Denis Davydov, an HIV-positive gay man has been detained by Immigration Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE under new discriminatory guidelines by the Trump Administration. Davydov, an immigrant from Magnitogorsk, Russia, came to the United States from Moscow in 2014 on a tourist visa. Since then, he has applied for political asylum, and has been living and working in San Jose, California.
The trouble began when Davydov flew to the US Virgin Islands for a vacation on March 6, 2017. Little did he know that the weeklong trip would then be turned in to an indefinite sentence. Denis Davydov has been detained at the Krome Service Processing Center in Miami, Florida now for over a month—even spending his 30th birthday in detention.
According to ICE officials, Denis has been detained because he applied for political asylum after his original tourist visa expired. The only problem is, this is standard operating procedure.
According to AUMag:
When his six-month tourist visa expired, Denis—upon the advice of immigration and asylum attorneys—waited two months before applying for asylum. THIS IS STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE. Asylum seekers are advised to let their tourist visas expire before applying for asylum. The law requires only that the asylum seeker apply within one year of the expiration of his visa. Although that means the seeker has been in the country “illegally” for that period, that supposed transgression is always forgiven and overlooked as soon as the asylum seeker applies. Denis began the asylum process two months after his visa expired. He has obeyed all the rules and followed all requirements to the letter of the law.
The case of Denis’s detention is upsetting for multiple reasons. Not only is he an HIV-positive gay man, he has no criminal record, and has followed every rule to claim asylum. RUSA LGBT, a rights group said “Denis has complied with all USCIS guidelines and filed for an affirmative asylum within a one-year deadline. He was awaiting his asylum interview, had a valid employment authorization, and A-number, and had no criminal record.”
HIV and immigration activists are more concerned about his overall well-being. The detention threatens his health as an HIV-positive man who needs regular access to his medications and medical services. Nina Long, a representative of RUSA LGBT, spoke with Denis a few weeks ago, and he is in fact getting his HIV medication, but has since has developed a fungal infection that he has not been able to receive medicine for.[AM]
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