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Re: “Nowhere Man” (7/16):
We can't make City Paper without you
Cheers on covering the ongoing struggle plaguing U.S. asylum seekers and the attorneys who donate their time and talents to help them. However, I find it difficult to believe that Jason Cherkis chose such a banal case study. Mr. Boniface’s story certainly merits attention, but it falls short of some of the real tragedies pouring through the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The Lawyer’s Committee for Human Rights logs hundreds of cases each year involving individuals who have survived government-sponsored political, religious, and racial persecution, including the slaughter of their families, imprisonment, and torture. Individuals facing the very real threat of death if they are returned to their homelands await their day in U.S. Immigration Court—with obstacles equal to those faced by Mr. Boniface and his attorneys. Boniface may very well qualify for asylum, but Cherkis could have chosen one of the many cases that provide even more compelling facts (e.g. torture, gang rape, female genital mutilation) and thereby placed the fate of asylum seekers in even sharper relief.