I know that the news over the past few weeks has been heart-wrenching. The asylum system is under attack. Refugees seeking asylum are being illegally turned away at the border. Those who are able to make it into the country are being torn apart from their families and detained in horrific conditions. And just this week, the Attorney General announced that he would be substantially suspending due process to push asylum cases through immigration courts so quickly that refugees will have almost no chance to make a case for protection.
All of this is wrong! But even in the face of such remarkable adversity, I continue to be inspired by the successes Immigration Equality achieves for LGBTQ and HIV-positive immigrants. Now more than ever, it is critical that we work together to defend the right to seek asylum.
People like our client Edwin are counting on us. Edwin is a young gay man from Honduras who survived years of homophobic abuse, torture, and multiple gang kidnappings. When he fled to the U.S. at age 19, he was detained for nearly 10 months. He was shuffled from one facility to another and eventually ended up in New Jersey. Detention conditions were so bad that he felt he had no choice but to agree to be deported. Then, Immigration Equality stepped in.
After we met with Edwin, he agreed to keep fighting to save his life. Last month, we secured asylum for him. Today, he is starting his life over in New York City, where he hopes to return to school and eventually become a veterinarian.
Edwin is an inspiration to us all. His experiences highlight both the inhumanity of this administration’s policies and the dire necessity of our services. More importantly, his case shows that when we fight, we win.
Aaron C. Morris
Executive Director, Immigration Equality