November 6, 2018
VOTE FOR US CAMPAIGN BY Immigration Equality, the nations leading law firm representing LGBTQ and HIV positive asylum seekers with pro-Bono legal service.
Immigration equality started the #vote4US movement, Aaron C. Morris is Immigration Equality’s Executive Director. Prior to becoming ED, Aaron led the organization’s law and policy programs. As such, he has supervised Immigration Equality’s legal services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and lobbying efforts.
I sat with Aaron to discuss with him what is like to be the executive Director of Immigration equality, he explained his journey of joining immigration equality from law school, as a staff attorney in 2008, I had client and mentor attorney in our pro-Bono network, I became the senior staff attorney, became the director of policy in the beginning of 2016 I became the point head of the organization and still have 8 clients.
Quote Aaron “We were founded in 1994 because there was a gap in legal service for LGBT and HIV positive people, it make sense because of the internationality and is an undeserved population due to historic stigma and discrimination. Aaron explain is organization focus on this two group are closed tied into the structure, being that LGBT people are mostly affected by HIV, it became evident to combine the fight for LGBTQ and HIV positive persons which have been classified as marginalized groups.
Aaron also pleaded for people who can vote they should vote, one of our campaign is the vote for #us campaign, I think we should ask our representatives if they are not supporting LGBTQ and friendly to LGBTQ policies do not vote for them. There are more people that believe immigrants enrich our country, than those who believe the otherwise, we are in a difficult time but we should go out and vote.
Since the mid 1990’s United States have accepted sexual orientation and gender identity as protected grounds under the asylum law, we have won a lot of case for people living with HIV who are not LGBT, so people can come to the United States and seek asylum on this basis but since the Trump administration the work has become more difficult, I would not advice an incoming asylum seekers to ask for asylum at the border because they would be detained and you would be in detention till your cases have a final decision. If you come on a visa and want to apply for asylum that is a different part, you might be detained but is likely not possible.
Aaron advice asylum seekers who do not have legal representation to get as much information as they can to enable, they can access such information from www.immigrationequality.org if you cannot find a lawyer, at least consultation with a legal firm is ideal. Is our hope to always give someone the basic tool to give people help.
Asylum seekers who are on HIV medication should not stop taking their medication because the public charge policies does not apply to them, seek legal consultation and if you need any help call immigration Equality.
I ended the session with the support I got from immigration equality, many asylum seekers like myself need legal assistance as the first step in getting a legal status, Legal representation would have cost me thousand of dollars. I believe the first step for building your life in a new country is to get a legal status, free legal representation is the key to building a migrant life.
Podcast Host Edafe Okporo, Author of BED 26, Memoir of an African Man’s Asylum in the United States. Visit my website www.edafeokporo.com
#vote #asylumseekers #migration #immigrants #law