Amos Yee won’t be affected by Trump’s executive order barring refugees
His lawyer said he has the right to due process in the US.
Amos Yee, the 18-year-old teenager who ran away from Singapore to seek political asylum in the United States, will remain largely unaffected by President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders aimed at temporarily barring refugees and increased detention for asylum seekers.
According to The Straits Times, Yee’s lawyer, Sandra Grossman, said Trump’s executive order would at most indirectly affect the Singaporean’s asylum-seeking bid.
The South China Morning Post reported that Yee’s asylum bid could be “encumbered” by Trump’s immigration order.
This is so as increased detention for asylum seekers would just require more resources to be dedicated to his case, which looks to be progressing.
Yee’s lawyer appeared in person before the Immigration Court judge during a 10-minute hearing on Monday, Jan. 30.
Yee appeared via video conference from the jail. His application for political asylum in the United States has been accepted.
A date for a full hearing has been set on March 7, where the case could be decided on the basis of that hearing itself.
Yee’s case could take weeks or years
Yee can be released from detention if he is granted parole in the meantime. But if he is released, his hearing date will be delayed and it could take years for the asylum process to complete.
In the meantime, he is still being held at the McHenry County Adult Correctional Facility in Woodstock, Illinois.
SCMP reported that Yee has served two jail stints in Singapore — 53 days in 2015 and three weeks in 2016, both times for wounding the religious feelings of Christians and Muslims in Singapore.
If he stays detained until March, he would have been held in detention in the US longer than he had been jailed in Singapore previously.
But not as if there is a downside to that.
According to ST, Grossman said:
“But Amos Yee is in a much better position than those outside the country because he is here and as such has the right to due process.”
Grossman also said Yee is doing well and looking forward to rebuilding his life in the US upon his release.
Yee arrived in the US on a tourist visa, landing at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Dec. 16.
He was detained after he claimed to be an asylum seeker.