Melvin (name changed for confidentiality purposes), is a 23-year old young gay man from Honduras who has been detained by ICE since October 2016. As a child, Melvin was sexually assaulted by a stranger in his hometown who told him to never tell anyone. This gave him feelings of shame that he has always carried with him. As a gay teenager, he lived in fear of anyone finding out his sexual orientation because of severe homophobia in his own family, community and Honduras generally, where unsolved murders of LGBT people and activists are on the rise. After watching news reports of assaults and killings of LGBT people in horror in 2016, he fled to the United States seeking safety, only to be detained by ICE for nearly 6 months in a New Jersey county jail.

ICE has now agreed to a bond for Melvin, but set it at $7,500, which is too high for his family to pay. Melvin is suffering in detention, where he is afraid other detainees will find out he is gay and bully or hurt him. If he is released, he can pursue his strong asylum claim in New York and find a community of acceptance and support to help him start healing from the trauma he has been through. Melvin’s family can collect $4,000 – if we as his community can raise the other $3,500 by April 21, we can get Melvin released and help him start rebuilding his life. Please help us get Melvin his freedom and welcome him to his new life in New York!

Due to the urgency in this case we ask for your support in donating and spreading the word so we can have bond ready by April 21st.  We know the timeline is tight but with community, we know we can raise the money and make a difference in Melvin’s life. Please help get us get Melvin out of detention!

Donations can be sent to the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP) by the following means:
Venmo: @QueerDetainee-EmpowermentProject
Paypal: info@qdep.org

Please note that all donations will go to the release of Melvin.  Any residual amount will go to QDEP’s Trans/Queer Migrant Freedom Fund and toward the freedom of other LGBTQI/ HIV+ immigrants.

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