Singapore teen submits US asylum claim and appears in court

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 31 January, 2017, 12:27am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 January, 2017, 12:26am

A Singapore teen seeking asylum after online posts mocking his government landed him in jail has appeared in a Chicago immigration court.

Amos Yee’s attorneys submitted his asylum application Monday. Yee appeared via video from an Illinois jail where he’s been held since immigration authorities took him into custody at O’Hare International Airport in December.

Yee said little during the initial hearing. He’s due back March 7, though attorneys are seeking an earlier date. Yee was imprisoned twice on charges of hurting religious feelings.

Lawyer Sandra Grossman says her client was persecuted based on laws meant to restrict his freedom of expression. She says if he returns, he’ll likely be jailed again.

Grossman says President Donald Trump’s recent immigration action, including the travel ban, has fueled uncertainty for Yee’s asylum case.