UPDATE, 22 September: Miguel has finally been freed from detention.
“I am very happy,” he said. “I didn’t think I was going to be able to get out [of detention]. There’s nothing like freedom. Thank you to everyone who supported me.”
Miguel Caceres Juarez fled Honduras after being targeted for abuse and persecution since age 12 because he is gay. Gang members tortured, raped, and beat Miguel on multiple occasions. His own brother harassed and beat him and threatened to decapitate him.
He came to the United States because he feared he would be killed. Miguel was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in a county jail as the U.S. government sought to deport him back to Honduras.
On July 12, 2011, a U.S. immigration judge determined Miguel was a refugee and granted him withholding of removal, a form of immigration protection for people who have suffered or fear persecution in their native countries. But ICE refuses to release him from immigration detention even though he has won his case and the government attorneys are not appealing the decision nor seeking his removal to any alternate country.
ICE has no lawful grounds to detain Miguel, whose abuse continues every day he remains in custody.