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Would AG Sessions Have Sent Ayaan Hirsi Ali Back to Somalia to be Killed?

He is questioning the legitimacy of private violence against women as valid grounds for asylum

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has long been a conservative icon for every ill that afflicts the Muslim world from misogyny to religious extremism. She enduredAsylumDavid NcNew Reuters via Newscom genital mutilation at the hands of her orthodox grand mother at the age of five in her native Somalia. And, later, when her family forced her into an arranged marriage to a man she claims she had never met, she fled and sought asylum in the Netherlands to escape the obligatory honor killing that her ex-husband and father's brothers would have been required to perform as per Somali custom.

Ali eventually settled in the United State and became an outspoken critic of Islam, her story epitomizing the clash of civilization's between Western liberalism and Muslim fanaticism for the American right. But it's an open question whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions would grant this conservative darling asylum if she were to petition the United States right now – or whether he'd hand her a one-way ticket back home to Somalia.

A disturbing report by Vox.com's Dara Lind notes that in the name of streamlining the immigration hearing process and expedite deportations, Sessions is arrogating to himself sweeping powers to disregard due process, overrule immigration courts, trash precedent and violate long-standing legal norms. In effect, Sessions is appointing himself the Immigration Czar of America who has carte blanche to do anything he wants.

As the nation's top law enforcement officer, Lind explains, an attorney general has the power to take over cases that the Board of Immigration Appeals has already reviewed and issue a new ruling that immigration courts would be required to use as guiding precedent in future cases. Sessions' predecessors have rarely used these powers (presumably because it is audacious to substitute their own judgement for that of a court that has spent copious time pondering the case) but in just this year he has done so not once, not twice, but three times.

But that's not the worst of it, she notes. Contrary to standing practice, Sessions is withholding information about which cases he's picking to review and what legal question he might be trying to clarify. Usually, an AG shares this information with relevant parties and solicits amicus briefs so that he has all the necessary information in making his ruling. But Sessions is choosing to tell neither the Department of Justice's own lawyers nor ICE prosecutors—much less attorneys representing immigrants, making it difficult for anyone to weigh in on the human rights and legal considerations that might be at stake.

But from the cases that Sessions has picked, it seems he's interested in weighing in on three issues, namely, whether immigration judges should be allowed to use:

One: "administrative closure" to remove cases from their docket and put them on pause to stop deportation proceedings against "low priority" unauthorized immigrants who have family ties in the United States or have other compelling reasons for staying. The use of closures has already dropped precipitously from 56,000 in Obama's last year in office to 20,000 now. This option allows immigration judges to conduct a kind of triage – focus on deporting criminal aliens as opposed to law-abiding immigrants who pose no threat to anyone. It also arguably allows legal immigrant and American citizens, about 4,000 of who get swept into America's deportation regime in any given year, as I have reported previously, time to make their case and avoid a massive travesty. Doing away with this provision might clear the deportation backlog, to be sure, but only by making many Americans and legal residents more vulnerable to being illicitly banished.

Two: "continuances" to give a delayed deportation "hearing" to those who are either eligible to apply for legal status from the US Citizenship and Immigration Service or waiting for a final verdict on their case.

Three: claims of private violence to hand asylum as they might have done in Hirsi Ali's case.

Reports Lind:

In a March self-referral, Sessions asked whether a judge should be allowed to grant asylum to a domestic violence survivor because she was a victim of "private violence" — violence that wasn't state-based. Theoretically, asylum is supposed to be available only for victims of certain types of persecution, but some judges have found that women in some countries who experience domestic violence are being persecuted for membership in the "social group" of being women.

If Sessions' rules that victims of violence from "nonstate actors" are not legitimate candidates for asylum, all women and children fleeing gang violence in Latin America would automatically be disqualified, of course. But so would women like Hirsi Ali. After all, she wasn't being hounded by the Somali government, just her fanatical husband and in-laws under the spell of a regressive Islam.

