After suffering years of harrassment and abuse in his home country and enduring a tangled web of legal proceedings, our client Jorge Soto Vega has been granted asylum.
“For the first time in my life, I can live freely knowing that I don’t have to fear for my life simply because I’m gay,” Jorge says. “The court has awarded me my freedom and the opportunity to spend my life with my partner in the country I love.”
From an early age, Jorge had suffered ongoing antigay harassment and abuse from his family and his community in Tuxpan, Mexico. Jorge sought asylum based on the persecution he faced, but in 2003 his application for asylum was rejected by an immigration judge. Although the judge found credible evidence that Jorge was persecuted in Mexico because of his sexual orientation, he denied asylum because he thought Jorge didn’t “appear gay” and could keep his sexual orientation hidden if he chose to.
We got involved in Jorge’s appeal, arguing that asylum does not hinge on whether people can hide their religion, political beliefs, race or sexual orientation to avoid persecution. After a number of twists and turns through the courts, we finally prevailed.