"In 2015, I was kidnapped. The torture was too strong. They ripped part of my leg, they almost wanted to tear my whole leg off. They broke a tooth, they fractured my forehead, my hand."
This is how Eduardo's story of seeking asylum begins.
"Despite doing everything ‘the right way’ when seeking asylum in the U.S., Eduardo found himself living a nightmare worse than the one he had fled in Mexico. ABC 10 reporter Lilia Luciano spoke with Eduardo and compared his experience with findings in a recent California Attorney General’s report about the state of ICE detention facilities in the Golden State."
Once in detention, Eduardo says in the video, "I was placed with mentally ill people where the officers would torture people right in front of me. They took pleasure in seeing me suffer. Then I would ask for help and they would lock me up and say I would get punished worse."
Eduardo finally reached the breaking point and decided to self-deport. When the immigration court judge asked him why, Eduardo responded, "ICE placed me in a place where I was psychologically and sexually abused. Where, when I asked for help, they would not help me."
After hearing his story, during which the interpreter broke down in tears, the judge finally said, "Enough." He immediately granted Eduardo asylum, a highly unusual act for a judge to take at a first hearing.
Released on March 28, the video is Part One of "Asylum Seekers," a two-part series produced by ABC 10 in Sacramento.