Life in foreign land is usually very tough especially when you carry the ‘refugee’ tag with you. America for the longest time has been viewed as haven for better living with many asylum seekers flocking in to run away from different issues including political instability and violence from their home countries. Immigrants undertake very dangerous journeys, some through the Atlantic Ocean and in some cases some die in the sea before arriving to their destination.
Speaking to Texas Tribune, Merlin fled from Cameroon seeking asylum due to the political turmoil experienced in his home country. Merlin hoped for a better future in the US but the reality was a bit different from what he expected. On arrival in the, US Merlin was detained for 11 months as he awaited his asylum status to be approved by the authorities.
“When you get out, you put your hand on your chest and say ‘thank God’, I’m safer today,” says Merlin.
This is the same fate that many asylum seekers meet in a country they hope that will grant safety but in turn end up being locked for even years before being granted their freedom.
Posad Esperanza in Cul-de-sac in East Austin, Texas have taken upon themselves to provide shelter to women and children immigrants temporarily as they empower them with skills for them to be financially independent to acquire their own shelter and jobs. Almost half of the women housed at Posada are from African countries majorly from violence rocked Democratic Republic of Congo. Patti McCabe, Posada’s director says most Africans travel as family units but men get end being detained while women and children are set free as they await approval.
Even after being successfully offered asylum, black immigrants have a higher probability of being detained and deported over criminal convictions in the same way the black population in the US are more likely to be imprisoned due to a crooked criminal justice system.