Immigration | Iran | News

Gay Iranian Man Facing Deportation by U.S. Immigration


Back in May I posted about Mohammad Abdollahi, a 24-year-old Iranian who was arrested as apart of a sit-in immigration protest at Senator John McCain's office. Abdollahi came to the U.S. when he was 3-years-old. He says he learned of his undocumented status in high school Abdollahi is also gay.

Abdollahi's deportation proceedings are set to begin this month, partly as a result of the protest.

ABC News reports

"More than 13,000 immigrants in situations such as Abdollahi's requested so-called "withholding removal" status in U.S. immigration courts last year, according to the Justice Department's Executive Office for Immigration Review. But only 14 percent of the requests were granted, reflecting a much more stringent standard than that applied to asylum applications filed by people not facing deportation. 'He's looking at having to prove greater than 50 percent chance of persecution, a clear probability of persecution,' said D.C.-based immigration attorney Kimberley Schaefer, who handles asylum cases. The risk of physical harm must also be demonstrably linked with either his race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group or political opinion, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services guidelines."

The situation for gays in Iran is still very dire. If not targeted by the government they are often the victims of honor killings by families.

Watch Abdollahi about being an undocumented youth in the U.S., AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. You know what will happen to the US if they send him to Iran: Europe will cut the US the balls off…

    Where is the HRC when you need them? No cocktail party? Damn…

    Posted by: Martin FLL | Jul 27, 2010 7:01:21 PM

  2. Looking like Bruno is very media-savvy of him and hopefully it helps him get the coverage he deserves.

    Posted by: Drew | Jul 27, 2010 7:52:42 PM

  3. @drew. What kind of shallow bullshit is that? Looking like Bruno is very media savvy of him?

    This kid is a hero who may be deported and executed regardles of his media savvy.

    Looking like Bruno won't save him.

    Posted by: randalf | Jul 27, 2010 9:56:22 PM

  4. Where is Gay Inc.? Too bad this doesn't involve a celebrity.

    Posted by: Clark | Jul 27, 2010 10:24:07 PM

  5. I feel for this kid's situation--I cant imagine the fear of being sent back to a death sentence like that.

    But to be completely honest, what the hell was he doing at an illegal sit-in in a senator's office??!! I can afford to get arrested. Im a born citizen who can make bail and hire a lawyer to get me off. Someone in his situation needs to keep a damn low profile and stay out of trouble. I'm not saying its right, but that's the way of the world right now. Is he just incredible naive or have some kind of death wish??

    Posted by: dizzy spins | Jul 27, 2010 11:52:37 PM

  6. Why in the fuck did he do that in the first place? He should be hiding and causing no trouble at ALL and hoping and praying the Feds don't find him. Now that they have, he is fucked. He should have played it safe and lied low. He basically did it to himself.

    Maybe they will reconsider, since being deported will basically be a death sentence to him, but now really, if he doesn't have any more common sense than an illegal sit-in in a senator's office, what will this country do with him?

    Posted by: Kyle | Jul 28, 2010 12:16:31 AM

  7. Heh again with the blaming the victim. oh its unfortunate this kid is getting shipped off to be beheaded or worse, but SHAME on him for being politically active in the country he grew up in! He should be in hiding predending all is right with the world...

    This could have happened after a speeding ticket. "What was he doing speeding?!" Because nobody else speeds. Seriously people, get over yourselves.

    Posted by: g_whiz | Jul 28, 2010 12:47:50 AM

  8. Knowing him personally, I can damn well say that he does a lot more for people in this country than most others who have citizenship do. How many people in this country take the time to learn and truly understand the legislative system and create and support legislation that champions causes and fights against injustice? How many people actually act on issues they perceive to be unfair and how many people actually work to improve the way this country works? I think I'm pretty much in the clear here when I say that most Americans sit around and twiddle their thumbs, if they can even name the three branches of government while that slacked off in Civics class.

    Mohammad is incredibly dutiful and caring and he does a ton in the community where we lived. "What will this country do with him?" Please. If you think for a second that America is some bastion of rationality brimming with citizens of incredibly sharp wit and intellect, you clearly haven't watched the news. Our country would be better served if more of its citizens actually had the intellect and nerve to act against injustice like he does.

    You can afford to get arrested at a sit in protesting something wrong with this country? Then what's your excuse?

    He did it to himself? So that makes it right and fair? Try using that logic when a basher smashes your head in with a bat for holding hands with your partner. You knew there were homophobes out there, I guess you just did it to yourself. Disgusting.

    Posted by: Luminum | Jul 28, 2010 1:39:17 AM

  9. How dare anyone on this site say he did this to himself? Get a grip.

    Posted by: jake | Jul 28, 2010 5:14:15 AM

  10. Cut out all the arguing. What the hell can we do as individuals in petitioning the Dept of Immigration to stop the process of deportation. Does anyone know how and where to write in his support? Lets stick together and fight for him if no one else will. At least the DOI will know there are people who want him to remain here and not have to face early murder at the hands of a brutal country. Please someone let me know.

    Posted by: rickg | Jul 28, 2010 9:10:43 AM

  11. This is not some story, this is a good man’s life and if he is deported he will be killed because it is a capital crime in Iran to be gay. He was brought here when he was three. As far as I’m concerned, he is an American. It is exactly this kind of case that the HRC should be focused on and their utter silence on this most urgent HUMAN RIGHTS issue is appalling. I for one am sending a message to President Obama urging him to issue an Executive Order of Clemency and urge you all to do the same. It’s a lot easier than making hurtful quips on a blog and may actually save the life of an honest man.

    Posted by: Dave | Jul 28, 2010 9:12:47 AM

  12. Thank you Dave so much for providing a viable site and access to the WhiteHouse. I have already written and "plea" with hopes that others in our community will do the same. Do we not have compassion on anyone inside or outside our community who faces persecution, bodily harm, and murder? My hope is that we will rise up and defend Mr. Abdollahi's right to remain here with full rights as a citizen. God, he's been here since the age of three. Somehow the citizenship process failed. But, why should he have to suffer for someone else's failure?

    Posted by: rickg | Jul 28, 2010 11:26:27 AM

  13. Have contaced the White House over this matter and hopefully enough people will draw attention to his plight. Here's hoping there's a good outcome for him...Good luck!

    Posted by: EoinM | Jul 28, 2010 2:24:51 PM

  14. Well hopefully some attorney is drafting an application for asylum based on humanitarian relief. He is probably the most ideal candidate for it. And gays are a protected social group eligible for asylum in the US. Sadly there is a one year bar, so his only hope really is humanitarian relief by the Immigration Court. There is not much we can do beyond contacting the Attorney General's office and Obama and hope if the Immigration Court declines such relief that they will intercede. If he was just placed in deportation proceedings, it is unlikely that he's going anywhere anytime soon. He has several levels of appeals available before he will be sent to Iran.

    I wouldn't freak out just yet. He should have almost no issue showing that homosexuality = death in Iran which more than meets the standard to grant asylum in these circumstances.

    Posted by: Caleb | Jul 28, 2010 9:53:24 PM

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