A Jamaican lesbian living in Sunrise, Florida, has been allowed to stay in the U.S.A as she could be at risk of homophobic violence in Jamaica.
Advocate reports that the woman, using her middle name Nichole maintain anonymity, was originally ordered to be deported following two drug convictions.
Immigration judge Irma Lopez-Defillo deferred the order in the same ruling due to Jamaica’s criminalisation of homosexuality.
Lopez-Defillo said: ‘The general atmosphere in Jamaica is a feeling of no tolerance towards homosexuals in general, and as such, . . . the respondent’s life is definitely at risk,’ according to The Miami Herald.
Nichole, who moved to the U.S. at the age of 10 with her family, stated that being gay ‘is the worst thing you can be stricken with [in Jamaica].
‘You basically have to live undercover.’
The case was handled under the United Nation’s convention against torture, preventing immigrants if it is likely that they will be tortured back in their country of origin.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 28,130 cases were filed under this statute, but only 449 asylum seekers were allowed to stay.
The Department of Homeland Security, however, may still move Nichole to a country other than Jamaica.
She plans to apply for legal residency in the U.S.A.