Urgent Action Update: Free Asylum Seeker from Detention (USA: UA 112.20)

September 15, 2020

Steven Tendo is a 35-year-old pastor and asylum-seeker who fled from torture and other severe human rights violations in Uganda and requested asylum in the USA. Since December 2018 he has been held in immigration detention. He was at imminent risk of being deported back to danger in Uganda until global campaign efforts stopped his deportation on 7 September 2020. His health is deteriorating from inadequate medical care for diabetes amidst a COVID-19 outbreak in the detention facility. Authorities should immediately release him on parole while he continues to fight for the right to seek asylum.



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Deborah Achim, Deputy Field Office Director
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security
1777 NE Loop 410 Floor 15 San Antonio, TX, 78217
Email: [email protected] [email protected]
Phone: +1 (210) 283-4723 OR +1 (210) 283-4750
Twitter: @ICEgov


Dear Deputy FOD Achim,

Pastor Steven Tendo (A# 201 520 012) is an asylum-seeker who has been in immigration detention for over 20 months and is currently being held in Port Isabel Detention Center.

I applaud the decision by authorities not to deport Pastor Steven to Uganda, where he would likely be killed by security agencies if returned. However, I continue to be deeply concerned about the safety of Pastor Steven and other people in detention during the COVID-19 pandemic. As authorities responsible for the health and safety of migrants and asylum-seekers in detention centers, you must take all appropriate steps to protect individuals like Pastor Steven from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pastor Steven has been detained for over one-and-a-half years with inadequate care for his diabetes, which has resulted in loss of vision, numbness and tingling in his extremities, and recurring boils on his body. He faces life-threatening complications should he contract COVID-19. He has a sponsor waiting to welcome him once released.

I therefore urge you to act quickly by immediately granting humanitarian parole to Pastor Steven while he awaits the decision on his asylum claim, including on any future appeal.

Yours sincerely,