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Gays, Battered Women Get US Asylum

From New American Media (which expands the news through ethnic media):

Gay Filipino Wins Landmark Asylum Case

Ging Reyes, North America News Bureau Chief, Jul 17, 2009

DALY CITY, California — The long wait is over for Philip Belarmino. The federal government did not appeal the gender-based asylum granted him last month, allowing Belarmino to stay in the United States for good.

“I’m really happy. I’m grateful that I’m being given this opportunity to lead a better life in America with the support of my family,” Belarmino said.

The immigration court judge upheld a lower court’s amnesty to Belarmino after he testified that he would suffer persecution if he returned to the Philippines.

In his asylum case, Belarmino testified that as a young boy, he had been molested several times, and was persecuted for being gay. He did not report the abuse to anyone because he did not want his very conservative parents to know he was gay.

After he was granted asylum last May 21st, Belarmino finally told his parents the truth.

“That was a real hurdle, it involved much struggle on my part. But it’s amazing… God has his way of reuniting and mending wounds that have been there for quite a long time, Belarmino said. “And it just so happened that the dialogue of understanding, compassion and love took place on my Mom’s birthday.”

For now, he is officially a refugee. Belarmino’s lawyer, Ted Laguatan, says his client can apply for a green card after a year.

“As a refugee, he’s entitled to work, he’s entitled to stay here, he’s entitled to travel "basta wag lang sya pupunta sa Philippines" [as long as he doesn’t go to the Philippines],” Laguatan said.

Belarmino is the first known Filipino to win an asylum case based on sexual orientation. His case now serves as a model for other gay men and women.

Now more confident, the former English professor says the decision was a liberating experience for him.

“The resurgence of that self-esteem, that integrity and the acceptance of who I really am has really encouraged me to really live my life, not the way others see me, or others may want to see me, but the way I really am. And I also can say that I’m more at peace right now because of that total acceptance,” Belarmino said.

Belarmino says he’s now ready to start over. He wants to go back to teaching, and become an advocate for human rights.

And today we have these glad tidings, also from New America Media:

Obama Allows Asylum for Battered Women

Viji Sundaram, Jul 18, 2009

Calling it one of the best options the Obama administration has made available to foreign battered women, women’s advocacy groups in the United States lauded the administration for making it possible for those women to begin a new life in this country.

Earlier this week, the administration said that if women in foreign countries could show, in addition to meeting other strict conditions to asylum, that they had been treated by their abuser as little more than chattel, and that their home countries wink at such behavior, then the women could seek to make the United States their permanent home.

“This restoration of gender-based asylum should be celebrated,” said Purvi Shah, executive director of the 20-year-old New York-based support group for South Asian abused women, Sakhi. “We all deserve to live free of abuse, and immigration status should not be a barrier to that vision of a healthy life.”

“It’s a very positive policy change,” asserted Karen Musalo, director of the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. “It’s going to benefit many women.”

The administration’s position stemmed from a case filed in an immigration appeals court by a Mexican woman who said she would likely be murdered by her common law husband in Mexico if she were sent back to her homeland. In court documents, the woman claimed she had been repeatedly raped at gunpoint by her husband, and threatened to be burnt alive when he found out that she was pregnant.

Several other such claims by other battered women seeking asylum have been tied up in the U.S. courts in the last dozen years. The Bush administration did not want to recognize those claims, the first of which was filed in 1996 by a Guatemalan woman. After many years of litigation, an immigration court declared that she was not a part of any persecuted group under U.S. law.

Three years ago, Congress gave some relief to undocumented abused women in the form of the so-called U-visa, which allowed them a temporary work permit, which could eventually lead to a green card.

But last week’s move by the Obama administration would allow abused women to file for legal residency status through asylum.

Asylum gives you permanent status without having to go through any other steps,” said Sheela Murthy, an immigration lawyer in Baltimore, Md., who also advocates for women.