If conservatives go along with Sessions' in that event, they'll show that they hate immigrants more than violent extremists. The real of clash of civilizations we should worry about under this AG is not between the West and the Islamic world – but within the conservative soul itself.

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  • Don't look at me.||

    Oh, it's from Vox. (Looks elsewhere for something to read).

  • Bubba Jones||

    Here. Let me splain this to you.

  • SIV||

    The only upside to the multitude of Vox progressive-opinion cites was the decline of links to Conor Friedersdorf's garbage. Then Reason goes nominates that loser for their Bastiat Prize. I think the only libertarian on the nominations-list is Bonnie Kristian. Go Bonnie!

  • damikesc||

    A disturbing report by Vox.com's

    Discounted by default.

  • SIV||

    Prediction: Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, Dylan Matthews and German Lopez will all be fighting it out for the 2019 Bastiat Prize but the winner will refuse to accept out of solidarity with the glaziers and candlemakers.

  • damikesc||

    You know who DID try and throw her out to get killed?

    Open borders fans Europe. They tried to do that.

  • DenverJ||

    You know who DID try and throw her out to get killed?

    Hitler-Trump?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The problem with this article is that Reason in general and Vox in particular have been so one sided on the immigration issue that it's no longer possible to take their stories seriously.

    You can quote 'immigrants are good fr the economy, good for the country, good, good, good' statistics as much as you like; the public,perception that illegal immigration has not been taken seriously by the Political or Chattering Classes remains...and is largely true.

    We need to both change immigration law, and enforce it. And the disinclination of the Elites to actually engage the issue in any but the most superficial way has pushed matters to the point that actual bigots are getting the respect of the populace because the non-bigots are being unreasonable jerks.

  • SQRLSY One||

    "We need to both change immigration law, and enforce it. "

    Yeah man!

    "No one shall be forced to be an immigrant in violation of their own free will."

    And then ENFORCE that SOB!!!!

    (Admittedly we need to add, no one should force my money to emigrate from my wallet to anyone else's, against the will of my money, and THAT would help solve a LOT of these problems, as well!)

  • buybuydandavis||

    Build the Will to Enforce the Law.
    Build the Wall and Deport them All.

  • aajax||

    Extremism in the cause of liberty is no vice.

  • Rich||

    (presumably because it is audacious to substitute their own judgement for that of a court that has spent copious time pondering the case)

    "The Audacity of Power"

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

  • Juice||

    I didn't get that from what she said.

  • Ron||

    Lots of If's in the article in order to paint a picture that doesn't exist. That seems to be the status lately. What if Trump does "X"? even though it was never mentioned except by the media talking heads making scenarios of the most awful cases only to find that Trump was never going to do "x" anyway.

  • ||

    What if Dalmia writes a sound article?

  • buybuydandavis||

    Let's not get crazy now.

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    Agh, I clicked on a Shika article. That shrieking lunatic's hyperbole belongs nowhere near a site called "Reason".

  • Hank Phillips||

    Now this has the makings of one of those Paul the Apostle versus Totalitarian Tony flinging matches. Shikha correctly observes that women can in places be viewed as a social group surrounded by superstitious males eager to mutilate and deny them self-ownership and individual rights... most especially States that voted for George Wallace!
    Lucky for us she knows better than to argue with mystics.

  • SIV||

    Shikha Dalmia is a past winner of the Bastiat Prize.

  • Bubba Jones||

    We are the only country that grants asylum. Refusal is a death sentence.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Exporting prohibition laws and abetting income tax extortion abroad destroys foreign economies. The people most surprised by these simple historical facts are the ones most supportive of nationalsocialist immigration policies. Comparing the GOP and NSDAP platforms side-by-side is a valuable lesson in history and law that is practically free since both documents are easy to download.

  • damikesc||

    Comparing the DNC and NSDAP platforms side-by-side is a valuable lesson in history

    Yup, that is correct.

