UndocuBlack: From Persecution in Cameroon to Detention in the US


Forbah escaped Cameroon to save his life. En route to the U.S, across countries and borders, he was ostracized, othered and dubbed ‘monkey,’ and became homeless. As a Black immigrant, he was demonized and devalued, and once he reached his destination in the U.S– he was detained and caged.

As a young Cameroonian, Forbah sought social justice and advocated for basic human rights in Cameroon. Dreaming of a better Cameroon — a better Cameroon that will cradle his dream of raising a family surrounded by family, friends and close kinsmen, one where he can pursue his career, advance in his profession and excel in life.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political sciences and holds a master’s in foreign policy and diplomacy from Cameroon. But soon, Forbah’s political advocacy and social activism decrying and protesting the injustice and discrimination that was directed towards the minority English-speaking regions of Cameroon was noticed by the authorities.

The authorities wanted to silence him, and the warrant for his arrest was issued.

Hearing word of his arrest and his pending imprisonment at Kondengue prison, a prison in the central region of Cameroon that is notorious for its very inhumane and harsh treatment of prisoners, Forbah left everyone and everything he knew behind and escaped to save his life.

“I still really miss home. Sometimes things are difficult for me and thoughts of home sink right deep in my spirits. I wish things were different.” says Forbah thinking of home, families, friends and the life he left behind.

“I was detained in immigration prisons, some lasting a few days and some months. When I got to the US, I was first detained at the border for about 10 days. After transferring from a detention center to another, I was again transferred to Georgia and detained at Folkston ICE processing center. It took me about 5 months in detention before I was given an appointment to see a judge.”

Forbah experienced more injustice and abuse and discrimination at the hands of law enforcement at the ICE detention centers before he was released.

Forbah escaped out of the frying pan into the fire in pursuit of life and liberty.

This is the fate of many Black immigrants.

Black immigrants and asylum seekers spend years in immigration prisons because they can’t pay the high bonds. Bonds issued to Black immigrants are higher than any bonds issued to non-Black immigrants.

Most bond funds have a $10,000 cap while for Black immigrants it is set at $25,000 to $50,000. UndocuBlack Network works closely with Black Immigrants Bail Fund, a project that provides free assistance and relief to Black immigrants in pursuit of Liberation and Justice.

Support the Black Immigrants Bail Fund here

This content has been brought to you by UndocuBlack in partnership with TheHub.News.

UndocuBlack “is a multigenerational network of currently and formerly undocumented Black people that fosters community, facilitates access to resources, and contributes to transforming the realities of our people, so we are thriving and living our fullest lives.”

Follow @UndocuBlack on Twitter.

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