An Unlikely Route to an Immigrant Visa

If I’m reading this New York Times article correctly, the young pirate whose three cobrigands were all killed by Navy SEAL snipers may eventually live freely here in the United States. Talk about winning the immigration lottery!

Just how swiftly a trial would be held is uncertain, and much would depend on the defense strategy, which almost certainly would involve an investigation into the man’s background and the circumstances under which he became involved in the hostage-taking.

The suspect has been identified in news reports as Abduhl Wal-i-Musi, and is described as being in his late teens.

“We don’t know a thing about him,” said Joshua L. Dratel, a lawyer who has handled terrorism cases in federal court and Guantánamo Bay. “He may have been a conscripted child soldier. There may be a whole back story to his motivation that’s very different than just criminal behavior and criminal intent.”

The defense could also seek to have him cooperate with prosecutors in return for being placed in a protected prison program, and even later relocated in the United States, if he could provide truly useful information about how the pirate networks operate, who runs them and who pays for them.

If he ever ends up living in America’s largest Somali community in Minneapolis-St. Paul, then I propose turning his life into a movie titled: “Abduhl, Abduhl: A young man’s strange journey from Mogadishu to Minneapolis.”

7 Responses to “An Unlikely Route to an Immigrant Visa”

  1. ng says:

    I heard two things about him, not mutually exclusive: that he was out of the lifeboat and on the ship because he was wounded, and that he was cooperating with the Navy before the final rescue. This cooperation may be what’s earning him the possible good turn.

  2. Carol says:

    The BBC said he was seeking help for a wound in his hand. One of the sailors said he had stabbed one of the pirates. Perhaps these two reports go together. It also reported that he was cooperating as ng says.

  3. dc says:

    I wouldn’t necessarily recommend piracy as a way for young, destitute men on the horn of Africa to make their way to better futures in the United States, but I do suspect that this particular pirate did have more sense and savvy than his three colleagues. Wounded or not, he probably saw the writing on the wall, did a quick cost-benefit analysis, and realized that the odds of having a long and fulfilling life were better on the Bainbridge with the Navy sailors than on the lifeboat with the pirates. He sounds like just the right sort of clever, enterprising young man that we should welcome within our borders.

  4. wordnerd says:

    Maybe his daughter will become president of these United States.

  5. avoice says:

    I think what we have at work here is the CHUTZPAH principle. Piracy is still listed as a crime, right? They haven’t changed that, have they? Maybe he could come to the USA to serve out his sentence. Won’t he have to list his prior crimes to get a Green Card? I do think that treating a pirate’ s hand is mighty white of the Navy. It’s a gold star for us.

  6. ruth gutmann says:

    It reminds me of JFK: Life is not fair.

  7. ruth gutmann says:

    My own route to an immigrant visa proceeded from a discussion with the American consul in Liverpool (pre-Beatles) of Thomas Mann’s Tonio Kroeger to a stamp in my passport. It was a bit awkward because I hadn’t read that one.

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