Joseph Bokombe, a musician, came to the United States five years ago. He arrived, on a cultural exchange visa, from Uganda. He settled in San Diego. But right now, he’s in the custody of American immigration officials, and is being threatened with deportation back to Uganda for overstaying his visa. Oh, one other thing: Bokombe is gay, and he fears for his life if he’s sent back to Uganda. So do his friend.
A petition drive has been launched and apparently has attracted a paltry 240 signatures, pressing immigration officials to keep Bokombe from being forced back to Uganda. It’s unclear whether Bokombe has formally filed for asylum.
“It’s so painful to me,” said friend Awichu Akwanya. […] Akwanya, a Ugandan native, said he believes Bokombe would face a similar fate. “Actually I don’t think even past the airport. They just get him and then put him in detention. In detention, he can get poisoned or [they will] hire some people in jail to kill him,” said Akwanya.
Because 240 signatures don’t match the two million that supporters of Uganda’s Kill The Gays bill claim to have submitted to Parliament. And as we all know, gay men are targeted there, and sometimes they are murdered.
The sane Francis
Given the latest asylum cases he’ll likely be allowed to stay, but these sort of things shouldn’t even be happening and it’s sick to see that they are.
I pray they do not! No one should be punished for who and what they are NATURALLY..
You’ve got to love all the hateful comments on the linked article, including the one that says “he chose that lifestyle, he should live or die with it.”
I think I’ll remember that line and repeat it next time some heterosexual anti-gay Christian who got laid off and cannot pay his mortgage or feeds his family asks for my help.
The sane Francis
Half/more than half of the comments say “illegal aliens”, he’s “an illegal”, he should be deported, and “he chose that lifestyle”. San Diego is a fucking nasty place in terms of how uptight and conservative it is. It’s mind boggling how a state can have a San Francisco, LA, West Hollywood and then have a San Diego and Fresno.
@The sane Francis: SD is a military town, that’s why. It’s also known to not be quite as fast-paced and cosmopolitan as L.A. and SF.
But it’s no different in a state like NY, where you have NYC and the rest of the state and its smaller cities are more conservative.
@Brian Miller: Here is an interesting comment that I can kind of see the logic in:
“Poor man has several strikes against him due to his sexuality and race, both of which unfortunately seem to still be an offensive issue to many locals.
As an immigration judge, I’d probably focus on the fact that he managed to survive in Uganda for all those years up until about 3 years ago. He didn’t seem to be poisoned or murdered or tortured then.”
Then again, he probably was closeted in Uganda, which is how he managed to survive until coming here.
On another note, most of the posters there are claiming that Uganda is a Muslim country. They are so uninformed – it’s an extremely fundamentalist Christian nation. Seems they are 1)just ignorant, or 2)unwilling to own up to the reality of their Christian bigotry.
The sane Francis
True, Adam, about the commenters saying it’s a Muslim issue. I expect nothing less. And yes, I knew about SD being military, and yes, it’s true of NY and really everywhere. It’s just a little crazy to think how only being a few miles north or south of a certain local can change your entire life view and experience and the culture you are living in.
I tried to sign the petition, but it’s not there at change.org…
I am surprised that this case has gotten this far without him being granted asylum. This is not even a close call issue as far as there being proof of arguing he will face persecution.
He needs to be deported he could have filed an asylum claim before his visa expired.
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