Musing about law, books, and politics

Responding to a Breitbart Editor

Alana Mastrangelo, a Breitbart editor with an enormous Twitter following, wrote this:

It’s a falsehood brandied about Twitter–and I suspect elsewhere. I responded.

Hi, Alana,

You might want to consult with a lawyer before you make legal pronouncements. Please allow me to clear this up for you.

Under current law, if asylum seekers arrive at the border without documents, they can do one of two things:

  • present themselves for admission at a port of entry, and claim asylum (fear of persecution) or 
  • they can enter illegally and present themselves to an official as quickly as possible and claim asylum or “fear of persecution.” (section 208 of the INA)

They then are legally entitled to a hearing to determine if they are eligible for asylum status. 

You can read about it here.

A few weeks ago, I spent time in the Karnes Detention Center as a volunteer lawyer and worked with a number of asylum seekers. Every person I met with followed the laws and entered the country according to statutory requirements.

So they didn’t “illegally migrate.” They followed the law.

Of course, Alana, I suspect that you know the truth. 

It’s hard to believe anyone could so carelessly and blatantly misstate the law.

I also suspect that you understand how dangerous your lies are.

These are the kinds of lies that lead to cruelty.

[View as a Twitter thread]

Later that day, Alana deleted her post, a small victory for all the people on Twitter trying to keep the lies in check.