Most requests for asylum currently filed in the United States are based on claims by applicants that they fear persecution if they are sent back to their homeland because of their race, religion, nationality, political beliefs or any particular party they may belong to. Murthy said nearly 80 percent of those applicants are denied asylum for lack of providing adequate evidence.

Asylum seekers generally arrive in the United States on fake travel documents. Upon arrival at the airport, they ask for asylum.

“Getting asylum is not going to be a slam dunk” for abused women, Murthy reiterated, noting that they have to meet the most stringent of requirements.

Even so, Atashi Chakravarty, executive director of the Berkeley-based help line for South Asian battered women, said she believes that scores of people from the Indian sub-continent will benefit from the new policy change.

“We have clients who are taken to India by their abusive spouses and abandoned there, only to face more physical and emotional abuse from their in-laws,” Chakravarty said.

Shah and other women’s advocates say there is no danger of the new policy opening the floodgates of applications from women who claim they were battered.

“Anyone who believes such a thing has never filed for asylum,” said Shah, noting: “The fact that this route exists again doesn’t negate the need for significant evidence of abuse and the need to meet very rigorous parameters to qualify for gender-based asylum.

“This is why other strategies for immigration relief must still exist – so that any immigrant survivor understands she can be safe, and that in the United States, violence against women is a crime which will not be condoned.”

Funny how our ‘mainstream’ watchdog media have failed to report both of these developments.

Still, we wonder, are there any human activities that are not now grounds for political asylum in the US?

After all, doesn’t Mexico have laws that should prevent men from killing their wives? What does any of this have to do with political asylum, which the law is supposed to be about?

Is the US supposed to accept everyone who claims to be at danger in their home country, whether it is true or not?

Shah and other women’s advocates say there is no danger of the new policy opening the floodgates of applications from women who claim they were battered.

Whew. That’s a relief.

“The fact that this route exists again doesn’t negate the need for significant evidence of abuse and the need to meet very rigorous parameters to qualify for gender-based asylum.”

That’s for sure. The requirements for asylum in the US are amazingly stringent.

Just ask Obama’s Aunt Zeituni.

By the way, apparently homosexuality is so persecuted in the Philippines, they televise the Miss Gay Philippines beauty pageant every year.

Reportedly, the pageant hands out six awards:


The judges are former beauty queens, and politicians attend.

That is what we call persecution.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, July 18th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

16 Responses to “Gays, Battered Women Get US Asylum”

  1. joeblough says:

    No matter how cynical I get I just can’t keep up.

    — Lily Tomlin

  2. proreason says:

    “He did not report the abuse to anyone because he did not want his very conservative parents to know he was gay”

    I’m confused.

    Isn’t being queer the greatest thing in the world? Aren’t they the most talented creatures ever created? Aren’t penguins turning queer in droves? Could this country even survive without queers telling us how to dress, who’s hot and who’s not, what’s in and what’s out?

    How can it be that anybody in this enlightened day and age would even consider not proclaiming to the heavens the wonderfulness of being queer?

  3. bronzeprofessor says:

    Oh my God, this is such ca-ca!!!!! I have a lot of family in the Philippines. He would face ZERO ‘persecution’ in the Philippines simply for being gay or even for being a drag queen. Maybe if he is a Communist sympathizer with Muslim separatists, he might have a few enemies.

    But the claim that he needs asylum b/c he’s gay is totally ridiculous.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    I’ll bet Barney Fwank broke out in a song and dance routine!

  5. GetBackJack says:

    You know who’s persecuted?

    Everybody on this Forum.

    Because we believe in the America that was Founded.

  6. canary says:

    Well, these foreignors of many sexual flavors and seasonings will make nice harlems for the likes of Obombie followers, maybe hook up with the sex offenders Obama and Rev. Wright ministered to.

