Sixteen-year-old Nicole Castaneda had one request of the supporters who gathered in front of the Denver immigration court before her hearing: to sing John Lennon's "Imagine" because, as an advocate explained, Nicole wanted them to "imagine a world where kids could just be kids, without fear of depor ... More >>
An ethnic Nepali, Sher Mizer fled the violence of his country, Bhutan, when he was twelve years old. His family ended up in a refugee camp, where a tarp and some bamboo became their home. Mizer yearned for education, and thanks to a scholarship, he was able to study in India. Eighteen years after ar ... More >>
Sujey and Violeta. Violeta Pando couldn't sleep last night. After all, today is the last for a six-week pilot program to review the deportation cases of all non-detained immigrants in Baltimore and Denver -- including the case of her wife, Sujey Pando. "The hours that I did sleep, which were ... More >>
Colorado Congressman Jared Polis has called for a government investigation into alleged abuse suffered by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender immigrants detained by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). "Here we have people who are at their most vulnerable -- many without access to any lega ... More >>
Emad Hussain.President Barack Obama announced last Friday that the vast majority of U.S. troops -- about 39,000 of them -- would be out of Iraq by December 31. But not everyone is happy about the imminent end of the ten-year-involvement, including Emad Hussain, a former member of the Iraqi Ol ... More >>
In May, we told the stories of two GLBT immigrants living in Colorado and seeking asylum to stay in the United States forever. Their stories of discrimination and abuse in their home countries tested the limits of asylum law. On Friday, another local GLBT immigrant, a lesbian woman named Mrs ... More >>
David Carr.On Real Time with Bill Maher, New York Times media writer David Carr suggested those of us living Kansas, Missouri and other "middle places" represent "the dance of the low-sloping foreheads." Afterward, as folks with foreheads of all sizes (even giant ones, like Carr's) debated th ... More >>
"Coming Out To America," this week's cover story, follows two GLBT immigrants as they apply for asylum in the United States. One immigrant, a transgender woman named Kassandra, is afraid to return to her native El Salvador for fear of persecution. And for good reason. A 2010 report by severa ... More >>
"Coming Out To America" tells the story of Sam, a gay Egyptian seeking asylum in the United States. Though Egypt doesn't have any explicit laws against homosexuality, gay men there are routinely arrested and tortured. In one infamous incident, 52 men were arrested in 2001 on a floating disco ... More >>
What does a gay man look like? Or a whistleblower? Or a woman who, were she to return to her home country, would be targeted for female genital mutilation? Those are the questions raised by "social visibility," a criterion adopted by the Virginia-based Board of Immigration Appeals that some ... More >>
In some countries, being gay is illegal. Gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender immigrants from countries that persecute, torture or imprison homosexuals can apply for asylum in the United States. Winning it, however, is another story -- a story in which immigrants' past can make or break the ... More >>
A photo of an ICE bust in progress, from the organization's 2008 annual report.Since May, an interfaith group has staged a vigil the first Monday of each month at the Aurora Contract Detention Facility, 11901 East 30th Avenue -- and they'll be there again tonight at 6 p.m. Among the many rea ... More >>
The cover illustration for "Open Secrets." The eleven-year battle of one Ugandan immigrant to win asylum in Denver hit a roadblock last week when an attorney for the local office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) appealed his case for a third time. Earlier this month, Westword brought ... More >>
Alimata ran a long way from the Ivory Coast, and now she can rest her heels here permanently.
Lilian Shea discovers that practice makes her life pretty perfect.
Brandon Marinoff may be Denver's most daring attorney. Just ask his clients -- the ones who haven't already been deported.
Colorado's illegal immigrants find trouble even when they try to do things legally.