Singaporean Teen Blogger Amos Yee Granted Asylum, Released from ICE Detention

Singaporean Teen Blogger Amos Yee Granted Asylum, Released from ICE Detention

Sophia Tareen, Associated Press, Sept. 26, 2017 - "A teenage blogger from Singapore was released from U.S. custody on Tuesday following an immigration appeals court's decision to uphold his bid for asylum. Amos Yee, whose online posts mocking and criticizing the Singapore government twice landed him in jail there, left his homeland in December with the intention of seeking U.S. asylum. But federal immigration agents detained the 18-year-old at O'Hare International Airport and he had been behind bars since. Carrying a clear plastic bag stuffed with his belongings, Yee emerged Tuesday afternoon from a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in downtown Chicago. "I'm kind of stunned right now," he said. "It's very surreal." Hours earlier his attorneys received notification of a Board of Immigration Appeals decision upholding a Chicago immigration judge's March ruling that Yee had a "well-founded fear" of being persecuted upon return to Singapore. The board determined the Chicago judge correctly relied on expert and witness testimony in asylum proceedings earlier this year. U.S. Department of Homeland Security attorneys opposed Yee's asylum bid. With asylum status, Yee will be eligible to apply for a green card in a year, attorneys said. "We welcome the board's decision and we welcome it because it's a decision that's grounded in law and in fact," said Yee attorney Sandra Grossman. "He was persecuted because of political beliefs." ... Yee has been outspoken from a young age, winning a local filmmaking prize at age 13."I'll continue leading life as usual," Yee said Tuesday. "I have plans for more videos, much of it criticizing the Singapore government, but I think maybe I broaden my work to U.S. politics too, since I'm here.""

[Hats off to attorney (and Bender's Immigration Bulletin Editorial Board member) Sandra Grossman!]