Tortured, Abused and Held as an Adult
Charles was just 16 years old when police in his West African home country accused him of being a political dissident. He was beaten, threatened, arrested and held for more than a week in dangerously unsanitary conditions.
His uncle knew if confined longer, Charles would die. His uncle bribed a guard and orchestrated his nephew’s escape. As soon as Charles was healthy enough to travel, Charles fled the country.
Charles was only 17 when he arrived in the United States but U.S. immigration officials accused him of lying about his age. Charles was held in an adult immigration detention center for more than six months.
Communication was difficult between Charles and his lawyer but with the help of a volunteer interpreter, the JFON Houston team began working with Charles not long after his 18th birthday.
After months of legal battles, Charles was granted asylum and reunited with members of his family.