Thursday, July 12, 2007, 9:14 PM

Lest There Were Any Doubt That You Can Find An Expert Witness For Almost Anything . . . .

This Fourth Circuit immigration case today has nothing to do with business. Ali was a major in the Egyptian Army and married to an Egyptian woman. He entered the U.S. on a diplomatic visa to undergo training. While here, he married an American woman with the last name "Stine," a name of Jewish descent (she was not herself Jewish). He deserted the Egyptian Army, overstayed his visa, and sought asylum, contending that, once the Egyptian government found out the last name of his American wife, they'd assume he'd have pro-Israeli opinions and torture him. He presented an expert witness--an expert on Egyptian law and practice--who testified that the Egyptian government would "cut [Ali] to pieces" because he married Stine, due to her Jewish last name. This is so, the expert testified, because "Jews are the enemy of Egyptians and the Arabs, and this is mentioned in the Koran." The Fourth Circuit upheld the denial of asylum because there wasn't evidence the Egyptian government would actually seek to persecute him for his marriage to Stine and because the expert witness acknowledged that the Egyptian government would investigate whether Stine is Jewish before seeking to punish Ali on that basis, at which point the Egyptian government would find out that, although Stine may be of Jewish descent, she doesn't consider herself Jewish.

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