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Jason Dzubow on Political Asylum

Yours Truly on NPR

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As the new Immigration Bill heads from the committee to the full
Senate, NPR turned for comment to a brilliant and seasoned asylum
lawyer. Unfortunately, he wasn't available, so they called me.


NPR listeners hear me explain the finer points of asylum law.



Yes, your humble blogger debuted earlier this week on the NPR show Talk of the Nation.
This was my first ever appearance on radio (though sometime in the
mid-1980s, I did appear on a local TV talk show as an example of a kid
who did not kill himself as a result of ****eons & Dragons).

While I am used to talking to judges, appearing on radio before a
live audience is quite terrifying. I assumed that I would fall into the
fetal position and cry for my mommy. But it was not to be. In fact, I
thought the interview went pretty well (you can hear it or read the
transcript here).

The title of the show was "Who Gets Asylum, Who Doesn't and How that
May Change." I was the only guest to appear in-studio, with host Ari
Shapiro. Other guests were Dan Stein of the restrictionist group FAIR
(which wits on the Left have dubbed "un-FAIR" - we need better wits) and
NPR Congressional Correspondent David Welna.

In the space of about 30 minutes, I managed to insult the governments
of Pakistan, China, Eritrea, Cuba, Indonesia, Serbia, and possibly
Mexico. I also (hopefully) made a decent argument for why the one-year asylum bar
should be eliminated (the current version of the Bill would eliminate
the bar). I tried to give many examples of asylum seekers who had been
persecuted and who were worthy of protection (hence the need to insult
numerous governments). And I hopefully made the case for preserving and
strengthening the asylum system.

Although I enjoyed my experience at NPR, I can't say I am
particularly optimistic that the current Bill will make it into law. The
most important aspects of the Bill are not related to asylum seekers,
but the main provision related to asylum-elimination of the one year
filing deadline-is important to many people, and thousands of legitimate
refugees would benefit if the bar were removed.

We'll see what happens in the coming weeks. At least one senator
predicts that the Bill will pass the Senate with 70 votes prior to July
4th. I hope he is right, but even if he is, the Bill still has to get
through the Republican-controlled House. To me, it seems like an up-hill
battle. But it is definitely a battle worth fighting.

Originally posted on the Asylumist: www.Asylumist.com.

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Updated 07-16-2013 at 01:20 PM by JDzubow

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