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Deportation stalled for gay Ugandan immigrant

Citizenship can sometimes be a long and uphill battle for immigrants arriving from other countries. Every moment, it seems as if you may be at risk for getting deported from the United States. This is precisely what a Ugandan man living in San Diego faced as his visa expired and he became subject to deportation and removal proceedings.

The man, who works as a musician, came to the U.S. from Uganda on a cultural exchange visa five years ago. After it expired, he continued living in the United States, fearing he would be killed if he returned to Uganda. When officials discovered that he was living on an expired visa, he received notice that he would be deported from the U.S. He is currently being detained in a facility in San Diego. However, he has now been given a chance to appeal that decision.

After moving to the United States, the man began living as an openly gay individual. However, recent threats to homosexuals living in Uganda would put the man's life in immediate danger should he be sent back, which is why he is seeking asylum.

Due mainly to religious pressure, Uganda has been considering legislation that would make certain aspects of homosexuality a capital crime and punishable by the death penalty. The Ugandan media is also known to print photographs of prominent gay people in its publications. It has been reported that such persecution has led to the recent murder of a gay activist. This proposal was expected to have been passed by now, but hearings have been delayed.

Some activists in San Diego have started a petition to help keep the man in the U.S. that now boasts nearly 25,000 signatures. Thanks to their efforts, the man's deportation and removal proceedings have been put on hold.

Source: 10News, "Local Gay Man's Deportation To Uganda On Hold," 13 May, 2011

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