Why this Kenyan scholar will be deported after 25 years in US - Nairobi News
6 months ago, 11 Mar 11:20
A relative of Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa is to be deported from the US after his appeal for political asylum was denied. Dr Mzenga Aggrey Wanyama, who teaches at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and his wife Mary Namalwa Mzenga, have attracted huge support as they face deportation from a country they have lived in for 25 years. “Well, what can I do? If they want me to buy my own ticket, I will do that,” he told the Minneapolis-based StarTribune newspaper on Thursday. Dr Wanyama told the publication that he had resigned himself to the deportation at a time when US President Donald Trump is increasingly taking a hard-line stance on immigration. On Friday, Dr Wanyama and his wife met in the Twin Cities (Saint Paul and Minneapolis) with officials of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to review their case and discuss plans for deportation. REPORT TO IMMIGRATION Dr Wanyama was ordered to report back to the immigration officials next month to plan for his repatriation to Kenya, even as his university and the community of Minneapolis-Saint Paul put pressure on immigration authorities to spare him. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement that Dr Wanyama was a pillar in the community and the region was better for his work. “No president, no federal agency will deport Dr Wanyama without a fight from me, from our partners in the state and federal delegations, and from the thousands of people in Minneapolis who share our values,” said Mr Frey. ENTERED US IN 1992 Dr Wanyama first entered the US in 1992 as a non-immigrant exchange visitor. He was followed in 1995 by his wife and children Billy Levin Mzenga, 30, and Billy Masibai Mzenga, 26. The two children are protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme. A third son, a 19-year-old attending the University of Minnesota, was born in the US and is a citizen. ASYLUM Upon expiration of his visa in 2005, Dr Wanyama applied for asylum. He claimed he will be persecuted in Kenya primarily on account of an article he wrote in The Standard newspaper in 2004 criticising the government of President Mwai Kibaki and praising his opponent Raila Odinga. Dr Wanyama told a US immigration judge that the Kenyan government began harassing his family members in Kenya after the article was published. He claimed that his brother was fired as managing director of a parastatal, and an MP made “suspicious remarks” to Dr Wanyama’s mother, questioning her about his activities and whereabouts. Several other family members sent emails to Dr Wanyama telling him he should not return to Kenya for safety reasons, he testified before the judge. POLITICAL OPPONENT Additionally, as his removal proceedings progressed, Dr Wanyama wrote two more articles in The Standard newspaper supporting Mr Odinga’s candidacy in the 2007 General Election. After the articles were published, Dr Wanyama claimed the Kenyan government intensified its focus on him as a political opponent based on his involvement with an American political group that supported Mr Odinga. ...
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