Teen blogger Amos Yee could remain behind bars in the United States of America until March 2017. Yee has detained in Chicago pending his political asylum bid since mid December 2017. The blogger had earlier decried the long detention saying he would be behind bars in the US longer than the time he spent in the Singapore Prison.
Yee made his first appearance at an immigration court in Chicago yesterday (30 Jan) and his next hearing is set for 7 March. It is still unclear though if Yee will remain in custody till that time as it is entirely up to the US immigration agency if they would release him before the next court date. Yee’s lawyer said that she will renew a request for his release.
Yee who appeared before the immigration judge via video link was said to be in a “positive state of mind”.
Yee had earlier said that America’s immigration policies were repressive, that “tens of thousands of people have already suffered from these policies”, and that he was speaking up against them.
Amos’ rant against the American system is a U-Turn from his earlier post where he said that incarceration in the US “is far better than Singaporean jail.”
Yee landed in Chicago O-Hare Airport on 16 Dec with a tourist visa and was detained by the US authorities when they discovered text messages between him and a US-based Singaporean activist, Melissa Chen, about his bid for political asylum in America.
Ms Chen has started a petition demanding the immediate release of Amos from American jail. She claimed that his detention highlighted the flaws of USA’s immigration policy and is contradictory to the principles of free speech America professes to hold. The petition has over 200 signatures.
In likening his actions for immigration reforms in the US to that of “Gandhi, Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr, and to Jesus Christ”, Yee asked his fans to join his resistance.
He further said that the he has no intention of returning to Singapore as he does not want to do National Service. Last month he appealed for $10,000 to be donated towards his relocation to the US. To date, about $3,000 has been pledged to his relocation fund.