August 6, 2014. Los Angeles. (ONN) Is America a free country or an apartheid state? We’re constantly told that unlike communist countries which have to build walls to keep people in, the US has to build walls to keep people out. The shocking truth is, tens of millions of Americans are prisoners in the US, unable to leave, and many for no legitimate reason at all. Your author is just one, but more and more are writing to us every day for help and to let us know we’re not alone.
Mikhail Sebastian, image courtesy of GLAAD.org.
Some readers are familiar with your author’s personal 20-year-long tragedy of daily persecution, prosecution and theft for the crime of single-handedly raising my children. Denied any kind of child support because I am a father in an apartheid country, we’ve been forced to pay child support for more than 20 years to a deadbeat mother 1,000 miles away. Your author was surprised to find out a few years ago that that ‘crime’ earned me the privilege of being imprisoned in the US, unable to ever leave the country.
Mikhail Sebastian is a Los Angeles resident who is in a similar situation, and for the same 20-year time period. He’s done everything the US government and state governments have asked of him, just like your author. And also like your author, he’s found himself repeatedly jailed anyway. Your author is one of the millions of American dads who is a prisoner in his own country. But Mikhail Sebastian is one of the thousands here in the US considered ‘stateless’, ordered to leave, but not allowed to do so.
Coming to America
Mikhail Sebastian is a 41-year-old born to Russian-speaking Armenian Christian parents in Azerbaijan, then a territory of the Soviet Union. Just prior to the collapse of the Soviet empire, Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a local war. An estimated 30,000 people were killed and millions were forced to flee both countries.
Mikhail and his family fled to Turkmenistan where they were constantly persecuted by the Muslim majority for their Christian faith. They applied for asylum in Moscow, but were denied. He then did what so many others around the world have done over the years - he came to America. Mikhail Sebastian was 22 years old when his plane landed in the US and he ended
up in Houston, Texas. He’d spent two years learning English, so he could at least function somewhat. The first thing he did was apply for political asylum. Without any money, he was forced to defend himself in front of an immigration hearing. But his broken English made it difficult to make his case. He was denied and ordered to leave America.
But Sebastian had a problem. He had no country to be deported to. By that time in 1995, the Soviet Union had dissolved and didn’t exist anymore, and along with it his citizenship. The Soviet province he was from was a tug-o-war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over control. His home was on the Azerbaijan side of the border, but had been overrun by Armenian militias. Neither side recognized him as their citizen.
Kicked out of America
Mikhail Sebastian was ordered by US Immigration officials to leave the US. But not a single country would give him permission to enter. Stuck in America with no way out, he had to survive. Ironically, Mikhail had learned English in preparation for coming to the US. But once here, he realized he learned the wrong language. He quickly took Spanish classes so he could fit in around Houston and find a job.
In 2002, Sebastian was apprehended by US immigration police and housed in a for-profit Correction Corporation of America prison for six months even though he had never been in any kind of trouble since his arrival. In 2003, he was released from jail, put on supervision and remanded over to the Dept of Homeland Security. ICE couldn’t deport him because he was considered ‘stateless’ along with 4,000 other foreigners stuck in America. Homeland Security approved a work permit for him while everyone involved tried to find a country to accept him.
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Stuck in America
Mikhail Sebastian spent the next seven years working, paying taxes and reporting to the ICE office every three months as ordered. After his horrific ordeal and imprisonment in Texas, he moved to Los Angeles. In 2010, he had the opportunity to travel to American Samoa, a US territory just like Puerto Rico and Guam. Since American Samoa is governed by the US State Dept, Mikhail had no problem gaining official approval from DHS, American Samoa and Hawaiian Airlines to travel there and back.
But when Sebastian tried to return to Los Angeles, the airline told him he was barred from entering the US. Overruling his written permission from the Washington DC ICE office, the local Honolulu Immigration office told him that since he voluntarily left the US, he had legally self-deported and couldn’t return. Stranded in American Samoa, he feverishly worked with the Samoan Attorney General – the equivalent of any State Attorney General – to convince Hawaiian ICE officials that American Samoa is part of the United States and it’s impossible to self-deport oneself from the US to the US. It took 14 months for Mikhail to be allowed to return to his home in Los Angeles.
Yury Decyatnik - American Police State
Yury Decyatnik is another ‘stateless’ non-citizen of the US stuck in America. He says, “I want to leave the US forever. What happened? I became a victim of the neo-Marxist radical feminist domestic violence industry.” Decyatnik quotes US Attorney General Eric Holder bragging that America has the best justice system in the world. But Yury says that can’t be true since the US has the highest prison incarceration rate in the world. Either Americans are the most evil people on Earth, or America is a police state.
The frustrated former citizen of the Soviet Union describes his experiences with the American people and their elected leaders. “I cannot say Americans are the most evil people, but a huge part of the US population deserves a PhD in stupidity.” He cites one Congressman who fears Guam will flip over and capsize. Another US Senator publicly asked if the American flag Neil Armstrong planted in 1969 was still on Mars. Another US Senator is quoted describing America’s three branches of government as the President, the House, and the Senate.
Echoing a sentiment your author has been living proof of for 20 years now, Yury Decyatnik describes his experience with America’s family court system. “People get away with lying in court daily,” he explains, “Dire injustice is occurring across the US. Laws enacted to protect the victims of the vile crime of domestic violence are being abused by citizens as well as law enforcement. In this process innocent men's lives are destroyed. Burden of proof is being thrown out and the simple word of the accuser is being taken without question, many times without the accused even being allowed to speak.”
Stuck in America
After being apprehended and charged with what he calls frivolous domestic accusations by an angry partner, Yury Decyatnik was jailed for nearly three years. He spent one year in solitary confinement and an additional two years in an ICE detention facility. Now, he’s being forced to leave the country and he says that’s fine with him. He can’t flee America fast enough. But the same US federal government that wants him out, won’t let him leave.
After revealing he has a 4-year-old son waiting for him in Russia, Decyatnik describes, “In December of 2013, I talked face to face with the Russian Consul in Seattle. I had been told that if I could obtain official paperwork from ICE containing my name, immigration status and picture, the Russian Consulate would grant me a visa to go to Russia and in time would be able to get Russian citizenship.”
When he contacted ICE offices to obtain the required document so he could leave the US as ordered, Yury ran into another problem. The only official statement he could get from US officials read, “USCIS electronic records indicate that Mr. Decyatnik was ordered removed from the United States on February 26, 2002. It appears that Mr. Decyatnik has no immigration status in the United States. USCIS cannot issue official proof of non-status.”
Yuri Decyatnik sums up his reaction saying, “How stupid is this? If INS can't remove me, just give me travel documents and I will leave on my own. In my opinion, common sense was dead in the United States a long time ago.” With millions of Americans now prisoner in their own country, common sense isn’t the only thing that died a long time ago.
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