    Hint: The DNC platform has more in common with the NSDAP than the GOP.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Not the responsibility of Americans to right all wrongs in the world.

  • ||

    not once, not twice, but three times

    I tried to read another "masterpiece" from Shikha, but that's as far as I got. I mean, THREE TIMES! Holy shit, that's a big number.

    THREE 3 3!

    Just reading the rhetorical flourish of that stupid phrase made me want to puke.

    If there's someone who truly feels there's something useful to be found in reading further, please let me know.

  • Nardz||

    "If there's someone who truly feels there's something useful to be found in reading further, please let me know."

    Wouldn't know, skipped the article, come here for comments only as they are usually all that's worthwhile

  • Smartacus||

    Providing asylum to victims of private violence would let in too many people. Period.

    And if that would leave out Ayaan Hirsi Ali, I'm very sorry, but we really have no choice.

  • aajax||

    Let's worry about that when we are approaching too many. We are far, far from that.

  • Ecoli||

    So, now it is America's responsibility to save the world's women from their abusive husbands? I feel abused.

  • aajax||

    It costs next to nothing and is much better international publicity than ICE raids and separating infant children from their mothers. Why keep handing our critics easy arguments? Decency is good policy.

  • DenverJ||

    According to Shihka's own article, Hirsi Ali received asylum from the Netherlands, then immigrated to the U.S.
    So Sessions would not have had anything to do with such a decision; it would be decided by Dutch policy. Now, I know all us white patriarchies look alike, but the Netherlands is not one of the United States.

  • Bubba Jones||

    What is Dutch for "oh, snap".

  • ||

    What is Dutch for "oh, snap".

    O, snapp!

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I don't see how that weakens her argument.

  • JeremyR||

    It weakens her argument because Europe basically has an open borders policy, which is the very version Ali had to flee the Netherlands for the US, because there were so many Muslims there (and the Leftists who collaborate with them) that she was in danger.

    Realistically, given that American critics of Islam have been targeted in the US (Pamela Geller), Ali is probably not safe here, either, but she's safer here than in Europe.

    At least unless we open up the borders and let more jihadis in.

  • aajax||

    If Europe has an open borders policy, why did Ayaan have to enter under false pretenses?

  • DenverJ||

    Because it adds another layer of "if"? If Sessions was in charge when Hirsi applied for asylum, and if Sessions was in charge in Holland, and if one of these three cases he reviewed led to actual policy changes, and if those policy changes affected Hirsi, then that would be bad, ergo Sessions is a bad man, is a pretty poor argument.

  • gormadoc||

    She's using Hirsi as an example of a woman who's made a good name for herself as a result of her activism. Women like her won't receive asylum in the US if Sessions continues to get his way, even though they could have much to contribute.

  • damikesc||

    She came here because the Dutch wanted to throw her out due to death threats. We'd likely take in somebody facing death threats in the country they reside in for no valid reason.

  • dwshelf||

    Inventing a hypothetical to condemn.

    Neither the pursuit of truth or the pursuit of good policy.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Shikha's politeness in calling nationalsocialists "conservatives" strains credibility. But why field an unguessable hypothetical rhetorical question? Would it not be better to send Beauregard to Somalia and find out how much honor he has to kill? Why not see how willing he is to sacrifice to stamp out the anchor baby problem so vexing to Prohibition Party supporters? Back in 1920, when NSDAP leaders had cojones, at the bottom of their 25 Points of paranoid racial collectivism they at least offered to back their bluster "if necessary at the sacrifice of our own lives!"

  • DenverJ||

  • Nardz||

    "Wouldn't know, skipped the article, come here for comments only as they are usually all that's worthwhile"

    Except for hank Phillips. Dude is a moron with nothing worthwhile

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

    Would AG Sessions Have Sent Ayaan Hirsi Ali Back to Somalia to be Killed?

