Saturday, April 02, 2016

What The Firenze is going on??
Just when I thought this story couldn't get any crazier -- it did. As I was watching a bootleg, streaming version of the latest episode of The Good Wife, my gmail flashed before my eyes. The only sentence I caught was from the lawyer working with the catholic charity for my group of Nigerian refugees. It said that she didn't know where Emmnauel's appeal case could go given that his reason for seeking asylum was that he was a homosexual who was being persecuted. Now I know it is possible for someone to be married to a woman and have children and still be gay, but I was also pretty sure that wasn't the case in this instance. I made some calls to find out. 

Emmanuel who is currently holed up in a camp in Calabria in what I imagine is a kind of dormitory situation with a bunch of other men told me to call his brother and he would explain everything. Job told me that Emmanuel found out on the boat on the way to Italy that his beloved wife Rosemary who was six months pregnant with their second child had died. He wanted to turn back, but he couldn't. He knew his surviving child would be without him. He was in shock when he was interviewed about his reasons for seeking asylum and the people who came over with him told him that the persecution of a person for their sexuality was a valid way to obtain asylum. He went with that. 

Job told me that he would let me see the statements and documents he has about his own story. True to his word, he used three of our mututal friends' phones, since his has no more credit on it, to bring me his papers. When he got here he said he didn't think I should look at the papers and that they wouldn't help his brother. I have no idea why. It turns out that due to his known activity and backing of a political party in Nigeria he had received death threats that led to the burning down of his family home where he lived with all of his brothers. In fact, Emmanuel is in the photo with the burned down house. I immediately sent the documents to the lawyer and I hope to God it makes a difference for him. Meanwhile, we are wiring money in case he can be legally transported back to our region in order to be represented by our crackerjack lawyer who is so far batting five out of six. 

Then today I got a phone call from the wife of the guy in the plaid suit from the wedding photos. She is the one who wrote the hospitality letter for Tina so I am grateful for them. They are asking to meet me so F and I will take them out of coffee after work tomorrow. 

Anna Morelli promised me that she had called the chef that is hiring and that she will see him at an event this weekend. I asked if she would come meet the group in person next week to give them some good advice about how to best handle the job interviews and how to write their resumes. I am not so much looking forward to translating those monster documents with all of the Nigerian addresses and long names in them, but it is for a good cause so I'll give it my best. 

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