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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Woman Maintains a New York Address for the Hearing

Will the family's immigration status in the United States ever be resolved?

On October 24, 2011, a woman applied to the US for asylum.  Six years later, on November 21, 2017 the court at last schedule a day to hear that application.   Her husband and their 4 year old daughter, born in the USA, came with her to court in support.

(Not until attaining the age of 21 can a child born in the USA be a sponsor for immigrant parents.)

This asylum application rests upon an inhuman family planning law of coercive population control enforced through forced abortion, sterilization and other extreme measures.

At the age of 23 the woman lost her first child to an abortion because, being unmarried, she couldn't get a birth permit.  She was in school and the father of that child did not want to get married until after graduation.
She had told her professor she would need time off to bear the child.  Her professor called a family planning officer.  By law she had 10 days to abort the pregnancy.  After 10 days of inaction the family planning officer brought police to the dorm to take her (by force) to the hospital where a ct scan confirmed two months pregnancy with a diagnosis of abortion. She had to pay by debit card ($135), after which doctors performed the abortion on her while she was under general sedation and released her later that day to return to her dorm.  10 days later she received a fine ($450) for not voluntarily undergoing the abortion.  The incident became part of her record.

That was November 16, 2009.  Her belief in her right to have a child formed a political opinion that put her in an adversarial position to the political opinions of her native land, and her forced abortion violated the torture convention. Fearing further persecution, she turned to the United States for asylum.

July 2010 marked her graduation from Northeast Agricultural University.  Around that time she met her future husband, a different man from the father of her lost child, who arrived in Detroit on August 24, 2010.

She came to Chicago on November 19, 2010 then to Providence Rhode Island with her future husband to attend Johnson and Wales University. They married there July 26, 2011 and within the year of her arrival, as required for asylum applications, she made the application on October 24th, 2011, from her address in Flushing, Queens.  Included therein was her expectation of future persecution if she returned to her country

Her daughter was born, in hospital in Providence Rhode Island, on May 20th, 2013

Her hearing dates were September 9, 2013, March 19th, 2015, May 20th, 2016, then November of 2018 but the court rescheduled for sooner, for today, November 21st, 2017.

Part of the delay was from the presidential instituting of a program accelerating consideration for the removal status of children and criminals.  This program displaced the scheduled hearings for political asylum which had to wait a few years.

On November 21, 2017 the court had overbooked hearings... there was a 1:00 PM hearing scheduled to run until 2, to be followed by our 1:30 hearing scheduled to run until 2:30, and the 10:30 hearing which I saw was scheduled for 11:30, was still continuing into the afternoon.

There had been a break for lunch so at 1:00 the doors opened and I discouraged the request that we  adjourn.  The husband and child of the applicant had also come to attend the hearing and it would be so good for them, and for the entire nation, to put this status of uncertainty to rest.

The US attorneys were speaking with me in the hall, always asking if there was anything else I wanted to tell them.  They certainly had things to tell me but would do so before the judge in the form of a motion to change venue rather than address the application with all the information before them.

My only frame of reference is Pilate sending Jesus to Herod during the trial segment of the 1970's rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar.  Pilate's decision was also based upon residence -- although the case ultimately came back to him for its dramatic conclusion.

Throughout the 6 years of this pending application, the woman maintained a Queens, New York address.  In 2015 she moved to live with friends in Fresh Meadows, Queens where she paid rent in cash.  During that time, her husband maintained an address in Providence Rhode Island and on May 20th, 2013, their daughter was born in a Providence Rhode Island hospital.

Rather than conduct the hearing, the US attorneys made a motion to change venue, relieving Federal Southern District of the burden of this matter by transferring its burden to the Federal district of a Boston Court location.

After extensive questioning of the applicant the judge granted the US attorneys' motion.  There are so many cases in New York. Why entertain a case ready to be resolved here, when it can be sent to another venue?  Overwhelmed by the volume of applications, was it a good use of time to cause one to continue pending?

We await a master hearing date to schedule an individual hearing in Boston.

I also learned today about the Real ID Act, which identifies the documents that States must require to issue a driver's license.  I will let you know when I find out how it applies here since the woman did not have a driver's license.

Do you think the court should have considered the application rather than send it to another venue?

The family's status remains in limbo.

And THE MASTER HEARING DATE in Boston, at the JFK Building, Room 320, at which the Immigration court will schedule an individual hearing is...
January 14th, 2020.