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Gay Asylum Seeker from Ghana Detained in South Texas, Ordered for Deportation Despite Claim to Due Process Violations

An article by the Intercept investigated the story of Sadat Ibrahim, a gay man from Ghana, who is facing deportation from within the South Texas ICE Processing Facility. Ibrahim arrived to the California border to seek asylum after being targeted by vigilante gangs in his community. He was a victim of violence motivated by homophobia while in his home community in Accra, where it is illegal to be gay.

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Ibrahim entered the U.S. through the San Ysidro U.S. border checkpoint between San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Mexico, where he asked for help and claimed asylum. He was then sent to Georgia and detained in Stewart Detention Center, run by CoreCivic (formerly the Corrections Corporation of America, or CCA), where he had no access to legal representation. According to The Intercept’s reporting, Ibrahim and his lawyer denounced ICE for withholding critical evidence for his asylum case sent by mail. “They maintain that an immigration judge would not have denied Ibrahim’s asylum claim if that evidence had been delivered,” the article says. Stewart Detention Center has been criticized by outside observers for due process violations, lack of access to legal assistance, and denied delivery of mail — issues seen at the several private CoreCivic-operated facilities in Texas.

Ibrahim has been transferred to South Texas ICE Processing Facility. He reports feeling terrified as deportation proceedings are underway. As an LGBT-identifying individual, he faces increased risk of violence within detention, and an uncertain future under the Trump Administration.

“Advocates also worry about the future of asylum cases for LGBTQ individuals under the new administration. Though Ibrahim’s due process disaster took place under Barack Obama, and the decision to deny him asylum was handed down less than a week after Trump became president, the new administration’s actions show a pattern of disregard for international LGBTQ rights,” the article states.

 

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