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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 105664
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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My name is***** am 21 years old and I am originally

Customer Question

Hello, my name is***** am 21 years old and I am originally from Ivory Coast a west African country!
I left my country in 2012 after I graduated from high school then came in the US in October 2012. In fact, I m coming from a family that value African cultures and way of life! nevertheless since I came to the US i started being attracted to women! Being a woman myself I at first was thinking being strange and abnormal to others ! I didn t want to talk about it to anyone either live according to what I believe I am! I therefore kept attending college in the US under my father financial support! Who lives in Africa! I graduated from my 2-year college and got my associate and I decided to reveal my sexual identity to my father . Trying to make him understand my points and what I feel the sensation I get and the comfort ability I have when I am around womEn! To resume I just tried to make my father understand me and still love me for what and who I am ! unfortunately he did not! We come from an African country where being lesbian or gay is completely in the wrong and misunderstood from everyone ! The result of him being so mad at me made him cut his financial support that I need to keep attending school! He asked me to return home cause he thinks making me married a man will ill me from being attracted to women!
It s true that I had to live normally and fake my identity as a lesbian to be accepted by others even within the United state ! I kept being around Africans community and I am even dating a man to look like normal in front of my friends but I just don't want to keep living like this and return home and face more persecution and a life I just don't want to! I am hoping to find a way to get protection from the United state but I am scared to do so because I know being a lesbian will not make me be granted asylum from an officer and I may face deportation because my father is now planning to make me come back home by force by making me stop attending school!
I also do not want him to get penalties from the US because I do understand his point and still he is my father I cannot do anything to him and I love him so much that I just want him to understand me!!! But I know he will not and can even fake doing so'
I need help please 😞
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Hello! My name is***** and I am a licensed attorney with more than 13 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help. I understand your situation. How long have you been in the U.S.? Would you be persecuted in the Ivory Coast? Keep in mind that discrimination and persecution are not the same thing.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I have been in the US for 3 years now under legal F1 status!
Yes I feared to get back to my country because I m a lesbian which is so not accepted in my country . The reason why my father just stopped paying for my school here in the US is also related to the fact that I told him early December what I really think I amHe involved in the discussion that he will no more afford for my education and needs me to get ride of my sexual identity before I come back home he also implied forcing me to marry a man in order to make sure I m no more attracted by women!I just don't know if that is a form of persecution I can get protected from but all I know is this is it the life I do want and I can't fight against it cause he is responsible of me! Financially speaking
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I graduated on December 2015 ! and that s exactly when I decided to talk about my personal and sexual identity to him thinking that me graduating will make him go easier on me! But no All he did was to stop paying for my school and I just tried to see if I can get advices from a lawyer
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Well, describe to me what you believe would happen to you if you returned to the Ivory Coast and people knew you were a lesbian. Also, who would do these things?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Nobody knows I m a lesbian . Only my father cause he is the only one I spoke to about that!I m not able to tell you what will specifically happen to me once I go backBut I ll no more have the privilege to finish my education to live freely based on who I want to be with and get married to
I ll be conditioned to live as an heterosexual as I ve always been doing until now! The fact that nobody's believe in lgbt people in my country makes me fear what can possibly happen to me after my return!
Of course I know already to avoid bullying and judgments from Ivorians I ll need to obey my father and married whoever he wants me to be with!In my culture it s more about honoring your family name by your achievement and who you have been raised to beI found freedom of choices in the US .I don't want to get conditioned or forced to anything . That's all I can say
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Do you think I can apply for asylum and be protected?
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Sorry about the delay. I was busy helping other customers at the same time. Yes, you can apply for Asylum, but you have to prove two very important things. The first is that you must apply for Asylum within 1 year of entering the U.S. and if you do not, you must show exceptional reasons as to why you did not, or a significant change in country conditions that before you were not at risk, but now you are. Second, as stated before, you have to show that you would be persecuted on the count of your social group, that being lesbians. None of the two would be easy to achieve and I STRONGLY recommend that you use an attorney to process your case because your first chance before the Asylum Officer is your best chance. If it is denied and goes to an Immigration Judge, it is much harder. Here is a link: http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/asylum You can look for an attorney at www.ailalawyer.com. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions and there is no additional charge. Also, should you need to chat on the phone, private email or need help reviewing documentation, I am happy to do so for a small additional cost. Let me know if you are interested in these – I am happy to give you more details! When we are done, if you would be so kind as to leave a positive rating for my service, I would sincerely ***** ***** You can do that by clicking on the 3rd, 4th or 5th stars if you see them, or the smiley faces if you see them. If you do not see any stars or smiley faces, please at least leave a THANK YOU for me so I can let the administrators know. Your question thread does NOT close, so you can ask additional questions without additional charge even after leaving a positive rating. Thank you for your understanding.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Hello. I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help? Please let me know. Thank you!
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Hello. I'm just following up with you again to see how everything is going. Did my answer help? Please let me know. Thank you!

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