Alaska asylum seekers are Indigenous Siberians from Russia and Eastern Europe. They are refugees, but the system does not work. On the ground, the police are an obstacle.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that immigrants’ rights to due process were not violated under the federal criminal laws. The case was about the case of Alaskan Natives brought to the U.S. following the Russian Revolution. As a result of the Russian Revolution, the government expelled about 200,000 Russian people. Many went to Alaska.
Anchorage had an “Alaskan problem” for a while: Russian émigrés who had arrived looking for jobs, then found it difficult to work in Alaska’s high cost of living. And what did they do with their money? They gambled it away. They invested it in gold, or other things like real estate. But Alaskan Natives don’t gamble, so the money was gone. And Alaska is expensive because of weather. In the winter, people don’t go out to the grocery store and get food. They get food from a government-run warehouse.
In March 1994, an elderly man bought a lottery ticket. He won $75,000. The state Department of Lottery and Charitable Games and Alaska Board of Lottery and Charitable Games stepped in and confiscated his prize. In response, the man sued the state.
The Supreme Court, in its decision, ruled that the state had not violated the man’s constitutional rights when it confiscated his prize money. But did the federal criminal laws violate the man’s rights? The man had no right to keep his money. State law made it clear he couldn’t. And in a way, that’s what the Supreme Court ruled. It did not find that the man had a right to keep his money from a state government agent, but it found that the man had no right to keep his money from the federal government.
And that’s exactly what the U.S. Supreme Court did in June. The ruling applies to all people who have won a legal federal prize in recent years. It doesn’t matter what the form of the prize is, or how long there has been a legal prize or contest, or who