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Jason Ortega

2014, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Jason Ortega

Jason Ortega

Name of Host Organization: Los Angeles LGBT Center
City, State: Los Angeles, California
Issue area: Immigrant Populations, Gay/Lesbian Rights
Sponsors: Apple Inc., O’Melveny & Myers LLP

The Project

Jason provided legal representation and outreach to undocumented LGBT persons facing persecution and torture, and seeking protection under asylum, withholding of removal, and the Convention Against Torture.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Currently, 78 countries criminalize homosexuality. Elsewhere, country reports tell of rape, beatings, and the murder of LGBT persons by police and private citizens alike. Fearing for their safety, many LGBT refugees flee to the United States. Unaware of the protections available and unable to find assistance, they fail to apply for asylum in time. As a result, LGBT persons are deported back to countries where they are subsequently persecuted, in some cases by police officers and within days of their return.