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NEWS
December 12, 2013 | By Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON -- The number of immigrants asking for asylum after illegally entering the United States nearly tripled this year, sending asylum claims to their highest level in two decades and raising concerns that border crossers and members of drug cartels may be filing fraudulent claims to slow their eventual deportation. The tally of those granted temporary asylum jumped from 13,931 to 36,026 in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, according to a report released Thursday by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2014 | From Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports
Zeituni Onyango, an aunt of President Obama whose bid for asylum in the United States received national attention during her nephew's first campaign for the presidency and contributed to the debate over illegal immigration, died Tuesday in Boston. She was 61. Onyango had been treated in recent months for cancer and respiratory problems, said Cleveland attorney Margaret Wong, who represented Onyango in her immigration case. A half sister of Obama's late father, Onyango moved from Kenya to the U.S. in 2000.
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NEWS
February 5, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is changing the rules for refugees and asylum seekers in the United States so that people will no longer be barred entry for providing incidental or unintentional support to terrorist organizations. The new definition of what it means to provide “material support” to terrorists comes after years of complaints from human rights advocates that the old rules led to the exclusion of vulnerable refugees who pose no harm. Among those turned away in recent months were a Syrian refugee who paid an opposition group to gain safe passage out of Syria and a farmer who paid tolls to a resistance group to cross a bridge to take his food to market, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
NEWS
February 5, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is changing the rules for refugees and asylum seekers in the United States so that people will no longer be barred entry for providing incidental or unintentional support to terrorist organizations. The new definition of what it means to provide “material support” to terrorists comes after years of complaints from human rights advocates that the old rules led to the exclusion of vulnerable refugees who pose no harm. Among those turned away in recent months were a Syrian refugee who paid an opposition group to gain safe passage out of Syria and a farmer who paid tolls to a resistance group to cross a bridge to take his food to market, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
OPINION
July 25, 2010
On first reading, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling issued earlier this month seemed absurd: Immigration judges should reconsider whether women from Guatemala constituted a "particular social group" whose members could face persecution simply for being female, in which case they would be eligible for political asylum in the United States. Wait just a minute, we thought. Sure, Guatemala is a horribly violent country, and sure, we believe in providing sanctuary to the truly persecuted whose governments do not protect them.
WORLD
June 23, 2013 | By Pablo Viteri
QUITO, Ecuador - Edward Snowden has requested asylum in Ecuador, the government said Sunday. In a brief comment on his Twitter account, Ecuador's foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, said simply: “The government of Ecuador has received an asylum request from Edward Snowden.”   Although Patino gave no indication of whether the government of President Rafael Correa would grant the request, he had said previously that the government would consider...
NATIONAL
August 6, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
TUCSON -- Most of the “Dream 9” will get the chance to argue their case for asylum before an immigration judge, their attorney says. The five women and four men, who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, staged a brazen protest three weeks ago at the U.S.-Mexico border to draw attention to the thousands of people deported under the Obama administration. When the so-called Dreamers - named for the Dream Act, which would provide them with a path to legalization -- attempted to reenter the U.S. at the Nogales, Ariz., port of entry on July 22, they were arrested.
WORLD
August 1, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW -- Edward Snowden finally managed to break free of his confinement at the transit zone of Moscow's international airport when he was granted Russian travel documents Thursday, after which he hopped in a cab and left for a secret location, his Russian lawyer said. “Edward was granted a one-year asylum and I just saw him to a taxi out of the airport,” Anatoly Kucherena said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “It is up to him to choose a residence inside Russia, but his location will remain secret for the duration of his stay.” “For the most wanted man on earth," Kucherena added, "personal safety is his No. 1 priority now.” Snowden, who is wanted by the United States for leaking highly classified documents from his work as a consultant for the National Security Agency, had been effectively trapped at Moscow's Sheremetyevo  International Airport since June 23, when he arrived on a flight from Hong Kong.
WORLD
July 7, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
An influential Russian lawmaker on Sunday advised fugitive leaker Edward Snowden to take up Venezuela's offer of asylum, deeming it his "last chance" and cautioning that the leaker of U.S. security secrets can't live at Moscow's airport forever. It was a clear sign from the Kremlin that it has tired of the international standoff over Snowden, the 30-year-old former National Security Agency contractor who disclosed classified information about widespread U.S. surveillance of worldwide telephone and Internet contacts.
WORLD
July 5, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
NSA leaker Edward Snowden has sent out appeals for asylum to six more countries, WikiLeaks reported Friday, in a sign of the marooned fugitive's mounting desperation in the face of international indifference to his plight. Snowden remains trapped in a diplomatic no-man's land at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, lacking documents that would allow him to enter Russia or travel to a country willing to damage relations with Washington to give him refuge. The 30-year-old former contract worker for the National Security Agency has been on the run for more than a month since telling journalists about massive U.S. efforts to track telephone conversations and Internet traffic around the world.
