In the middle of May 2013, Kofi (whose name was changed for this story) was detained and deported to his home country in Africa. The family he left behind—including a girlfriend and two children—are struggling with his absence, unsure of their future or his fate. Listen to the story of this family, and hear how the AFSC community in Newark is speaking out against his deportation and others that tear apart families.
You can read AFSC staff member Elissa Steglich's account of Kofi's deportation Witness to a Family's Tragedy.
Madeline Schaefer: On May 17th, Kofi, a man seeking asylum and working as a mechanic in Newark, New Jersey, who had fathered a child and was supporting a family, was detained and deported without warning.
Kofi's girlfriend: He left with nothing, no money, no nothing. No clothes. He didn't even say goodbye to the children...and it's very hard.
Madeline Schaefer: How do you tell your four year old daughter that her father has been sent away, indefinitely, and contact with him is infrequent, at best? Kofi’s girlfriend, who asked to remain anonymous for our interview, still struggles to find the words to tell her.
Kofi's girlfriend: It's hard to explain because he has been with them since, especially her, since she was baby and he always took care of her. And now to explain to her that he's not coming back it's something so difficult for me to explain. And every time she ask me why I start crying, she asks me what's wrong, but I don't know what to say.