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Kenyan-born Professor summoned by ICE, faces deportation from US

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Augsburg University’s Dr. Mzenga Wanyama, a Kenyan-born graduate of the University of Minnesota who now teaches post-colonial theory and African American literature, has just been asked to attend a meeting Friday morning at the ICE office in St. Paul to discuss his immigration status and “plans for removal.”

Wanyama arrived in the United States in 1992, at a time when Kenya’s transformation from a one-party state into a multiparty system provoked ethnic violence. Thousands were murdered and many more displaced.

After his wife and two children joined him in America, Wanyama began to write articles for a leading Kenyan newspaper criticizing the government and praising primary opposition leader Raila Odinga, who lost a bid for the presidency last summer in an election that also erupted in violent clashes over accusations of election fraud.

Later Wanyama applied for asylum, claiming the Kenyan government had retaliated against his family members in Kenya, harassing his mother about his whereabouts and firing his brother from his job in a public development corporation. In 2009, an immigration judge ruled that although Wanyama had reason to have feared persecution, what he suffered really wasn’t as bad as what other refugees experienced. (Prior court rulings had found that isolated attacks on family members isn’t always enough to admit an asylum applicant, if he himself hasn’t been sufficiently tortured.)

READ ALSO:   Kenyan in Atlanta counts blessings, owns two successful businesses

His asylum application officially denied in 2012, Wanyama was marked for possible removal and ordered to check in with ICE every 1-3 months. He’s never missed a visit, and ICE has never tried to actually deport him. Under the Obama Administration, the agency’s orders were to focus on deporting felons. Wanyama has no criminal record.

But in January, Trump signed an executive order that allows ICE to deport anyone without legal residency status, regardless of criminal history. Wanyama’s friends and colleagues at Augsburg fear that he will be arrested when he checks in with ICE on Friday, so they and academics across Minnesota plan to demonstrate at the ICE office at 1 Federal Drive, #1640 in St. Paul at noon.

 “I think he was targeted because the climate is changing, and because they’re going after people who are rooted in the community,” says Professor Sarah Combellick-Bidney. “They’re sending signals that our communities are hostile to immigrants by taking people who are a part of our fabric.”

Nearly 46 million people tuned in to Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in January, when he announced his vision for “merit-based” immigration reform, a system that would welcome only the most educated, wealthy, and English-fluent people from around the world

READ ALSO:   Check the results for the U.S. Green Card Lottery 2018 (Diversity Visa 2018) here

.Does that mean tenured English professors are in the clear? Evidently not.

-CP

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Africa

Domestic violence deaths on the rise in diaspora

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Zachary Moitui, a Kenyan-born resident of Jersey City, New Jersey, thought he had seen the worst of human brutality when he found himself at the centre of a gruesome murder in America that made headlines around the world.

On October 2010, Evans Kebabe bludgeoned his wife and their two children to death in their Vadnais Heights apartment in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The bodies of his wife Bilha Omare, 32, and their two children then aged 12 and 9 were found on October 14 in their apartment.

Kebabe, who is now serving a jail term handed down to him on January 2011, was arrested after his car ran out of gas while trying to flee.

Mr Moitui, a respected elder of the Kenyan community in Jersey, led plans to move the bodies from Minneapolis to Jersey City for burial.

“It was a heartbreaking time for our diaspora community because in all honesty, we had never witnessed such brutality and never imagined we had such people among us.

“That was until of course recently, when something eerily similar happened right here in Jersey City,” said Mr Moitui.

MURDER/SUICIDE
Mr Moitui was referring to the news early in the week that another Kenyan couple had been found dead in their home and that the husband was suspected to have shot his wife before turning the gun on himself.

READ ALSO:   PHOTOS: Kenyan woman who died in Atlanta buried

The local press reported that authorities in Jersey City were investigating a murder-suicide after police discovered bodies of a man and woman dead from gunshot wounds.

It turns out that the couple — Henry Okong’o and Lydiah Okong’o — were in fact people Mr Moitui was not only familiar with but also related to one of them.

“The late Lydia was my niece. Fourteen years ago when they started having domestic issues, Lydia moved out and lived with me for five months.

“She went back after we helped them to reconcile. Little did I know it would turn out as it did on Monday,” Mr Moitui said.

RECONCILIATION
He added: “I’m not only feeling devastated by her death, I’m also wondering whether reconciling them was the best thing to do.

“What I did then to reconcile them was what any parent would do for the good of the family, especially the children but, here we are!”

The couple has been living in the 2 Mina Drive property for over a decade and neighbours are still confounded by the incident.

“Three children have been left without parents. This is so sad,” one neighbour was quoted by the local press as saying.

Dr George Omburo, one of the Seventh day Adventists church elders, said the couple “had a tough marriage”.

READ ALSO:   DEATH ANNOUNCEMENT: Kenyan Bishop, Dr. Josiah Thuku Kambutu passes away in the United States

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
This incident and many others that seem to have escalated in the recent past involving the Kenyan Diaspora have left many wondering what exactly is going on within the community that is usually reluctant to discuss issues of domestic violence openly.

“Having lived in the US for more than 10 years, and having witnessed a lot of these cases, I can confidently say that the major cause of domestic disagreements among Kenyans is the reversal of gender roles as we know them,” Mr Chris Majani, a Kenyan-born resident of Dallas, Texas, said.

Saturday Nation

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Africa

Kenyan woman in US who shot dead her ex-husband arrested

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Police in the United States are holding in custody a Kenyan woman for shooting dead her ex-husband last week.

Marie Kendale Kimani a resident of Rhome, Texas, who reportedly shot dead Jonathon Tumbo, was arrested in her apartment on Wednesday.

Officers who were responding to a call from Kimani about an argument between the two found the lifeless body of Tumbo at the home.

The man reportedly succumbed to a single gunshot wound to the chest.

EVIDENCE

When questioned by police, Ms Kimani said she was involved in a physical altercation with Mr Tumbo.

“Subsequent follow up investigation by investigators and related evidence was not consistent with Kimani’s account of a physical altercation,” the Sheriff’s office stated in a press release.

Ms Kimani, 35, is currently being held in a County jail as she tries to raise Sh100 million ($1million) bail.

Nairobi News

READ ALSO:   Body of Kenyan man found on an apartment floor in US
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Africa

Illegal immigrants turn to GoFundMe in effort to stay in U.S.

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

Some enterprising citizens who are fed up with the slow pace of progress in building President Trump’s border wall have decided to take matters into their own hands.

US media reports that dozens of people have launched GoFundMe accounts to raise money that they say they will make sure is used to push the president’s plans for his “great, beautiful wall.”

On the other hand,  illegal immigrant “Dreamers” have also turned to “crowdfunding” to raise money, asking for donations to pay their fees as they rush to apply for renewed status under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that keeps them from being deported.

According to Washington Times, American good Samaritans have been donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to more than 600 pro-immigrant campaigns as they look for ways to become personally involved in the immigration debate.

“This is certainly a way they can do that, and it makes a big difference to these people,” said Peter Boogaard, communications director at FWD.us, a pro-immigration advocacy group founded by tech executives that is working with GoFundMe to highlight the DACA campaigns. “They’re not asking for huge amounts of money. They’re asking for a little bit of support to make their ability to renew their applications a little easier.”

READ ALSO:   PHOTOS: Kenyan woman who died in Atlanta buried
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