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How LGBT People Seek Asylum in the U.S.
Time-length-icon 7m 40s
Plays-icon 739
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Publish-date-icon May 27, 2010
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EPISODE DESCRIPTION

An illegal immigrant who’s been living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was arrested earlier this week in Arizona. Mohammad Abdollahi was protesting that state’s new law allowing police officers to arrest anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. Now the 24-year-old faces deportation to his native Iran.

That’s an even bigger problem than you might assume, he says because he could be executed for being gay.

His case is not unique. A recent report in the Chicago Tribune suggested that the number of gay immigrants seeking asylum may be increasing.

Eric Berndt is the supervising attorney for the National Asylum Partnership on Sexual Minorities. It’s part of the Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center. Berndt says most LGBT people don’t leave their home countries with the intention of seeking asylum in the U.S.

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