How slow does ICE melt?

More than 30,000 sign petition after Immigration and Customs Enforcement blows judge’s deadline to return wrongfully deported asylum-seeker

More than three weeks have passed since the Department of Homeland Security received a court-mandated deadline to return a gay asylum-seeker to California, one whom was illegally deported to the African nation of Chad on Dec. 2.

Abderaman Oumar Yaide had been living and working for a decade in the Bay Area, where he never had run-ins with the law. Yaide’s asylum claim is based on the fact that Chad criminalized homosexuality in 2017.

On Dec. 8, federal Judge Charles R. Breyer ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to return Yaide to the United States within two weeks, so his case could be properly heard. Attorneys for ICE later argued there were logistical challenges with that. Breyer extended the deadline to Jan. 8.

Then, for Yaide’s attorneys and friends, Jan. 9 arrived with continued radio silence.

On Jan. 20, a coalition of nonprofit groups delivered a petition with more than 30,000 signatures to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s San Francisco Office. The petition demanded ICE comply with the judicial order to return Yaide because his “life is in danger every single day he is in Chad.” Among the groups delivering the message were the African Advocacy Network, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, the Black LGBTQ Migrant Project and Community United Against Violence.