~ grace james ~
Routinely entering the U.S. after visiting relatives abroad, Grace James was arrested on July 29, 2016, by American immigration authorities and imprisoned for over a year while waiting for her asylum hearing in the country of her dreams.
A native of the small Pacific Island Nation of Kiribati, Grace adopted the Christian faith during high school, and devoted herself to missionary work after two years of university study in Fiji. Faith and self-determination guided her through so many things, including an abusive marriage, which ultimately led her to seek asylum in the United States.
Facing isolation, fear, and uncertainty in detainment, she discovered purpose through dedication to fellow asylum seekers wanting to learn English and win their cases. A daily journal, the basis for this memoir, was her constant companion.
A riveting personal account of the asylum seeker experience reveals the interwoven humanity found throughout each entry. An immigrant experience so universally misunderstood,
American Asylee is a story all need to hear. Set free, her dedication to fellow detainees, inspired the Dearyous initiative, a letter writing project for confined asylum seekers. Her story was featured in the Pacific Women’s Network, and currently she heads Thrive, an international women’s group promoting healthy living, and gratitude.