Boston: A Brazilian man who was recently reunited with his Massachusetts husband when federal officials temporarily allowed him into the US said he could face deportation because the attorney general won`t reverse the immigration ruling that initially separated the couple.
Genesio Oliveira, 31, said Monday that he could be forced to return to Brazil in six months because of Eric Holder`s decision.
"I was very depressed," Oliveira said in a telephone interview. "I`m terrified. I thought this would be over by now."
Three years ago, Oliveira and husband Tim Coco, 49, of Haverhill, were forced to live apart when Oliveira was denied asylum over claims he was raped as a teenager. A judge found Oliveira`s fear of returning to Brazil "genuine," but ruled he was never physically harmed by the rape.
The Associated Press does not typically name rape victims, but Oliveira speaks openly about his case and allows his name to be used.
The case gained international attention from gay rights and immigrant advocates who criticized U.S. officials for separating a legally married couple.
In June, at US Sen. John Kerry`s urging, federal officials temporarily allowed Oliveira back in the country on humanitarian grounds.
Following his return to Massachusetts, Oliveira said the couple believed Holder would reverse the initial immigration decision. Oliveira, whose nickname is "Junior," said that would have allowed him to apply for permanent residency in the US either on the basis of his marriage or as an asylum-seeker who feels threatened by anti-gay violence in his country.
Although Brazil is one of Latin America`s most tolerant countries toward gays, a number of Brazilian gays have persuaded US judges to grant them asylum on the grounds they would face persecution if sent home.