Sad story part 2:A Knock on the Door, Deported-A Kenyan Immigrant’s Nightmare


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Continuation of the sad story about a Kenyan Diaspora who was deported.Very interesting and sad:When my friend begun the story, it was sad but riveting! I kept asking him, “What”? I have seen news reports about things that people do to get to the United States. I lived near Waukegan, Illinois and heard stories of how Mexicans walk for miles to get to Arizona. I have also heard of people who change their names to be allowed back. But this one was, what should I say? Kenyan?


The man had married in Kenya and he and his wife were drifting away. Therefore he decided to migrate. He followed all the necessary processes required to obtain a visa. He got to the United States legally and settled down the southern states and begun to go to school. It went well until he could not pay his fees. The law requires one to keep a full load of hours in college to maintain legality. Things do not work out as planned . . . life has thorns. He dropped out and got a job.


After a while, he got behind and could not get back to school. He therefore moved from legality to illegality. America, being a land of opportunity, opportunity came knocking at the door one day. A friend of his told him about this great plan that he could use to get ahead. He found himself an American lady and married her. It wasn’t a bad idea only that during his time, he had also gotten a Kenyan in America and gotten children. They were, a family? She had also dropped out of school. Therefore out of status! Any way life went on well. He married the American lady, got his permanent residency and things were working out just fine! Very good because he had a good job and planned a return to school.


After a couple of years, he decided, out of love, I presume, to try and help his good Kenyan woman, wife, that is. Their kids were United States Citizens therefore they were fine. He filed for her the papers so that she also could benefit from his legality.


When she went for the interview, the immigration officials were very nice. They went through her papers and his papers and things went as required by law. What they failed to remember is that while the American immigration law is very pro-immigration, the writers of these laws have many boxes that one has to check. In what is known as a “senior moment”? the man forgot to check the box that showed, married. He checked the box that said, single.


In Kenya, the paperwork is stored in boxes in the corner of some office. I remember going to an office to get some record. I looked behind the officer and the files were in old folders on the floor! The record was written on this black book. My hand master had one of those on his desk! Americans have computers!


Any way, in a country where people write checks for every thing, in a country where some company mail you a credit card after filling in an application on line, you have to imagine that they have a way of confirming whether there is money in your account. Immigration departments don’t just issue residency in the dark. They have files and folders with a history of stuff. This stuff includes the person who filed residency for you!


After he got his residency, he forgot that he was still married to the wonder full lady that made him legal. He forgot to mention this to his Kenyan lady!  After the interview, she was called back by immigration. She went alone. I could not believe my ears therefore I asked, “What? How do you forget that detail man?” I asked him. I finished my first cup of latte, ordered second round. He continued . . . and so will I . . .


Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD). SYR Radio/TV, Director International Desk. Imanisha

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