Over the last few weeks the news has been filled with stories of what’s happening at the U.S.-Mexico border. Many of these realities are not new to our U.S. offices, who regularly work with immigrants and asylum seekers. Our offices provide legal services and vital programming to hundreds holding onto hope for a better future. In this series, Stories from the Border, we’ll be highlighting a few of these brave men and women, and their journey with World Relief.
As a member of an ethnic English-speaking minority in Cameroon, Amos was a teacher who once attended a meeting advocating for his people’s right to vote and better government representation. At the meeting’s conclusion, the people who attended were marked by a gang and began receiving death threats. Rather than go home that night, Amos fled to a relative’s home in another part of town.
Sadly, the threats only followed him and became more severe. Finally, when Amos heard that there was an assassination ordered, he fled to Nigeria, crossing a dangerous river overnight. From there Amos made his way to Europe, then South America and finally north across the land to the U.S.-Mexico border.
By law, Amos was allowed to present his case to an asylum officer. After the interview assessing credible fear, the officer released him into the U.S. where he was dropped off at the San Diego bus station. “I didn’t know where I was,” he said. “‘San Diego’ is Spanish, so I wondered, ‘Am I in the U.S. or still in Mexico?’”
Thankfully, an outreach worker in the area found Amos and explained where he was, helped him find housing and connected him with the legal services necessary to understand the asylum process and prepare his case.
Finally, Amos was given the opportunity to present his case for asylum. The conditions of his home country were deemed unsafe and the legal definition of persecution applied to him. His asylum was granted, and with the help of World Relief, he received legal help to apply for a green card. Today, Amos works for Amazon in Southern California. He is looking forward to marriage, a family and a future.
Dana North serves as the Marketing Manager at World Relief. With a background in graphic design and advertising and experiences in community development and transformation, Dana seeks to use the power of words and action to help create a better world. Dana is especially passionate about seeking justice for women and girls around the world.