Thursday, September 02, 2010

Lu v. Powell (9th Cir. - Sept. 2, 2010)

Xue Lu and Jie Hao are both from China, and both filed applications for asylum. They don't know each other, but both have the same attorney.

Lu's asylum petition was denied by the asylum officer, and she alleged that about a week after her interview with him, he called her up, met her at her house in Monterey Park, and demanded a bribe (and tried to fondle her), and said that if he resisted her -- which she did -- he'd deny her asylym application. Of course, Lu has no witnesses to support her allegations. Except that Hao says the exact same thing happened to her too. But remember, they have the same attorney.

More absurd, frivolous allegations from asylum applicants just looking to prolong their stay in the United States, right?

Except that after it happened to Lu, her lawyer convinced the Justice Department to put a wire on Hao. And gets the whole thing on tape.

The asylum officer gets convicted, Lu and Hao sue, and there's a bunch more stuff that happens. I mention the case simply because sometimes, even though there might perhaps be an incentive to fabricate, the stuff that people say is actually totally true. Even if your initial impression may be the exact opposite.

Something to remember.