Skip to content Skip to navigation

Deported without warning: How the loss of a father in Newark is affecting a community (PODCAST)

Acting in Faith  |  By Madeline Schaefer, Jun 7, 2013
Newark immigration demonstration

Two participants in AFSC's Newark May 1st rally for humane immigration reform.

Photo: AFSC

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 childrenare 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

To listen to more audios stories, see the Calling forth the Goodness podcast page. For more audio stories like this one, subscribe to the Acting in Faith podcast.

Transcript (Excerpt)

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.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Quaker Meeting/Church Liaison Program

Looking for more ways to get involved? Click here for 11 Ways to connect your meeting/church to the work of AFSC.

Let Your Life Speak

Learn from lives that inspire. Click here to read seven stories of Quakers and AFSC working together for peace with justice.

Quaker Social Change Ministry Pilot Program

Learn more about the Quaker Social Change Ministry Pilot Program. Already interested? Please fill out an interest form.

About Friends Relations

Lucy Duncan works with other AFSC staff to foster strong relationships between AFSC and Quakers.

Lucy is AFSC’s Director of Friends Relations. She has been a storyteller for 20 years and has worked with Quaker meetings on telling stories for racial justice and of spiritual experience. She attends Green Street Friends Meeting (PhYM) and lives with her son and partner in a Quaker cemetery.

Sophia is the Friends Relations Fellow this year who works closely with Lucy. She is a recent graduate of Guilford College where she majored in Sustainable Food Systems and Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies.