A federal judge in San Francisco told the Trump administration to expedite the return of a gay man who was deported to Chad last year while he was seeking asylum in the U.S.
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer told federal officials, including a representative from the Department of Homeland Security, to speed up the delivery of a boarding document to Abderaman Oumar Yaide that will allow him to return to the United States.
And if they don't provide that letter before the next court-ordered status conference in two weeks?
"The government needs to put a boarding letter for a plane in Oumar's hands by that time and, if not, he'll order someone from the State Department to appear in front of him in court," said Yaide's lawyer, Sean Lai McMahon with Pangea Legal Services.
Yaide came to San Francisco in 2009, seeking political asylum. His case was denied by an immigration judge in 2014, and for years he's been appealing the decision. Since then, Yaide has come out as gay.
In August 2019, Yaide was arrested by immigration officials and placed in deportation proceedings. He and his lawyers asked the Board of Immigration Appeals to reconsider his asylum claim due to the fact that Chad had outlawed homosexuality in 2017.
But while the appeal was being processed, Yaide was deported back to Chad, in Central Africa, where his lawyers say he fears he will be "tortured and killed by his own family, clan or the government."
In December, Judge Breyer ordered the federal government to return him to the U.S.
Since being back in Chad, his lawyers said Yaide has been in hiding.
"For the moment, he is not in immediate danger," McMahon said. "But I think that every day that he spends there heightens the risk, and I don't want to keep taking that risk."