Amos Yee, the 18-year-old teenager who ran away from Singapore to seek political asylum in the United States, looks set to be spending a few more months in jail over there.
Yee shared this revelation in a Facebook post on Feb. 22, pinpointing the blame on President Donald Trump's recent executive order barring refugees from entering the country:
Yee wrote that due to the interpretation of Trump's executive order, it meant that he will be detained for a few more months until his "entire asylum process in court has completed its course":
However, due to the recent executive orders issued by Donald J. Trump against migrants, the higher-ups in Department of Homeland Security have broadly interpreted Trump's orders to mean issuing actions that stop any migrants from being able to go out of jail (on bail or parole) until the entire asylum process in court has completed its course (even if these refugees are escaping oppressive anti-free speech laws from tyrannical dictatorships) to prevent "exploitation of the system." Which means unlike what the immigration officers have promised, I won't be able to get out of American jail until my entire asylum process has concluded, which will take a couple more months. News of this have been sent to my lawyer Sandra Grossman a few days ago.
He claimed that he was initially told by immigration officers that he will be able to get out of jail on parole after his first court hearing on Jan. 30, 2017.
This latest post comes at a time when the US is grappling with a new presidential administration that is making it more difficult for immigrants to enter the country.
In a Facebook post published a month earlier on Jan. 22, Yee ranted that he will be kept in detention in the US longer than he was jailed in Singapore as the court took its time deciding on his case.
He has called on his supporters to voice out on his behalf, to call attention to the immigration policy to expedite his release.
If Yee fails in his political asylum bid, he faces the prospect of being deported from Donald Trump’s America.
He is currently still detained in the McHenry County Adult Correctional Facility in Woodstock, Illinois.
Yee reportedly sought political asylum on Dec. 16, 2016, after he landed at O’Hare Airport in Chicago.
This was after he served two prison terms in Singapore for wounding religious feelings.
In July 2015, Yee was sentenced to four weeks’ jail after he pleaded guilty to six charges for wounding the religious feelings of Christians and Muslims.
In late September 2016, Yee was again sentenced to six weeks’ jail for the same offence.
Yee told Reuters in an interview late December when he was already detained that he wanted to live in Illinois and has no plans to return to Singapore to be part of National Service. He has not contacted the Singapore government.
Melissa Chen, a Singaporean human rights activist who is now a legal permanent resident of the US, had helped Yee go to the US and has corresponded with the public on his behalf via the teenager's Facebook page.
Yee’s latest call for donations to help him relocate to the US, however, appears to be falling on deaf ears, as he has only managed to raise about a quarter of his $10,000 target.
In total, Yee was previously jailed for a combined total of 50 days in Singapore.
It was previously thought that Trump's executive order barring refugees would not have much of an impact on Yee.
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