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Jason Dzubow on Political Asylum

American Citizens Seek Asylum in Great Britain

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We usually think of the United States as a country where people fleeing persecution come to seek asylum.  But sometimes, American citizens flee their country in search of safety elsewhere. 

The British Daily Mail reports that five Americans currently have asylum cases pending in the UK.  The cases came to light earlier this month when a whistleblower, Rory Clarke of the National Asylum Support Service, made the information public.  According to Mr. Clark, the Americans are in Great Britain to take advantage of the posh benefits available to asylum seekers.  These benefits include free housing and healthcare, and £35 per week.  In some cases, asylum seekers can receive benefits for years before their claims are rejected.  Mr. Clarke says that he was so shocked by this abuse of the system that he resigned his job.


Asylum Seekers in the UK enjoy government-sponsored meals and accommodation.

The five Americans are not the only U.S. citizens to seek asylum abroad.  The Guardian reports that between 2004 and 2008, 45 Americans (and 15 Canadians) filed for asylum in the UK.  All 60 cases were rejected.

The basis for most claims was not revealed.  However, a US government source said the American applications were most likely submitted by self-declared "political refugees" claiming they faced discrimination under the administration of President Bush.  An on-line posting by an alleged American refugee claimed that he was seeking sanctuary in Scotland because he had been "persecuted as a political dissident against US government war-mongering."

According to the Guardian:

A small number of Americans have successfully claimed asylum abroad over the past few decades. In 1997 the Netherlands granted asylum to Holly Ann Collins, together with her three children, when they claimed to be fleeing domestic abuse. The family had spent three years living in four different Dutch refugee camps before their application was approved [she returned to the U.S. in 2008 where she CiU1OiPiiUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU" target="_blank">pled guilty to contempt of court].  In June 2008 Texan mother Chere Tomayko and her two daughters were granted asylum in Costa Rica, also on the grounds of abuse.

There also have been cases recently of Americans seeking asylum in Canada in order to avoid service in Iraq and Afghanistan.  In fact, there is a website devoted to war resisters in Canada.

While the idea of U.S. citizens seeking asylum abroad seems a bit suspect, I suppose I agree with Donna Covey, the chief executive of the Refugee Council in the UK, who says: "No country is safe for every person all of the time. Those with a genuine need for protection, whatever country they are from, should have the right to claim asylum in a place of safety."

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  1. Jennifer Collins's Avatar
    My name is Jennifer Collins. I am the daughter of the woman you mentioned in the article, American Citizens Seek Asylum in Great Britain. My mother, Holly Collins was the first American to be granted asylum in another country.

    I don't know how it works in Great Britain but we certainly didn't have a "posh" stay in the Netherlands refugee camps. I vividly remember being hungry and embarrassed that my shoes had holes in them and that my mom had to wash out our few pairs of socks and underwear in the bathroom sink. She worked hard scrubbing floors and toilets for 50 cents and hour to feed us.

    It is important to remember that we were granted asylum because my father was dangerous and had vowed to murder my mother, my brothers and me. He testified that he strangled us kids and broke my mother's nose several times. He attacked her with a knife and fractured my 4 years old brother's skull in a drunken tirade. Yet the local family court felt that my mother's fear of my father was interfering in his relationship with his children.

    We lived in anonymity for 14 years until we were found by the FBI. It is important to mention that the United States dropped all federal criminal kidnapping charges against my mother. She refused to apologize to a egotistical county judge who was out for revenge and voluntarily plead guilty to one count of contempt of court as noted in the court records: "I admit to having contempt for the court which failed to protect my children."

    We are still residing in the Netherlands and will be eternally grateful for grating us asylum despite our privileged American nationality.

    All children have the right to be safe!

    Kind Regards,
    Jennifer Collins
  2. Jason Dzubow's Avatar
    Jennifer Collins has a blog about her experience as a refugee in the Netherlands. It is definitely worth a look--
  3. Anonymous's Avatar
    "It is important to mention that the United States dropped all federal criminal kidnapping charges against my mother."

    Jason, It is important to mention in addition to the above: "According to the Minneapolis City Pages, which has published numerous articles sympathetic to Holly Collins, in 2008, the "felony kidnapping charges were dropped in exchange for Holly Collins pleading to a lesser charge...She was sentenced to unsupervised probation for one year, or until she completes 40 hours of community service, which she plans to serve in the Netherlands." In other words, she cut a plea deal but Jennifer forgot to mention that. Jennifer's blog is full of her repeating lots of lurid claims (repeateding the same things over and over again), releasing portions of documents that support them, but blocking out portions of the document that would harm her claims and not just sensitive info like birthdates and social security numbers.

    Notice the play on words how Jennifer likes to use the term "it is important." Jennifer LIKES being important. Jennifer's mother also likes being important. Not only has Holly's children been victims of Holly's first ex-husband, but also her second ex-husband in addition to all the courts, and other relatives and neighbor's of Holly, also not believing their claims of abuse. Holly wasn't a helpless victim. She had extensive experience and knowledge of the legal system.

