Judge Orders Trump Administration to Quickly Bring Back SF Man Wrongly Deported to Chad

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Abderaman Oumar Yaide, a former San Francisco resident, was deported to his native Chad last year. (Courtesy Pangea Legal Services)

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.

Oumar Yaide, pictured with friends in San Francisco, has been in hiding in Chad since he was deported. Yaide's lawyers say he fears for his life in Chad, which outlawed homosexuality in 2017.
Oumar Yaide, pictured with friends in San Francisco, has been in hiding in Chad since he was deported. Yaide's lawyers say he fears for his life in Chad, which outlawed homosexuality in 2017. (Courtesy Pangea Legal Services)

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."

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On Friday, McMahon reported that Yaide was able to obtain a Chadian passport. He did so with the help of a third party, in part because he’s afraid to go out in public, McMahon said. That brings him one step closer to being able to return to the U.S.

But, during the hearing, the government also said it would appeal the order to return Yaide.

"It's incredibly surprising,” McMahon said. “When the judge issued his order on Dec. 18, he stayed the order, meaning it didn't go into effect in order to give the government time to appeal. So for them to file it now is frustrating for us."

Lawyers with the federal government said they're filing a "protective appeal," a move that reserves the right to appeal the case, whether or not they follow through.

"It seems like just another roadblock the government is putting in the way of Oumar's right to come back and seek asylum here," McMahon said.

Judge Breyer ordered the two sides to return to court on Feb. 28 to update him.

Several politicians have come out in support of Yaide, including U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Earlier this month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution supporting his return.

State Sen Scott Wiener and Assemblymember David Chiu have also expressed their support on Twitter.