American Refugees in Europe

Posted by: Jason Dzubow Oct 29, 2010 at 06:05 AM

Jennifer Collins has a blog about her experience as a refugee in the Netherlands. It is definitely worth a look--

My name is Jennifer Collins. I am the daughter of the woman you mentioned in the article, American Citizens Seek Asylum in Great Britain. My mother, Holly Collins was the first American to be granted asylum in another country.

I don't know how it works in Great Britain but we certainly didn't have a "posh" stay in the Netherlands refugee camps. I vividly remember being hungry and embarrassed that my shoes had holes in them and that my mom had to wash out our few pairs of socks and underwear in the bathroom sink. She worked hard scrubbing floors and toilets for 50 cents and hour to feed us.

It is important to remember that we were granted asylum because my father was dangerous and had vowed to murder my mother, my brothers and me. He testified that he strangled us kids and broke my mother’s nose several times. He attacked her with a knife and fractured my 4 years old brother’s skull in a drunken tirade. Yet the local family court felt that my mother's fear of my father was interfering in his relationship with his children.

We lived in anonymity for 14 years until we were found by the FBI. It is important to mention that the United States dropped all federal criminal kidnapping charges against my mother. She refused to apologize to a egotistical county judge who was out for revenge and voluntarily plead guilty to one count of contempt of court as noted in the court records: "I admit to having contempt for the court which failed to protect my children."

We are still residing in the Netherlands and will be eternally grateful for grating us asylum despite our privileged American nationality.

All children have the right to be safe!

Kind Regards,
Jennifer Collins

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