The federal appeals court in San Francisco has ruled that an immigrant is ineligible for political asylum in the United States if he has provided support to a terrorist organization, even if he was forced by threat of death.
The law that denies asylum to refugees who aided an organization on the US list of terrorists does not distinguish between voluntary and involuntary support.
Despite losing the case, a Sri Lankan man who fled to the United States in 2005 can remain in the US, his lawyer said, because immigration courts have blocked his deportation on the grounds that he would likely be tortured if returned to his homeland.
Nonetheless, his attorney said the ruling denying political asylum "undermines the rule of law," and his client may appeal.
After entering the United States illegally, he was imprisoned for two years in Arizona and then denied asylum, his lawyer said.
The man currently lives in upstate New York with his wife, who was granted asylum, and their child.