We believe Akim Gama deserves our support and should not be deported
Akim Gama is missed by many in these parts.His smile, his joyous, contagious personality impacted countless people.Today, the smile has disappeared, the joy in Akim’s life has been put on hold. Worry, anxiety and sadness now occupy Akim’s thoughts as he sits in a detention center in Aurora awaiting deportation.Even more disturbing and frustrating to Akim’s supporters is that he’s been in the detention center for more than four months.Akim is now waiting to see if he will be deported back to Zimbabwe, a country ravaged by terror, human rights atrocities and abuse of political power. It’s been reported that his father was killed shortly before Akim fled to the United States in 2000.Akim fears that the same fate awaits him if he is forced to return to Zimbabwe.Akim needs help. Money for legal fees, communication to officials in support of his cause and just support of all kinds.Deportation and immigration issues are thorny subjects. But this is an instance where the system has failed and there doesn’t appear to be a secondary option. All that happens is the crack in the system keeps sucking Akim closer to being deported.Some of the blame could be placed on Akim for missing a court date by 10 days. But to slam the door shut on the case after that type of an oversight is irresponsible, excessive and even heartless government action.In this case, many feel that sending Akim back to Zimbabwe would constitute a death sentence upon his arrival in a country that has drawn harsh criticisms for its human rights abuses.To understand the situation, one must know and understand the kind of man that Akim Gama is and the impact he made on this community. Employed, law-abiding and an African ambassador who has spoken to students about his native country.A man who embraces diversity and his role as a man who has a message. It’s a message of enlightenment and education. Akim has enormous passion for his country and relishes the opportunity to shed light on the problems that currently grip Zimbabwe.Akim came to the United States in 2000 to escape the political turmoil of Zimbabwe. His case for political asylum is strong. He has estimated that as many as 30,000 members of his African tribe have been killed.Akim entered the country legally, has paid taxes and has always been employed.He made a mistake by missing his court date, but even that isn’t completely clear as to whether the date was changed or his questionable legal counsel at the time made the mistake.A motion to reopen his case was filled in November and denied. His new legal team has filed an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals and has filed an emergency motion to keep him from being deported.Akim’s fate is now in the hands of the system. A system that has failed him to this point.Should we sit back and keep our fingers crossed that the appeals board will do the right thing?We might not have a choice, but we feel that noise should be made.Writing to our local congressman, John Salazar, to our U.S. senators, Ken Salazar and Wayne Allard; donating money to help with ongoing legal fees; and sending messages of hope – these are all ways we can and should get involved.Akim Gama needs our support. He deserves it and he’s earned it. It’s frightening to think what might happen if Akim is deported.
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