Torture Victim Seeking U.S. Asylum Faces Deportation for Dropped Pot Charge
Marco Coello was 18 when he was arrested in Caracas Venezuela at a protest against the regime of Nicolás Maduro, successor to the late Hugo Chavez.
Venezuelan police kicked and beat Marco with a golf club, fire extinguisher and tortured him with electric shocks.
After three months, he was released on bail and fled to the United States, where he sought political asylum.
When his asylum interview came up this past April, his lawyer Elizabeth Blandon, an immigration and asylum expert, was optimistic.
Coello’s case of abuse at the hands of the Venezuelan police was so bad that the U.S. State Department included him in their own human rights report on Venezuela in 2015.
“I had this very naïve idea that we were going to walk in there and the officer was going to say, ‘It’s an honor to meet you,’” said Blandon.
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New Hampshire Decriminalization Law Awaits Governor’s Signature
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California Looks to Boost Pot, Block Immigration Jails
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers voted Thursday to set rules for the state’s nascent marijuana industry and to quash the growth of federal immigration detention as lawmakers approved major pieces of a state budget for the next fiscal year.
Lawmakers sent Gov. Jerry Brown a measure merging the state’s longstanding medical marijuana law with the much more permissive rules voters approved last year to legalize pot sales to people 21 and older. The state will develop standards for organic marijuana, allow pot samples at county fairs and permit home deliveries.
The Legislature also backed a measure to limit new beds for immigration detention, dealing a blow to the Trump administration’s efforts to boost deportation. The measure prevents local governments from signing or expanding contracts with federal authorities for immigration detention facilities. It also calls for the state’s attorney general to review conditions at the centers.
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