Friday, May 30, 2014

Lawyers speak about asylum for LGBT people at QA in Washington for a documentary on immigration

At the QA of a showing of “Documented” by Jose Antonio Vargas (reviewed tonight in the Movies blog), I was able to ask about the issue of asylum for LGBT people from countries hostile to homosexuals.  Three immigration lawyers were present at the QA, at the West End Cinema in Washington DC, besides Mr. Vargas.

One lawyer pointed out that there are two scenarios:  one is where the person is in the US and asks for asylum before a visa expires, and another is where someone goes to a US consulate overseas and asks for asylum.  With gay issues, it is harder to prove you are likely to be persecuted to US authorities than it is to authorities of many other western countries (like Canada), so some of the other countries may receive more requests.

However another attorney said that asylum did not depend on having a sponsor or someone to support you.  The attorney did recall the circumstances in 1980 with Cuban refugees, where there did seem to be an usual reason to require sponsorship, and many of the requests were made in southern cities, from Florida all the way to Houston and especially Dallas. 

The meeting that I had said was to be held at the DC Community Center tonight had actually been held May 30, 2013.  So I guess this gathering at the West End amounted to that meeting!

Regarding the "refugiados cubaos" of 1980, the Metro in Washington displayed an interesting ad sign last night.

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