Rescuing Regina: The Battle to Save a Friend from Deportation and Death

Josephe Marie Flynn. Lawrence Hill, $26.95 (352p) ISBN 978-1-56976-624-8
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)
Reviewed on: 05/09/2011
Release date: 07/01/2011
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-56976-910-2
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-61373-658-6
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