So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted here but something happened tonight that is just the kind of thing that gets me to blog. I recently met a guy named Alex and tonight when we were talking I found out his story. He’s 27, has lived in Colorado for 3 years and is from Peru. He’s gay and is out here but is not at a point where he feels he can tell his family or anyone back home. He’s living here illegally; he overstayed a work visa.
I used to be a right-wing crazy who would go nuts over this kind of stuff, then I became a very conflicted and confused “moderate” who didn’t know quite what to do about these things but still strongly felt “they” should all go back and do it legally. Now I’m a bleeding heart liberal who wants us to throw open our arms and our borders and actually live by “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Why does Alex want to live in America so badly? He wants to fall in love and be able to live openly and without fear in a same sex relationship. As we spoke tonight he sadly told me about a close friend of his that was arrested for his immigration status almost 3 months ago. His friend is from Morocco and is desperate to stay here because he can be jailed for his sexuality if he is sent back home. He applied for amnesty based on his sexual orientation and was denied. He appealed and was in the middle of the detailed and exhaustive process when he was was picked up and taken to jail for his illegal status. He was shipped to a jail near Colorado Springs and remains there almost three months later.
I know we must have immigration laws; I understand that reality, but this is not the answer. This man is in jail and will likely be sent back to a very unfriendly country where he may be imprisoned for who he is and we don’t consider that important enough for him to stay.
This system is broken, but how do we fix it?