Theo immigrated to the United States in fear for his life.

Theo is originally from a country where members of the LGBTQ+ community are beaten and killed with no protection from the government. When people discovered that Theo was in a relationship with another man, community members, including his own family, threatened to kill him. Although Theo tried to live quietly with his partner in another country, he was soon threatened there as well.

So, he fled to the U.S. to seek protection.

Because Theo was a newly arrived noncitizen asking for asylum, the U.S. government held him in an immigration detention facility for months while it sought to deport him. During this time, Amica Center staff in our Legal Orientation Program worked with Theo to assist him in finding a pro bono team and to help him represent himself.

Even with such help, it is incredibly challenging to do things like gather corroborating evidence from detention, where people often do not have reliable access to the internet or private phone calls. Theo repeatedly requested release to make it easier to prepare his own case, but the government said no each time.

Thankfully, attorneys Brad Tennis and Jordan Hecht from Wilson Sonsini stepped in to work alongside Theo to fight his deportation. They helped him prepare his case for trial while he remained detained. With their support, Theo was able to present a strong case for protection and to testify effectively, sharing his experience in immigration court despite the difficult circumstances.

The immigration judge granted Theo asylum, and he is now living safely in the United States. We are so happy for Theo and wish him the best for his life in the U.S.