    Maybe he's got other ideas.

  • sarcasmic||

    A taxi service that gets my daughter to a school for children with "special needs" is totally run and owned by Somalis.

    As is a couple markets and restaurants that I frequent.

    Fuck you John, loveconstition and all you other xenophobes. Fuck you.

  • sarcasmic||

    fuck you so much I didn't edit, so fuck you some more

  • sarcasmic||

    I'd say "see you next Tuesday" but that would be an insult to all the CUNTS out there who deserve the insult.

  • sarcasmic||

    You are a disgrace.

  • Nardz||

    Someone has sand in their vagina...
    I assume with an intact clitoris not cut off by some Somalis at least. And hopefully the Somalis you know run a good service, unlike some Somalis who stab people or run day care fronts for no st smuggling to terrorist groups.
    Com'on man.

  • Don't look at me.||

    My Somalis are good, therefore all Somalis are good.

  • MichaeI Hihn||

    "My Somalis are good, therefore all Somalis are good."

    In the immortal words of Nardz, c'mon. That's no better than "some Somalis are bad, therefore all Somalis are bad."

    Could we just... not? Dalmia's bad enough, it'd be cool if that stuff stayed above the fold where everyone's far too professional for logic and reason.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Shikha is fine with opening the borders to let in immigrants who would mureder women that refuse to be married via arranged marriage.

  • gormadoc||

    She's also fine with letting people who are okay with condemning such women to death in their countries of birth stay here.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Luckily, the Constitution created by Americans don't give Shikha the option to deport Americans.

    She is just a minority view with immigration and will be outvoted accordingly.

  • damikesc||

    Most of us prefer a case-by-case examination of these requests with no guarantee or assurance of acceptance. Dalmia wants blanket acceptance of these requests.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Some of the ignoramuses sort of have an excuse. Lovecon89 has probably never been out of Georgia and the idea of people that look different terrify him. So we can sort of pity him. But John has no excuse. He lives in DC, which is one of the most cosmopolitan places in the world.

  • Nardz||

    Nice straw man you have there. It's be a shame...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Georgia has more immigrants that you think. We even have a Mexican embassy here.

    Check out my post about Shikha counters her own stupid open borders argument. She literally wants the USA to allow people who want to murder women who won't consent to arranged marriages.

    I am Shikha. Hear me roar.

  • aajax||

    Not all of any group is good. Even conservative white men.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Since I am part Cherokee there are not many people that look like me.

    I bet you're more of a xenophobe than me.

    I await your lame reply.

  • gormadoc||

    Everybody from every small town (and every hippie in large ones) is "part Cherokee;" they're all white.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yup. No Native Americans inter-married and had partially white offspring.

    Go to a tribal ceremony some time. Some tribal leaders have blonde hair and blue eyes.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Muh servants!"

  • damikesc||

    Ah, "these Somalis are good, ergo, all are good".

    kick ass fallacy, yo.

  • Azathoth!!||


    A taxi service that gets my daughter to a school for children with "special needs" is totally run and owned by Somalis.

    As is a couple markets and restaurants that I frequent.

    Fuck you John, loveconstition and all you other xenophobes. Fuck you.

    So I went back over the comments to see where John and LC and all the xenophobes were condemning Somalis.

    But no one was doing that.

    So I said 'what's sarcasmic on about?'

    And all I could find was people taking Shikha to task for the egregious errors in her piece--particularly the ones about Ali fleeing open-borders Europe because, while they'd let her in as a refugee, they'd also let in thousands of the people she was a refugee from.

    Like many Somalis, she then fled here.

    I suspect a great many Somali refugees would appreciate us not letting the Somalis they were fleeing from follow them.

    So I think that you, like Shikha, are actually on the wrong side of the argument you're trying to make.

    Weird, huh?

  • MichaeI Hihn||

    Quick, everyone pretend to be interested. If she doesn't get enough clicks, tomorrow it'll be an epistle on the vile subhumanity of the half of the country that doesn't agree with Dalmia.

