

In fact her relationship to Obama is a social benefit and any relationship with Obama is celebrated in Kenya:

In unison they began chanting in the Luo tongue: "Obama biro! Yao neyo," or "Obama is coming! Clear the way!"

As the government in Nairobi declared the day a public holiday in celebration, the people of Nyangoma Kogelo, a small village in the hills of western Kenya where Mr Obama's father grew up, were celebrating the ascension of their relative to the highest office in the world.

But the biggest lie is that Obama had no influence on this decision.

Bratton also said the president played no role.

"This wasn't a favor to the president," he said. "The president wasn't involved in this case at all. She went through the asylum process just like anybody else would, and the case was granted."

She did not go through the asylum process like anyone else. No alien is allowed to reopen a previous denied asylum case years afterward, after she had failed to follow the proper appeal process and while an abscondee. Only because of her relationship with Obama was she allowed to reopen her case. Only because Obama is President was such a worthless decision authored by Shapiro.

And, most importantly, only because Obama is President, has DHS failed to file an appeal of this decision. Such a baseless decision from a Hearing Officer would normally been appealed, but not this time. Auntie Zeni is free and only because of Obama.

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