An Unusual Opinion

I came across this article the other day and was a little shocked at the outcome. I felt that the dissenting judge had it right when it was stated that, “The danger to Mrs. Demiraj and her son lies in being a Demiraj, and any rational reading of asylum law would provide them protection.” Again, another example of how our convoluted immigration law creates unfair and unjust results.  We can only hope the Supreme Court disagrees with ruling much as I do. Here is the text of the article from the New York Times: Edmond Demiraj is trapped. An Albanian gangster, Bill Bedini, wants to kill him and harm his family. The United States wants to deport Mr. Demiraj’s wife and teenage son from Texas to Albania, where they will no doubt be in great danger from Mr. Bedini. Mr. Demiraj keeps pleading with the federal authorities for help, and keeps losing. The trouble started a decade ago, after Mr. Demiraj agreed to be a witness against Mr. Bedini in a human-smuggling case. Mr. Demiraj, then an illegal immigrant, thought he had a deal: testify for the government in return for its protection. But Mr. Bedini fled to Albania. The government decided it had no further use for Mr. Demiraj and deported him to Albania, where Mr. Bedini tracked him down, shot him and left him for dead. Mr. Bedini also kidnapped three of Mr. Demiraj’s nieces to force them into sexual slavery. Mr. Demiraj survived the shooting, and he and his nieces escaped to the United States. The nieces won asylum, and Mr. Demiraj was granted “withholding of removal,” which means he will not be deported. But Mr. Demiraj’s protection does not extend to his wife and son. There have been inconsistent asylum decisions before, but this one is especially awful. It involves the same family, the same persecutor, the same facts agreed upon by all sides. But an immigration judge, the Board of Immigration Appeals and two federal appeals court judges in New Orleans say Mr. Demiraj’s wife and son have not shown, as asylum law requires, that they are being persecuted because they belong to a particular social group. In this case, the social group is the Demiraj family, of which wife and son are obviously members. But the judges and the board have ruled that Mr. Bedini is persecuting them not because they belong to that group but because of his particular hatred for Mr. Demiraj. “Mrs. Demiraj is at risk because Bedini seeks to hurt Mr. Demiraj by hurting her — not because he has a generalized desire to hurt the Demiraj family as such,” the court wrote in a 2-to-1 ruling. That distorts both law and logic.