Eleazar Saldivia is still bitter at the turn of events that led him from a career as a federal criminal judge in Venezuela to driving for Uber in Los Angeles.
But he doesn’t regret the decision to leave his life and home behind.
In 2013, Saldivia began a trial in which he sentenced four policemen to jail for assaulting imprisoned anti-government protesters and allowing criminals to escape from prison. Despite orders from the government, he refused to reverse his decision, and the harassment that followed forced him to flee.
“I could have had a brilliant career in my country,” said Saldivia, 42, who arrived in Los Angeles in September 2014 and now shares a small apartment...