Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Good Riddance to Bad Frogs and Bogus Claims

After several months, New York’s District Attorney dropped rape charges against former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn. It would be a bigger hullabaloo today if there had not been an over-hyped earthquake on the East Coast today.

In my experiences in working for the immigration service at JFK, diplomats are the most arrogant and entitled people you will ever have the displeasure to meet. They can, in many cases, literally get away with murder and don’t mind letting you know how important and above the law they are at every opportunity. They treat everyone in front of them as if they are there to do nothing but serve and dote on them. Carrying their own passport is beneath some of them, really.

So it would not surprise me at all if the accuser’s account of being sexually assaulted by Strauss-Kahn was truthful. He apparently had tried to rape a young writer in France years ago. And by his diplomatic logic, any maid who enters his hotel room while he’s there must be there to give him a blow job.

But the case fell apart completely and it became evident over a month ago when prosecutors leaked information about there being trouble with the case that it would eventually be dropped. The problem wasn’t physical evidence or even diplomatic immunity, it was the accuser’s big gang rape lie, and it’s the fault of our country’s asylum and immigration system.

The accuser told prosecutors that she had been gang raped in her native Guinea. She provided graphic details over several interviews. When her lawyer convinced her to come clean, she admitted it had been a total fabrication and said she had memorized the story to help gain political asylum and stay in the U.S. The problem with that is that she failed to mention being gang raped in her asylum application. The fact that she was willing to repeatedly lie about a vicious rape left prosecutors with no case; it even left them vulnerable to being called as defense witnesses.

It had nothing to do with the wealth and powerful position of the defendant. Any decent defense attorney would have shredded the case based solely on the litany of lies told by the victim. Her very presence in the country is buoyed by a raft of untruths.

A recent article in The New Yorker follows the case of a young asylum seeker and documents how she rehearsed a false story about rape to help her case for winning asylum. Immigrants from many parts of the world know they can do an end-run around our clogged legal immigration system if they fabricate details of abuse and torture. Who gets asylum is often determined by the luck in getting a sympathetic or gullible asylum officer. It is a system rife with abuse, where many people come from places they have settled and were not in danger and many asylum seekers return to visit their countries once they receive a green card.

The government has to reform the asylum process and let it be known that people getting asylum will be the real thing or will be gone and that asylum is just that, and not a path to being a legal immigrant in the U.S. Until that happens, the people who continue to flock here with fabrications will find few reasons to tell the truth.

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