  • JeremyR||

    But Ayaan Hirsi Ali actually fled to the US not from Somalia, but from Europe. She had to come here because Europe let in so many Muslims that she was persecuted there by a Muslim-Leftist alliance.

    And that's the problem with open borders. If you let people in fleeing their enemies, they aren't really safe if their enemies are also welcome, and in larger numbers

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Good people don't have clitoris'.

  • DenverJ||

    I thought the plural was "clitori".

  • Echospinner||

    Clitorides by the dictionary.

    My wife showed me a clip from Grey's Anatomy where a patient had more than one Uterus (an actual thing called uterus didelphys). They could not decide if it was Uteri or Uteruses. They settled on the latter.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    The penis head is just an enlarged clitoris.

  • The_Hoser||

    So Muslims are just manufacturing good people?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    So Shikha, you want Americans to accept the non-Americans who want to kill this lady with open arms and open borders?

    You're fucking insane.

    Many people around the world consider life cheap and insignificant. You just countered your own argument to open borders. There are lunatic murderers outside the USA who would rather kill a lady than let her get out of an arranged marriage.

    Anyone who does not want the USA to check immigrants and potentially turn away some just do not have America's best interests in mind and I have no use for them.

  • gormadoc||

    There are lunatic murderers in the US who would do the same and have lived here for generations; what do we do with them?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Nothing. Let them immigrate to Canada. Canada has to accept them.

  • Ron||

    thats what jails are for

  • Nardz||

    I, for one, have long favored exile.
    I've thought of some rather useful ways to do it as well.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Bait and switch. If you are pro-open borders, do not try and push this emotional stuff with refugees. Seems dishonest.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "If Sessions' rules that victims of violence from "nonstate actors" are not legitimate candidates for asylum, all women and children fleeing gang violence in Latin America would automatically be disqualified, of course."

    Not our job to provide safe haven to everyone living in a violent shithole.

    But I do like how men threatened by gang violence don't seem to make the grade for concern from Shikha's pathological altruism.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    There's a rule in journalism that whenever a headline asks a question, the answer is always no.

    So I guess the AG would not have sent her back...But that implies sending her back would be correct, because the other rule I subscribe to is that the AG always does wrong. The previous AG was horrid (think "Fast & Furious") but the current one is worse. I think they found him by turning over various rocks.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    We could fix this problem by just stopping ALL immigration, legal or otherwise, for about 10 years.

    We should try a 10 year period of ZERO immigration to decide whether we actually need any.

  • lulz farmer||

    You're already on track for your country to look like Somalia or another like hellhole within another half century or so with no more further immigration, thanks to already baked-in demographic change.

  • Benitacanova||

    OMG Vox said it??!?? Why didn't you say so!

  • Spookk||

    Since I don't think that anyone should be granted asylum in the US for any reason at all, I find this story to be oddly premised.

    Asylum shouldn't even be a word related to immigration considerations.

  • Headache||

    Asylum is worthless with open borders. The thugs can just walk in and beat the life out of her.

  • Headache||

    Reason left Reason. ted Turner should just buy Reason and get it over with.

  • aajax||

    What conservative soul?

  • aajax||

    So much ignorance on immigration and asylum in one place is amazing - economically, sociologically, and morally. I thought libertarians were supposed to be well informed.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Since Somalia practices Shariah, it is state sponsored violence, not private violence, that she was running from IMHO.
    But, since she first fled to the Netherlands, and accepted asylum there, if she then entered the USA also seeking religious asylum and was refused, she would have to be sent back to Holland.

  • gphx||

    What happens when the US admits all the people supposed refugees are trying to get away from?

  • lulz farmer||

    Better question: Where do all of us go when these poor dears make up the majority of our country's population and start doing the same things to us as they're starting to do over in Europe to the natives there?

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