On the eve of Edafe Okporo's 26th birthday, he was awoken to a violent mob outside his window in Abuja, Nigeria. The mob threatened his life after discovering the secret Edafe had been hiding for years—that he is a gay man. Left with no other choice, he purchased a one-way plane ticket to New York City and fled for his life. Though America had always been painted to him as a land of freedom and opportunity, it was anything but when he arrived just days before the tumultuous 2016 Presidential Election. Edafe would go on to spend the next six months at an immigration detention center in Elizabeth, New Jersey. After navigating the confusing, often draconian, US immigration and legal system, he was finally granted asylum. But he would soon realize that America is exceptionally good at keeping people locked up but is seriously lacking in integrating freed refugees into society.
This book is a passionate call for a more 'humane system' for welcoming refugees into a country that prides itself on fighting oppression ... But missing from this argument is any acknowledgment of the existence of immigration fraud ... Still, when it comes to immigration policies and processes, Okporo knows his facts and presents them in a way that makes you want to join in his activism. Asylum is a disquieting account that humanizes a nameless, faceless multitude entangled in an issue with no clear end in sight.
Moving and thought-provoking ... Okporo’s personal journey is touching, and his skillful explanation of the corrupt immigration processes and policies that continue to reject and exclude the very people they are meant to aid is a timely plea for reform and empathy.
Okporo tells his story, giving insight into what it means to be a thought leader ... Okporo writes passionately about the universal benefit of acceptance, the power of community, and all of our shared humanity.