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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:   How things fall apart for Kenyans in US

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:   Why Kenyan students in US aren't doing as well as their Indian counterparts

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

-CP

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Diaspora

Home Developer offering free transport from JKIA for Kenyans from Diaspora

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BY PETER NYAGA

Mahiga Homes Ltd, a leading real estate developer in Kenya specializing in selling affordable houses is offering our prospective diaspora customers a Free ride from the airport to your destination around Nairobi and its environs.

This is a way of appreciating the great contributions of Kenyans in the diaspora.
The offer starts from 1st to 24th December.

To book your free ride
Call/WhatsApp +245720460413
www.mahigahomes.co.ke

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Why Kenyans back home get pissed off by exaggerated tales of Diaspora returnees
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Diaspora

US Immigration Service to charge $10 Fee for H-1B Visa Registration

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WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced a final rule that will require a $10 non-refundable fee for each H-1B registration submitted by petitioning employers, once it implements the electronic registration system.

The registration fee is part of an agency-wide effort to modernize and more efficiently process applications to live or work in the United States.

The H-1B program allows companies in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require the application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty, or its equivalent.

Upon implementation of the electronic registration system, petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, will first have to electronically register with USCIS during a designated registration period, unless the requirement is suspended.

“This effort will help implement a more efficient and effective H-1B cap selection process,” said USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli. “The electronic registration system is part of an agency-wide initiative to modernize our immigration system while deterring fraud, improving vetting procedures and strengthening program integrity.”

The final rule, Registration Fee Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens, is effective Dec. 9, 2019, and the fee will be required when registrations are submitted. USCIS is fee-funded, and this non-refundable fee will support the new electronic registration system to make the H-1B cap selection process more efficient for both petitioners and the agency.

READ ALSO:   Why Kenyan students in US aren't doing as well as their Indian counterparts

USCIS is slated to implement the registration process for the fiscal year 2021 H-1B cap selection process, pending completed testing of the system. The agency will announce the implementation timeframe and initial registration period in the Federal Register once a formal decision has been made, and USCIS will offer ample notice to the public in advance of implementing the registration requirement.

USCIS published a notice of proposed rulemaking highlighting a registration fee on Sept. 4, 2019, which included a 30-day public comment period. USCIS received only 22 comments during that time, and has considered all submissions and offered public responses ahead of announcing the final rule, which is effective on Dec. 9.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), Instagram (/uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook (/uscis), and LinkedIn (/uscis).

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Diaspora

VIDEO: Lifeless body of Kenyan woman found floating in a waterway in Florida

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A 29-year-old Kenyan woman has been found dead in Florida, USA. Her body was found at the Intracoastal Waterway in St. Augustine City.

According to the County Sheriff’s Office, Rose Chebii’s body was found floating on the water body on Monday after drowning.

“Preliminary autopsy results have established the cause of death as drowning,” the Sheriff’s office said.

“We need to determine: Did she go swimming?” said Chuck Mulligan, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office. “Was the water cold? Was it a hypothermia issue?”

According to local media, investigators said Chebii was walking in the downtown area of St. Augustine around Washington Street area at 5:35 a.m. Monday morning.

A short time later, deputies were called to the waterway near The Riverview Club by St. Augustine Shores around 8:30 a.m.

St. Johns County Fire Rescue launched a vessel into the water and found Che Bii drifting in the waterway.

“This appears to be someone who is living a normal life and then ends up in this water,” Mulligan said.

“Our message to the public today is if you are in downtown St. Augustine, if you live along any of the tributaries or waterways, downtown or along the intercoastal waterway, check your video cameras,” he said.

 

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Homeless Kenyan in Chile appeals for help
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