RE: “The Asylum Seeker” [Feature, July 25], in which Katie Herzog writes about the plight of Russian immigrant Dmitri, a bisexual man who fled his home to avoid the very real possibility of being killed. He came to America with the hope that this country would allow him the freedom to be himself. Instead, Dmitri’s claims for asylum have fallen on deaf ears and he’s spent the last six months in a prison in Tacoma, a city he’d never heard of before arriving here.

My heart is broken. There are no adequate words to respond to such heartlessness....


[This] highlights a very real problem in the immigration system, and specifically with regards to asylum seekers. The immigration legal community does an amazing job at trying to fill the gaps of this shattered system. So much of the duress occurs due to a lack of knowing what one’s rights and options are, in very scary and isolating situations. I once heard an immigration attorney ruminate that ideally, there would be no need for them. I agree with that stance, and posit that we work on fixing the system itself, instead of assigning blame to those caught up in it.

Sahara Sooter

Having worked on a number of asylum cases, the system is awful, and most of the judges are wretched assholes who look for any and all reasons to deny what should be legitimate claims. You might luck out and get one of the good judges, but in most cases the amount of evidence does not matter. Further complicating the issue is that you need “proof” of likely or imminent persecution, which generally requires expert reports, studies, etc. Those take a long time, and frequently are impossible in parts of the world where conditions are the worst. The US has been on a long, downward slide with regards to sane and humane immigration policies, and our shitstain president is intent on making a bad situation even worse.



Thank you so much for printing information about the local movie scene—especially for the Academy Theater. For those of us who do not get this information via a computer (or other electronic media), thank you for the movie schedule. The weekly ad for the Academy Theater goes immediately on my refrigerator door. Boo, Oregonian; boo, Willamette Week.

Jan Schweitzer


Re: “Beer Crawling on the Orange MAX Line,” [Lush Life, July 25], in which Senior Editor Ned Lannamann charts a beer-soaked course from downtown Portland to Milwaukie.

What a cute article about beer crawling on the Orange Line. It’s nice you included all the corporate hipstery hangs along the way. However, you missed the prize at the end of the line. Just a short walk or bus ride up McLoughlin Boulevard is perhaps the dive-iest of dive bars, known as the Desert Inn Tavern, replete with wood paneling, a green Formica bar, and five TVs with varying color fidelity. They have a full six beers on tap and they have booze, with karaoke three nights a week. It’s the perfect place to de-hipsterize, although ripped jeans will be welcomed.

Oak Grove OG


I frickin’ love the I, Anonymous Show podcast. I bet you do too. In fact, I can’t think of a single person who has ever lived who wouldn’t love it. Except maybe Jesus... If we listened to him, it would be Live from Here with Chris Thile 24-7. Screw that. Seriously, SCREW THAT! So let’s have more of the I, Anonymous Show please. It doesn’t even have to be live. I’m just voicing my adoration of the show and sincere hope that it continues.


Darren, we love the I, Anonymous podcast, too! While it’s been a while since we posted the last one (sorry about that), we’ll have a brand-new episode for you later this week! For those who haven’t heard the podcast yet, visit iTunes and get to listening. And for Darren’s excellent taste in podcasts—and because we are not immune to flattery—we’re awarding him the Mercury’s letter of the week, along with two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater!