Singaporean Blogger Amos Lee Granted Asylum in the United States

Alexander J. Segal's picture

On September 26, 2017, Sophia Tareen of the Associated Press reported that the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) had upheld a decision granting asylum in the United States to Amos Yee, a teenage blogger and a national and citizen of Singapore [link].1

The report summarizes the well-publicized case. Yee, now 19, had been a political blogger in Singapore. Yee's commentary on Islam and Christianity was derided by some in Singapore as being offensive. Furthermore, Yee also posted blogs and videos that were critical of political figures in Singapore. Yee was arrested for his political commentary in 2015 after making a video that was harshly critical of former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew shortly after he had died.

Amos Yee

After extensive legal proceedings and further controversy that led to two short stints in jail, Yee departed for the United States with the intention of seeking asylum. Yee was detained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), but in March Immigration Judge Samuel Cole of the Chicago Immigration Court ruled that Lee had sustained his burden of establishing eligibility for asylum based both on past persecution in Singapore and a reasonable fear of future persecution if he were to return. Judge Cole determined that Lee's past persecution and fear of future persecution were based on his political opinion. With the Board's affirming Judge Cole's decision on appeal, Amos Yee will now be able to remain in the United States as an asylee.

After being released from immigration custody, Yee informed reporters that he has plans for more political videos in the future.

The Amos Yee case has certainly been interesting and is worth reading about in more detail. Individuals who believe that they may have grounds for seeking asylum status in the United States should consult with an experienced immigration attorney immediately. Please see our website's full section on “Asylum & Refugee Protection” to learn more about issues relating to asylum eligibility and status [see article].

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  1. Tareen, Sophia. “Singapore teen granted asylum released from US custody.” McClachy DC Bureau. Sep. 26, 2017. Mcclatchydc.com
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