Rescuing Regina: The Battle to Save a Friend from Deportation and Death [NOOK Book]

Overview

A decade after fleeing the Congo for the United States, having endured rape, imprisonment, and torture in her homeland, Regina Bakala found herself locked in a U.S. prison facing deportation to almost certain death. This harrowing true story of an asylum seeker and young mother of two tells how her husband, a feisty nun, a pit bull lawyer, and a group of volunteers set aside political differences to galvanize a movement to save Regina. Their struggle reveals the vast underbelly of injustice in America's harsh ...
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Rescuing Regina: The Battle to Save a Friend from Deportation and Death

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Overview

A decade after fleeing the Congo for the United States, having endured rape, imprisonment, and torture in her homeland, Regina Bakala found herself locked in a U.S. prison facing deportation to almost certain death. This harrowing true story of an asylum seeker and young mother of two tells how her husband, a feisty nun, a pit bull lawyer, and a group of volunteers set aside political differences to galvanize a movement to save Regina. Their struggle reveals the vast underbelly of injustice in America's harsh detention and deportation system and frighteningly arbitrary asylum process. The book uncovers the very real dangers faced by asylum seekers in the United States, not only from the country they left behind, but also from the country they thought would keep them safe.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Flynn's eye-opening and detailed account of what it took to win asylum for Regina Bakala, who fled Mobuto's regime in Congo in 2005 "after being tortured for advocating democracy," offers an inside look at the formidable and convoluted system faced by asylum seekers in the U.S. Regina and David Bakala and their two American-born children were feeling safe, well-settled in their Milwaukee home and church as the asylum process proceeded, when Regina was taken from her home and thrust into a nightmare. Bureaucratic and juridical traps abound; it took a village (media attention, a dedicated lawyer, St. Mary's parishioners, the Milwaukee community) to secure asylum. Flynn, the Catholic nun who organized the "Save Regina" campaign, which raised funds, created public awareness, and found political support, plays a major role, but her remarkable achievement is the telling of Regina's and David's stories, while relaying her own political education and spiritual engagement. Flynn packs in all the drama of a riveting escape tale; nevertheless, the story provides an instructive account of escaping a maze built by competing jurisdictions, derelict lawyers, and harsh judges. (July)
Kirkus Reviews

A powerful account of the long and painful journey toward asylum for two Congolese refugees.

Regina Bakala, a former political activist in the Democratic Republic of Congo who suffered terrible consequences for her activism, narrowly escaped almost certain death in 1995 and made it to the United States—but not to safety. After living in America for a decade—during which time she reunited with her husband and had two children—immigration officials took Bakala one evening in 2005. A victim of poor legal representation and a cruel immigration system, she faced an extraordinarily difficult and complex case with few avenues for legal action. Yet an entire congregation, led by Sister Flynn, came together and generated an overwhelming amount of financial, emotional, legal and logistical support for her and her family—the result is truly uplifting. The book makes intensely personal two problems that are, to most Americans, impossibly abstract: the political turmoil in the Congo and the U.S. immigration system. Flynn explains the situation in a way that makes the plight of all immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers clear and understandable. Though the torture both Bakala and her husband endured in the Congo is horrific, Flynn handles their stories in a sensitive, compassionate way. In addition to their stories, a cogent overview of immigration policy, a rough primer for activism and the details of their legal process toward asylum, Flynn explores her own personal history as a survivor of abuse. As might be expected from a book written by a nun, the Catholic faith of both the author and the Bakala family are absolutely central to the story; however, this may be the rare book that the staunchest progressive and the most devout Catholic could read together.

Arresting and inspiring—a must-read for people of faith, immigration activists and anyone concerned with social justice.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569769126
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/1/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 429,119
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Leader of the Save Regina Campaign, Sister Josephe Marie Flynn is cofounder and chair of the Milwaukee Archdiocesan Justice for Immigrants Committee and a member of the Global Justice and Peace Commission of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. A retired teacher, she lives in Milwaukee, where she is a spiritual director and an advocate for immigration reform. Sister Helen Prejean is the author of Dead Man WalkingA sister of the Congregation of St. Joseph, she counsels death row inmates and families of murder victims.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Helen Prejean ix

Preface xi

Part I Tragedy Upon Tragedy

1 "They Took Regina!" 3

2 "Never in America" 9

3 Caring for One Another 21

4 A Rag in the Weeds 29

5 In the Eyes of the Law 39

6 Why America? 53

7 Moonlit Fog 65

8 Searching for a Lawyer 79

9 David's Tragic Past 91

10 Behind the Mask 99

Part II Wounded Warriors

11 Befriend the Fears and Angers 117

12 Good Friday 125

13 In Good Times and in Bad 131

14 Easter 137

15 "It's Hard to Be Here" 145

16 "My Children Need Me" 151

17 "They Ask Me Why I Cry So Much" 159

18 Did She Tell the Truth? 173

Part III Mobilizing for Action

19 Save Regina 195

20 It Was a Dark and Stormy Night… 203

21 Throwing Garbage Cans 211

22 Teamwork 221

23 "I Want to Help" 231

24 Let My People Go! 239

25 "Now, God, Now!" 249

Part IV Where Is Home?

26 Bless the Children 265

27 "Don't Stop Now, Girl" 273

28 2006 285

29 The Eleventh Hour 293

30 "Who Will Take Care of Us?" 299

Epilogue 313

Author's Note and Acknowledgments 315

Notes 319

Index 333

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 7, 2011

    Riveting!

    This is a riveting expose' of the many injustices of our current immigration policies. A MUST READ for ALL who champion peace and justice in our society.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    Wonderful book

    Sister Josephe has recorded an amazing journey in an amazing book. This is a spell-binding book that won't let you go from the first page until Regina (and her family) are finally rescued.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2011

    Highly Recommend - very very well written

    I could not give Rescuing Regina a higher recommendation. Sister Josephe Marie Flynn has taken an extraordinary story and turned it into lessons of social justice and faith. Regina's story taught me about the malice that some countries have for their citizens, the cruelty of the U.S. immigration system, the psychological damage that is inherent in experiences of torture, and much more. Regina's faith was an inspiration to all involved in her case. Rescuing Regina kept me so emotionally involved that I couldn't put it down. Our church book study group will be reading this book. It is packed with issues that beg reflection.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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