Sad story part 3 and final:Deported-A Kenyan Immigrant’s Nightmare
“Imagine coming back to Kenya looking like a homeless man, with a plastic bag?”:I did not understand how such a smart person, loving, caring and focused individual could miss out on one simple check box. He seemed lost in this one detail. It seemed to me that he wondered what if? What if he had checked the right box? Could this have saved him? “I don’t know what happened man. I wasn’t there when they questioned my wife.” I wondered which wife. So I asked, “did they question your married wife or the live in wife?” He confirmed that they questioned his Kenyan live in wife, the mother of his two children.
When the red flag flashed on the screen of his application to legalize his live in wife, the investigation begun. Therefore they went back to the original wife who filed the case for him. It is here that things fell apart. According to his report, they found out that she had other husbands, all from Africa! “ I see.” I exclaimed! The immigration people made his live in wife a deal. She leaves the country immediately. Which meant she had to take her children with her, or they deport her. The first option gave her a chance for the future. Therefore she agreed. In return, she provides information on any other illegality. The poor woman took the deal. What would you do?
She did not tell her “husband” the whole story when she came home. To this day, “I just know what the immigration people told me.” He said in a sad voice. “All she said was, things are not good.” He did not understand what that meant. His question to her was, “things between us or what?” He says she did not elaborate. From that moment on, she was silent. One day he came home to find her with women from her church parking things. “She told me she is leaving with the children to Kenya.” He continued. This was not a good day.
What transpired is a family dispute not easy to write about. Just sad stuff! “When the officers came to my house, I was shocked. She did not tell me they were investigating me. I just let her go. I thought I was safe.” He said in a regretful sense of defeat. “Man, I thought of running out. I wished I could get a hole in the ground and just drop!” On arrival to the processing center, I discovered what my crime was. “I had not divorced the other woman. And had not checked the right box.” They questioned him endlessly! They took him through the process of deportation, which he describes as a nightmare. He moved from place to place until he was settled in a prison with many criminals.
Finally, he was checked out of the final facility and given back his laptop computer and a shirt. They were in a plastic bag. Officers escorted him to a flight, which took him to a major northern city. From there he was handed over to an international airline. “They did not give me my documents. They handed me over to the airline and gave my documents to the airline pilots. When we arrived in Nairobi JKIA, the pilots gave the documents to the immigration officer. “The welcome look I got from the Kenyan officer was devastating.” He said. The officer asked him, “Nyiyi ndio mnatuharibia majina huko inje?” He did not answer. He said he was dressed like a hooligan. His luggage was a plastic bag with his laptop, and an American phone that did not work in Kenya, and one shirt. “I thank one Kenyan who had come to see me in prison and gave me some money. Not much but some.” He said reflectively.
He got a taxi to take him to his mother’s home in one of the estates in Nairobi. On arrival, he knocked at the door and the maid opened. She did not know him! She welcomed him in but she immediately called the mother on the phone. The mother had gone out somewhere. She spoke to him in shock! No one knew he was coming home. “Imagine coming home looking like a homeless man, with a plastic bag?” I cannot begin to imagine. I did not imagine. I let it be.
While he has been in Nairobi, the wife who he left for the United States got wind of his return. She came to see him. According to family members who I know, she never left him. Rather, she kept close to his mother. As to the Kenyan wife who has his children, I do not know. He did not want to discuss it. And if he could, I would not write about it. Sad stuff!
My mother told me never to pass judgment. She said, “take the log out from your own eyes before removing the speck from your brother’s eyes.” I think that is a quote from Jesus, right?
Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD), SYR Radio/TV, Director International Desk. Imanisha