Erick Lopez, one of the three people on hunger strike outside US Congressman Coble’s Greensboro office last week, said today that his brother was approved for asylum without Coble’s help.

Family members on hunger strike in Greensboro last Friday


Family members of Emanuel Lopez staged a three-day hunger strike as part of a campaign to pressure Coble to write a letter of support for Emanuel’s appeal for asylum in the United States. Read more about the action here.

A judge in San Diego overturned an initial decision that Emanuel’s appeal for asylum didn’t meet the criteria, Erick said, but he still has an upcoming hearing to spell out the specifics of the conditions of his release. “The congressman never helped us but it is a miracle that my brother actually got approved,” Erick Lopez said.

Emanuel Lopez, who spent most of his life living in Coble’s district of North Carolina, is currently being held at the Otay Detention Facility, Erick said. His family members ended their hunger strike due to the impact on Emanuel’s mother’s health and Erick being called into work.

Longtime Congressman Coble is not seeking reelection this fall. His successor will likely be determined in the Republican primary next month.


UPDATE April 24, 2014: Erick Lopez called to say Emanuel is landing in Greensboro this afternoon shortly after 4 p.m. after being granted asylum and released.

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