    Considering nearly every muslim and many asian women in the world, are abused, for example Obama’s own African grandfather buying young girls with cows, a brutal stranger, hunting them down and raping them on their honey moon; Obama’s own father though giving up muslim religion to be an atheist, only continuing the muslim practice of bigamy; – America we will become as Obama declared a Nation of Muslims.
    Men in America will not longer have to buy mail order brides from Russia to abuse. They will convert to Islam, like MJ’s brother Jermain’s video’d interview showing a dorm floor, rows of beds, of young women, gushing how he showers with them, and how loving Islam is. The prostitutes won’t be too happy.
    And now China can send their unwanted girls they consider a burden and weak in comparison to boys, to America.
    What a hypocrite Obama is, to hate America helping humanity in Vietnam and Iraq; Iraq a country he admitted was hellish, but we should not meddle. What about all Obama’s rantings that America is hated for meddling. For showing our capitalism, imperiality, and prosperity off. That if America would quit acting like a super power, other nations would not hate us; his lower our defenses and military and we won’t be such a threat to those that hate us.

    Is Obama not practicing a subtle type slavery, human trafficking of women and men, into America to live in quarters together. Yeah, take their women and and femine men, and see how well this goes over in the world.
    I wish and pray to God we could make the world a better place, and save these people, but it’s impossible for America to do it alone.
    Instead of Obama going to the countries he loved and making them better, becoming a leader there, and improving their conditions, like his American-hater mother did, Obama chose to change a country that gave and gave to him, yet he hated and hated her. He abandoned his people. Obama, the Father that abandoned his roots. He left them in poverty, to bring America down to poverty. Double revenge, to what made him feel so alone, angry, and bitter. If only he’d taken after his mother.

    • canary says:

      Did you notice, Obama’s only lashing out at another country (aside US) around the globe was his home country in Africa. He acted just like his father and grandfather did in Africa. Now his Auntie will get asylum.

      Forget the foreign sexual adults being purescuted, they have a chance of survival. Let’s save those tiny, helpless children in countries that are forced to be sex slaves. Whose little bodies are stolen, to sell body parts to rich.

      Everyone would like to come to America. Maybe Obama and his wife disdain America, but billions would give anything to come to America.
      God Bless America. One Nation Under God. God Save America.

  7. Helena says:

    Uhh – Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t sex one of the (if not the major) tourist attractions in the Philippines? Seems like I’ve seen ads for organized trips there to meet young women, young men, children, you name it. How can a country which openly advertises and – yes, as Steve mentions – televises “beauty” pageants for women, gays, etc. – and which politicians and celebrities attend – be a threat to a gay man even if he is a drag queen? He’s afraid of persecution or death? I don’t believe it even for a minute.

  8. irondog says:

    No wonder the islamic world thinks we are children of Satan,we prove it every day…..when our people turned their backs on God the void was filled by Liberalism and Communism was close behind…we don’t deserve to be the shining city on the hill any longer.

    • wardmama4 says:

      Speak your for yourself, Irondog.

      -‘About 82% of Americans in 2007 told Gallup interviewers that they identified with a Christian religion’-
      and this
      -‘Thus far in 2009, 40% of Americans interviewed in national Gallup Poll surveys describe their political views as conservative, 35% as moderate, and 21% as liberal’-

      What you are indicating is the State Media, hollyweird and of course Our Fearless Reader who are bound and determined to convince everyone that America is evil, wrong, dangerous and most certainly not a Christian nation at all, anymore are being successful.

      America is still the beacon of Freedom and Hope that people from all of the World run to – most especially because we are so generous and forgiving.

      Too damn bad it appears that the State Media and Obama are doing so well at destroying America.

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      Bravo, mama! Bravo!

      I’m with ya’!

  9. U NO HOO says:

    Life is a crock and everyday we have to scoop out a bigger glob.

  10. wirenut says:

    Wardmama4, can I live in your world? It makes me sick that this great nation gets taken to the woodshed every day. More sane voices are needed for the chorus.

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