Friday, October 26, 2007

Updates: Gay Mexican denied US asylum, Alvaro Orozco, bi-national couples

Political asylum denied to Mexican gay man: In this week's Gay City News, Arthur Leonard describes the failed attempt by a Mexican gay man to gain political asylum in the United States based on sexual orientation.

Leonard writes "The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, based in New York City, has ruled in an unpublished decision that the current level of anti-gay persecution in Mexico is not sufficient to justify granting a withholding of removal for a gay immigrant who claimed to fear persecution if returned to that nation."

But what strikes me, once again, is the mistakes made by the applicant in submitting his claim: 1. He applied after the statutory 1-year window of opportunity imposed by the US on asylum seekers and 2. He had no legal representation at the asylum hearing (he argued that his attorney failed to show up but my experience is that an applicant can ask for the interview to be postponed if his attorney is not present - though I'm not sure if this varies from court to court). The fact that he had not personally experienced past persecution while living in Mexico, though sometimes surmountable in an asylum claim if you present evidence, did not help his case.

Alvaro Orozco: Speaking of asylum, this time in Canada, there has been no better luck for Alvaro Orozco, the young man from Nicaragua that was ordered deported back in August after courts originally questioned whether he was truly gay. His attorneys tried to get a stay of removal earlier this month but the courts refused to grant it. A new order of deportation was handed down on October 4th.

Oh, Canada! But not all news from Canada have been as dire. Emilio and Tom, friends of mine whose bi-national immigration story I've featured here from time to time, can breathe a sight of relief: On October 11th they became permanent residents of Canada, or, as Tom put it on their blog "We finally made it after 20 months of waiting and Emilio is now officially safe from US tyranny!"

Understandably, they are looking forward to the move up north even though it will be sad to see them go (we promise a visit or two).

Tom and Emilio are featured in "Through Thick and Thick" so the news might be a spoiler of sorts if you haven't watched it. Below is a YouTube preview of the Sebastian Cordoba documentary. More on the issues faced by same-sex binational couple in the US at the Immigration Equality website here.

Oh, Argentina? Speaking of same-sex binational couples, former New York Blade editor and current blogger Chris Crain, who already changed his country of residence to Brazil in order to live with his Brazilian partner, Anderson, recently wrote on his blog that their next place of residence will be Argentina after options to remain in Brazil dried out. Ultimately, though, Chris says that, like Tom and Emilio, they might take a look at Canada as an option as well.

1 comment:

Emilio said...

We hope we'll be honor with your visit more than twice! Thanks for your note, We love you guys!!!