WORLD
December 17, 2013 | By Vincent Bevins
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has published a lengthy "open letter to the people of Brazil," saying he has been inspired by the reaction around the world to his revelations, and lamenting that he can't fully assist the South American nation's investigations into spying without being granted permanent political asylum. "Until a country grants permanent political asylum, the U.S. government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak," he wrote in the letter published by Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 15, 2013 | By Cindy Chang and Kate Linthicum
He was 10 when the gangsters flung rocks through the windows, and 12 when they beat him black and blue. At 15, a gang member shot at him while he was shopping at a grocery store - and killed his cousin instead. At 17, he left Honduras for the United States. He applied for political asylum, telling a judge that if he returned home, the gang that had slain his father would kill him, too. Now 20, working as a gardener and living with his mother and siblings in Los Angeles, the man is one of a growing number of Central Americans asking for asylum.
NEWS
December 12, 2013 | By Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON -- The number of immigrants asking for asylum after illegally entering the United States nearly tripled this year, sending asylum claims to their highest level in two decades and raising concerns that border crossers and members of drug cartels may be filing fraudulent claims to slow their eventual deportation. The tally of those granted temporary asylum jumped from 13,931 to 36,026 in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, according to a report released Thursday by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2013 | By Sheri Linden
Gifted and tormented sculptor, involuntary mental patient, enduring symbol of female passion quashed by patriarchal convention - Camille Claudel is nothing if not a rich subject for storytellers. "Camille Claudel 1915," the tough and measured feature by Bruno Dumont, is a very different animal from the high melodrama of the 1988 biopic starring Isabelle Adjani. That's no surprise from a filmmaker who traffics in austerity and a performer, Juliette Binoche, who's ever resistant to the obvious and formulaic.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 9, 2013 | By Meg James
Legendary Entertainment is expanding its television production repertoire by acquiring Asylum Entertainment, the firm behind the biographical miniseries "The Kennedys. " Legendary, the entertainment company controlled by film producer and financier Thomas Tull, announced Monday it had completed a deal to buy 100% of Asylum Entertainment, a 10-year-old production firm. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Asylum specializes in unscripted and scripted fare.
WORLD
November 1, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
Fugitive NSA leaker Edward Snowden's offer to testify in Germany about controversial U.S. surveillance programs drew a swift warning from the Kremlin on Friday that he would lose his Russian asylum if he travels abroad or discloses U.S. intelligence secrets while in Russia. In an open letter made public Friday in Berlin by a German lawmaker, Snowden alluded to "the difficulties of this humanitarian situation," referring to the conditions of his Russian protection from U.S. extradition requests.
OPINION
April 2, 2012
The Obama administration is stubbornly defending a policy that treats immigrants who are fleeing persecution unequally, resting its decisions on where immigrants initially sought asylum rather than on the merits of their cases. It should yield to the recommendations of immigrant and human rights groups and adopt a more consistent set of rules. About 41,000 immigrants applied to immigration courts for asylum last year, according to federal statistics. Those who sought protection at the borders or airports were immediately held until immigration officials released them or immigration judges granted asylum.
WORLD
July 12, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
MOSCOW -- Edward Snowden, the fugitive leaker who revealed the secret U.S. effort to track phone and Internet communications, told Russian human rights activists and lawyers on Friday that he will seek political asylum in Russia, the state-owned RIA Novosti news service reported. Activist Tanya Lokshina, who attended the meeting with Snowden at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport, told the news service that the former contract worker for the National Security Agency wanted their help petitioning the U.S. and European states not to interfere with his asylum process.
WORLD
September 16, 2013 | By Edmund Sanders
JERUSALEM -- Israel's Supreme Court on Monday tossed out a controversial law that allowed police to jail refugees and undocumented migrants for up to three years without trial, a key part of the government's recent crackdown against mostly African asylum seekers who had been flooding into the country. A panel of nine High Court judges ruled unanimously that the Law for Prevention of Infiltration -- which took effect in 2012 -- violated human rights. An estimated 2,000 asylum seekers, mostly from Eritrea and other African nations, are believed to be in Israeli detention facilities.
NATIONAL
August 31, 2013 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK - For a wanted man, Boris Kuznetsov leads a very open life. His address, in a high-rise apartment with a view of the Manhattan skyline, is public record. He regularly updates his Facebook page with personal information and musings about the news of the day, including his own criminal case. But Kuznetsov, a lawyer from Russia and a harsh critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, doesn't worry about being arrested. That's because, like former U.S. government security contractor Edward Snowden, he has found protection from prosecution in the animosity between his homeland and the United States.
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