Modern Day Concentration Camps

          Nothing quite like starting off Pride month with a story of modern-day concentration camps in East Africa meant for members of the LGBTQ community. What comes with working for asylees and victims of violence is hearing the stories that made these people asylum seekers, listening to the details of the crimes that made them victims. I get to listen to the stories of the worst time in someone's life, when they lost their loved ones, their families, their freedoms. People often ask me, “Isn’t it difficult to work on immigration law cases?” or they say to me that “it must be so sad to always hear these stories from refugees.” My answer is no, because I believe in the law, I believe in the system and I believe in “We the People.”

          It is not difficult for me to listen to the harrowing details of being tortured in concentration camps lead by armed militia and meant to torture people for their sexuality when I get the opportunity to do something about it for my client. Listening to the details is only a fraction of the discomfort that it took for that person to have survived their trauma and come looking for refuge. Every traumatic experience, every hospital visit, every signed affidavit corroborating the abuse my client has endured is a small victory. Every ounce of pain my clients have endured is only fodder for empowering me in helping my attorneys do their jobs to secure asylum for this client.

          I believe that people who deserve asylum will be granted asylum. I believe that the laws are orchestrated in such a way to allow for those who are persecuted in their home countries and have no where else on earth to go and be free, to come here and live better lives. When I hear about all the sad, horrible things people around the world have had to endure, I do not feel sad, or worn down, I feel a fire lit within me to advocate for these people and get them their best possible outcomes.

          Immigration is a hot button topic ever since the idea of erecting a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border became a popular idea among conservatives. However, for me, immigration law has always been at the forefront of my mind. I am always thinking about immigration because I am an immigrant, half my friends are immigrants and I know so many people who have come to the United States in search of a better life. I also know of people who have tried to skirt the system and who have paid the price for it. I find satisfaction is helping people who are eligible for legal immigration to navigate the system, despite how many years it might take and regardless of the costs imposed because at the end of that journey, I have an opportunity to help a man who was forced to live for forty-nine days in a concentration camp in 2020 to start over, find love, start a business, and enjoy the rest of his life in a country I have come to love and cherish so much myself.