Netflix’s ‘Immigration Nation’ focuses on the immigration situation in the country after significant policy changes were made regarding it in the Trump administration. It follows the story from the point of view of ICE officers who have to bring in illegal immigrants for detention, while also paying emphasis on the perspective of the people who leave behind their homes and lives to come to America with the hopes of something better.
There are several factors that the docuseries covers, one of which is the new policy which has reduced the number of refugees that would be admitted in the country now. How does this affect the lives of the asylum seekers, and what role it plays in the lives of the ones who are already in the middle of a process, is shown through the lens of Deborah Jane’s story. Who is she and where is she now? Here’s the answer.
Who is Deborah Jane?
Deborah Balirane Jane is from Kampala, Uganda. She had been a successful businesswoman with her own restaurant and bakery. She was also for women empowerment and would often help women who were victims of domestic abuse. As a business owner, she would employ them and guide them to become independent. However, it was not taken well by the men of the community, including her husband. For speaking up for what’s right, she was punished with an acid attack that forced her to leave her country to save her life. She fled to Nairobi, Kenya, from where she was sent to the US for resettlement.
The Community Refugee Immigration Services helped her find a family that would become her home for the next seven months. She also required medical attention and had to go through 18 surgeries to reduce scars from the attack. She was also helped to find a job, and she worked as a home-care nurse during the day, and at night, would work at a local bakery. During this time, she also attended business school.
Amidst all of this, she was also focused on bringing her children- Carol, Cynthia, Cuthbert and Claudia- to America. In February, 2017, she was told that her children had been approved for resettlement by U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, when President Donald Trump came into office and changed the policy, she had to go through the struggle all over again. This is when she started to speak out about herself as well as the inhumanity of turning away people who come seeking asylum into a country. Between this, she also travelled to Kenya, once, to meet with her children.
Where is Deborah Jane Now?
After a separation and struggle of more than five years, Deborah finally reunited with her family in July 2019. She was joined by First Community Church (FCC) United Church of Christ and (CRIS) who had been her support throughout this struggle.
Deborah and her children are currently settled in Columbus, Ohio, where an apartment was procured for her before she welcomed her children to America. Soon after, she started working with Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and her children started going to school. Apart from her personal life, Deborah continues to speak out for refugee rights, retelling the story of how it was the refugee program that allowed her to start her life anew.
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