While the Ugandan government has promised a "Christmas present to the nation" in the form of legislation that threatens to execute gay people, for one gay Ugandan, and from a different government entirely, Christmas has arrived in the form of a reprieve from deportation.
Joseph Bokombe came to San Diego from Uganda in 2003. But when his visa expired, fearing almost certain death should he return, he avoided taking corrective action. Then one night in 2010, Bokombe claims he ate alcohol-laced jello and was subsequently stopped for a DUI. He was brought to the Otay Mesa Detention Facility where he languished there for several years.
But through a friend of a friend, Bokombe's cause was taken up by lawyer Ginger Jacobs who petitioned for a two-year reprieve. Donations were raised to pay a 20,000 dollar bail that officials finally admitted may have been sent to the wrong address. And then, only recently, Bokombe got word from the U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement. He would be allowed to stay for at least two years:
"Consistent with its enforcement priorities, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has granted Mr. Bukombe deferred action for a two-year period to afford him further time to pursue legal options. At the end of that timeframe, ICE will reevaluate his case to determine appropriate next steps."
Bokombe plans to apply for a work-visa. Supporters have set up a fund at mhasd.org to assist with paying off the bail and applying for a work visa.
© 2012, Victor Hoff. All rights reserved. Menofcolor.blogs.com