Family of asylum-seeker Constantin Bakala urges ICE to reunite them
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Constantin Bakala, an asylum-seeker from the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been detained for 19 months in detention centers across the country. His family is calling on ICE to parole Bakala while his case is pursued in court so he may join his wife and children in San Diego.
Bakala fears that, if deported back to the DR Congo, he could be killed.
The family survived extreme hardship due to political persecution in the DR Congo before finally arriving to the border in San Diego to ask for protection. Government officials have separated Bakala from his wife and kids in San Diego and sent him to a detention center out of state.
In a recent victory, Bakala has now won his right to a new hearing – the first hearing where he will have a lawyer.
The family arrived in Tijuana in November 2017 and requested asylum at the U.S. border. Bakala was then separated from his wife and daughter and detained. He has spent the past 19 months in a series of detention facilities, unable to see his family.
Bakala’s wife, Annie Kapongo, has received her work permit and is set to begin working next week. Their oldest daughter Marie-Louise, will turn 18 soon and is still waiting for her work permit.