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Deportation leads to death

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A decision made by an officer, an ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) Judge, a Congressman and a President can lead to death.  In the particular case covered by LGBT Weekly, Nelson Javier Avila-Lopez, a gay 21 year old man, was deported back to Honduras and died there in prison in a fire that killed 357 other prisoners.  Avila-Lopez left Honduras when he was 17 to get away from gang violence and to escape the harassment he faced as a gay teen, according to his mother.  Because comprehensive immigration reform was not passed by Congress, there are still 267,000 LGBT undocumented immigrants in precarious situations facing deportation back to countries that do not have protections for LGBT people.   

Advocates in Honduras are fighting to pass laws there and the immigrant community here is supporting their efforts.  In this case according to his mother, the ICE officer decided to deport Avila-Lopez despite the stay on removal that his lawyer was able to get him.  She also reports that the judge deported her son because he missed a hearing, although he had filed an asylum application. 

These decisions all took place within the current broken immigration system framework.   Although the Senate passed a version of immigration reform with a path to citizenship and specific provisions around asylum, the House has gone home without taking action.  Speaker Boehner did not introduce the bill.  Although the President has expressed support for reform, the deportations continue resulting in an estimated 1,100 immigrants being forced to leave the country every day.  Some advocates have repeatedly called on the President to end these deportations with an executive order.

You can read the article from the LGBT Weekly here: http://lgbtweekly.com/2013/12/13/mother-of-dead-gay-man-to-sue-u-s-government-over-illegal-deportation/

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