Content note: mention of violence, sexual assault, and attempted suicide
In appreciation of the organizations who worked tirelessly for the release of Udoka Nweke and other LGBTQ+ asylum seekers in immigration detention.
This illustration is in solidarity with gay asylum seeker Udoka Nweke. In 2016, Nweke had presented himself at the San Ysidro port of entry in California, asking for asylum. (This is completely legal, btw.)
Nweke was detained by ICE immediately and held in Adelanto Detention Center for nearly 19 months, where he experienced homophobic abuse from other inmates. There, he attempted suicide twice. This suffering could have been avoided if he had been released early on parole to wait for the decision on his asylum case instead of waiting in detention while his case was being decided, a process that could take months or years.
Is Nweke’s experience unique?
The consequences of parole denial
Medina León and Hernandez died of medical neglect in detention. The conditions of Díaz Córdova’s detention were so harsh that she gave up on her asylum case. Díaz Córdova was returned to her home country in late 2017. She was killed in February 2019. Three police officers were charged with her murder.