    In this particular asylum case, after Holly fled two allegedly violent ex-husbands, she continued to adopt and have more children in the Netherlands while on public assistance.

    Ponder that for a moment: If someone truly is a victim, wouldn't it behoove them to focus on their children and getting their life back together? Wouldn't it be safer to NOT bring more children into an already stressed family?

    Holly now basks in the limelight of her cult of children, adopted and by birth, from three men who now parade her around like a celebrity and attack their former American fathers digging up as much info as they can.

    Is America a country that railroads abused mothers and grants preferential custody to fathers? Er, no. The VAWA act is literally named in such a manner that it applies to women only. There are few if any shelters for abused men. Mothers get custody of children most of the time. This goes back even to the Kramer VS Kramer days. In order for a woman to lose custody of her kids (hello Brittany Spears!), she has to either be really off of her rocker OR a severe miscarriage of justice has to occur.

    Holly claims the latter happened TWICE over several years in addition to ALL the testimony that contradicted her including her own mother!

    Jennifer or Holly (it's possible that Holly writes under her children's names) probably follows this thread, like most she comments on, religiously and will accuse me of being one of her relatives. That is not the case. I'm just a guy who read about this case a few years ago and marveled at how I dodged a bullet by not sleeping with a girl without a condom when I was younger. People accused me of being paranoid but these guys now have to live with these crazy Manson kids on their back for the rest of their lives. Other friends I have just had to pay child-support for children they aren't allowed to see which is probably what would have happened in these childrens' cases if their fathers hadn't put up a fight.

    Jason, it's good to put up a fight for a particular cause but there's a saying: charity begins at home. The two parent family in the states is under attack. Look at this case more closely if you're interested. It makes Sherlock Holmes and Forensic Files look boring by comparison.
  4. Jennifer Collins's Avatar
    It is noteworthy that when I make a comment I use my real name. This guy aka 'anonymous' is a coward. He say's himself "I'm just a guy who read about this case a few years ago". So how in the world can he claim to know what happened to me and my brother? It's humorous that he claims that I am not really me but my mother stealing her child's identity. Look at the news reels; that is me standing beside my mother, that is me speaking out in public and this is me who provided my personal email to this reporter.

    I have been very upfront with the details of our case. All kidnapping and parental abduction charges against my mother were dismissed. You can't be any clearer than that. We're not talking about parking tickets here. My mother was accused by my father and his supporters of 'kidnapping". It is important to mention that ALL kidnapping charges against my mother were dismissed. Yes, she plead guilty to one count of 'contempt of court' when she refused to write a written letter of apology to a narcissistic judge. I was there when she testified "I admit to having contempt for the court which failed to protect my children."

    There is no play on words here when I say that it is 'important to mention' and it certainly isn't because I like being important as Mr. Anonymous alleges. I was certainly not important at all to my father when I was a child or her never would have beat and kick me like he did.

    Now Mr. Anonymous is irritated that I keep "repeating lots of lurid claims, repeating the same things over and over again." Well... all I can do is keep saying what actually happened to me and my brother. We can't go inventing false allegations because one of my father's supporters is tired of hearing the same stories over and over again.

    This "stranger" personally finds that "Holly wasn't a helpless victim. She had extensive experience and knowledge of the legal system." How much knowledge can a 22 year old have about the system? For Mr. Anonymous (a supposed stranger who makes a point of mentioning his fear that I will accuse him of being one of my relatives) to invest so much time and interest into our case and trying to discredit a battered woman and abused children it is apparent to me that he has some sort of invested interest in silencing me and my brother.

    And despite everything we have been through we persevered. When we received asylum our mother couldn't forget the war orphans we met in the refugee centers and she vowed to take care of them as well. "Ponder over that for a moment" This is a testament to how kind hearted our mother Holly Collins really is.
  5. Danielle's Avatar
    I am an American who sought asylum in Sweden. The criticisms are harsh because people's memories are short and people are uneducated. American's and others in the world are mindless. Anyone remember the Church Report? It wasn't that long ago either. When you hear people like Michael German say that the police tactics have become greatly increased but doesn't provide any details...think Church Report on steroids. Remember Church Report was put out by government, something that would not happen today. You want to know the details of America persecution, come to my website, I provide details. The problem is all countries persecute its citizens. Another problem, America government and multinational corporations have friends in the world but not the America citizen who helps everyone but the favor is not reciprocated. Countries, especially countries of Europe will not point the finger and slap the hands of America and say wrong, no, human rights abuser. They just won't do it. So the America refugee/asylum seeker is hung out to dry to die. This is not a joke people, it is very real. America maybe good to some, but it is not good to all. Hitler didn't target everyone.
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