A legal immigrant from China is making a final plea in court to be allowed to stay in the U.S. rather than face persecution for his Christian faith.
Ting Xue fled China because of persecution and arrived in the United States on a visa asking for asylum. In China, he had to practice his faith in secret to avoid punishment, and was arrested for attending an underground church that had no legal recognition from the government. He was jailed, beaten, and fined over half his annual wages.
Pacific Justice Institute attorney and president Brad Dacus explains the gravity of the situation.
"He wants to be able to be here in the United States without being deported to a country that is most certainly going to have him flagged for severe punishment and possibly labor camps and things like that, which are very common in Communist China," Dacus tells OneNewsNow.
Xue filed suit in federal court and then with the Tenth U.S. Court of Appeals, but lost. Dacus says the courts are downplaying the reality of the religious persecution he faced.
"The lower courts are trying to use a definition of the concept of persecution in a way that makes it very difficult for individuals to be able to come to this country," he says.
PJI explains the court ruled that religious persecution doesn't necessarily exist where an immigrant has had to practice his or her faith in hiding to avoid harassment or punishment by authorities in that person's native country. But Dacus argues that America's founders understood that persecution exists "where a government has created a climate of fear" for individuals of certain faiths or belief systems.
Dacus has filed a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the case.