After a long immigration ordeal, justice will prevail for gay HIV-positive Mexican refugee Carlos Bringas-Rodriguez. He had been living with his husband (a U.S. citizen) in Kansas City, when, three days before Christmas, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) violated a court order and deported him to Mexico, where he hid out in a hotel with a dwindling supply of HIV meds.
After the intervention of Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef), a Los Angeles–based nonprofit that provides defense for immigrants facing deportation, and with the support of social media campaign #BringBringasHome, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered DHS to return Bringas-Rodriguez to the United States, which Immigrant Defenders reported on January 12.
By January 16, ImmDef’s attorney Meeth Soni was in Mexico to return Bringas-Rodriguez to his husband and daughter. While at the San Diego Airport, they posted this video update on Facebook:
As POZ reported in a March 2017 newsfeed item “Asylum Recommended for HIV-Positive Gay Mexican,” Bringas-Rodriguez had fled Mexico after family members and a neighbor repeatedly beat and raped him because he is gay. He requested asylum in a case that saw many hearings and reversals, including the March 2017 recommendation for asylum.
Nonetheless, DHS deported Bringas-Rodriguez before Christmas. A few weeks later, ImmDef issued a call to action. It read in part:
Bringas should never have been deported. In March 2017, Bringas won his case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Court returned the case to the immigration court with specific instructions that ensured Bringas’ life would not be placed in unnecessary peril.
His deportation was a result of a failure by the Immigration Court and DHS to follow the Ninth Circuit’s order. Unbeknownst to Bringas, an immigration judge had ordered him removed in a hearing where he was not present. He had not even had notice of the hearing. DHS then deported Carlos.
Bringas is now in Mexico, hiding in a hotel with only a rapidly dwindling supply of his HIV medications. Bringas came to the U.S. as a teenager after having experienced years of sexual abuse at the hands of relatives and a neighbor who abused him because of his sexual orientation and threatened to kill him if he reported the abuse.
Bringas’ legal team at Immigrant Defenders Law Center and Sharma-Crawford Attorneys at Law is trying to get the San Diego Immigration Court to undo the deportation order so that we can bring Bringas back home. In the meantime, DHS must parole Bringas into the country so that he can resume his treatment and remain protected while the courts render a decision. #BringBringasHOME
On January 12, ImmDef posted on Twitter that “Justice prevails. The Ninth Circuit GRANTED our WRIT and have ORDERED DHS to Bring Bringas Home!!”
UPDATE: JUSTICE PREVAILS!! The Ninth Circuit GRANTED our WRIT and have ORDERED DHS to Bring Bringas Home!! See the order below. Power to the People.— Immigrant Defenders (@ImmDef) January 13, 2018
We will NOT BE SILENCED!
Thank you for helping #BringBringasHome! pic.twitter.com/T1I0gUBkEo