Cameroonian asylum seekers said to be one day away from deportation back to the oppression they fled

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There is a peaceful room in a safe, joyful home in the Washington metro area waiting for Micah, an English-speaking Cameroonian refugee who spent his 20th birthday on hunger strike in Pine Prairie Detention Center. His 19th birthday was also spent in ICE detention. His uncle, who raised him, has been counseling patience while waiting to bring him home to introduce him to his new aunt and little cousins, and to start his new life in America.

“He doesn’t say much, but we always laugh a lot,” his uncle says. “He’s a good boy, loves to play football. On Sundays we would do Bible studies together as a family, eat our cornchaff, a traditional meal of corn and beans; and achu, a special soup made from yams and hot pepper oil. Then we’d play traditional dance music and enjoy being together. My sister and I are really missing him.”

But his family says that last week Micah was transferred from Louisiana to the Prairieland Detention Center near Dallas. It is the staging area from which over two hundred Africans are threatened with mass deportation Tuesday. [The names of the Cameroonian detainees mentioned in this story  have been changed or withheld to protect them from reprisal.]

“If they take him, I will never see him again,” Micah’s uncle said. “It’s even worse there now than when he fled after being arrested and tortured. There is a genocide in Cameroon. They are killing all the English-speaking youth. He will disappear. To take him back is to take him back to torture, back to the oppressors.”

Read the article at Louisiana Illuminator