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BREAKING: Frustrated US Citizen married to Kenyan woman petitions President Trump to stop wife’s imminent deportation

I have a 3 yrs old son who needs his mother and I need my Loving wife close to me. We love each other and we both love our son to death. We take our marriage vows very seriously and nobody will separate us.

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

After struggling for close to four years in an effort to legalize his wife’s status, US Citizen Bruce Pritchet is now reaching out to well wishers to sign a petition to President Donald J Trump in order to save his marriage.

His wife, Salome Pritchett – with whom they have a 3-year old son – is facing imminent deportation. The petition, it appears, is the only option left, after going through a lengthy and expensive process, leaving the family exhausted. This comes at a time when cases of Kenyans being deported from the US on what analysts say are flimsy grounds, are on the rise.

Here is the story as told by Mr Pritchett:

My name is Bruce Pritchett, a US citizen by birth in the State of Missouri. I got married to my wife Salome Pritchett, a Kenyan citizen on August 8, 2015 in Missouri. My wife has been legally living in the United states for 7 years. She’s hardworking and pays Taxes in this country.

We have a 3 yr old son together, who was born in Illinois. We filed a petition to help my wife Salome to adjust her legal status through marriage and get her a Green Card, in May 2017. We had an immigration interview in December 2017. During the interview the immigration officer asked my wife why she “married a white man,” which, to me, was racial profiling, violation of human right to marry and discrimination.

She also demanded that my wife revoke her then legal status without telling us if she had approved the Green Card or not. Her questions and demands to revoke my wife’s then legal status before approval of her green card made us including our lawyer very suspicious of her intentions.

The couple holding their son. COURTESY PHOTO

Our lawyer advised my wife not to revoke her legal status because that would make her illegal in United States if the officer doesn’t grant the green card on the spot. Therefore, leaving my wife vulnerable for deportation, and I could not let that happen.

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Following the advice of our lawyer not to revoke my wife’s legal status, the officer sent us home promising that all she needed was a signature from her boss to send us the approval notice of my wife’s green card in 7 days, but it never happened.
Together with our lawyers, we spent the whole year of 2018 following-up and requesting the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to send us the promised approval notice in vain. Our lawyers did everything possible to get them wrap up my petition and give my wife a Green Card but all fell on deaf years of U.S Immigration Services.

In March 2019 our lawyers advised us to sue the USCIS in St. Louis, Missouri, to stop the delay of our petition and have them grant us the Green Card. They got mad and sent a notice of Intent to Revoke the approved petition that they had okeyed back in 2017 and never sent the approval form to us.

They gave us 30 days to send more documentation to prove that my wife was free to marry me, which we did. We even got the Certificate of No Impediment to marriage from Kenya, my wife’s country of origin, stating that my wife is free to marry me and other documentation required to prove our marriage is legal, including copy of Kenyan laws Marriage Act.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru lays wreath on the grave of Dr John Dube

To our surprise, the immigration officer handling our case said that the “Kenyan marriage laws are not in place.”
Although the Officer acknowledged that my wife’s “Family Ties In The United States Are Positive Factors,” she went ahead to deny my petition for my wife’s Green Card.

I demand immigration Justice for my wife because the USCIS did not even take time to review all the legal documents they asked for as prove that my marriage to Salome is legitimate. Our lawyers said the immigration officer was not following the law concerning our case.

That means she’s only out to destroy families and deport people for no reason.

We have less than 30 days file an appeal against this unfair and unjust treatment by USCIS which is very expensive for us. Why on earth should we go through this?
I have a 3 yrs old son who needs his mother and I need my Loving wife close to me. We love each other and we both love our son to death. We take our marriage vows very seriously and nobody will separate us.

The pain and agony of growing without a mother or your wife is excruciating. Separating families is wrong and should not be tolerated. Its Cruel and unAmerican.
For this reason, I do not want my son to grow-up without his mother around. I want my family together, Because family’s belong together.

Please help me stop this cruel immigration officer from trying to deport my wife, destroying my marriage and my 3yr old son’s life. Because what USCIS is doing is wicked, unethical, unprofessional and inhuman, it is cruel and un-American!

READ ALSO:   74 year old Kenyan man deported after living in US for 42 years ponders his next move at JKIA

Since we started this case back in 2017, the USCIS in St. Louis has wasted so much time on our petition and made us go through so much heartache, stress and mental anguish. We’ve spent so much money that has drained all our savings just to have our family live together in peace.




But the USCIS is out to destroy my marriage and my family. Please help me fight for Justice  for my wife and family, and get the US Citizenship and Immigration Services approve my wife’s Green Card and stop the heartache, pain and mental anguish my family is suffering right now. Create a safe path to Citizenship for my wife and keep my family together.

Please sign our petition. Help me keep my family together.
Your support will be highly appreciated.

Thank you.
God Bless you,
Bruce Pritchett.

Updates

Bruce Pritchett

2 days ago
4 days ago
Bruce Pritchett started this petition

Reasons for signing

Pauline Mwariri·2 days ago
What God has join together no man should put apart

3·

Report
philip okelo·1 day ago
the biggest democracy in the world can do better, she should set a good example to the rest of the world

2·

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Diaspora

MY STORY: Meet US-Based Kenyan man who has spent a Decade fighting Deportation [VIDEO]

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A Kenyan-born man who has been fighting deportation from the United States for the last 10 years has shared his story with the Voice of America (VOA).

Sylvester Owino is a small business owner  and a rights activist based in San Diego, California. His family owns Rafikiz Foodz — an authentic African food vendor offering “Kenyan food for your soul,” using fresh ingredients from the local farmers market.

Those who encounter Owino’s welcoming personality are not aware what happens once he is done working for the day. A convicted felon who robbed a shop, Owino is fighting to stay in the United States through an asylum case that has lasted nearly a decade.

Owino arrived in the U.S. from Kenya in 1998 on a student visa, leaving a country where he said he was beaten, jailed and threatened by the government.

Five years later, an addiction to alcohol and gambling derailed him.

“I was going to college, but I used to drink too much,” he said. “And I just quit college because of what had happened in my path and everything. I found this job after leaving college. I was working with disadvantaged people. And then I met some friends through work, and we started drinking after work, go to the casinos, and they introduced me to gambling,” he said.

During one of his last visits to the casino, he found himself out of money and decided to rob a nail salon. He was convicted of second-degree robbery.

“I thought I was going to get probation. And nobody ever explained to me the immigration consequences. So I took a plea, which gave me three years,” Owino said.

He completed a two-year prison sentence and was transferred to the Otay Mesa Detention Center, as Immigration and Customs Enforcement began removal proceedings.

While in detention, Owino began waging what became a more than nine year fight against deportation.

Resisting deportation in the Trump era

Owino is among the more than 1 million people who President Donald Trump has targeted for deportation, including many who were convicted of serious crimes.  Owino is an example of immigrants who broke the law and suffered consequences, but who turned their lives around and now are asking for a second chance to remain in the U.S.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans in US who survived "Deep Freeze" say they miss the weather back home

However, the nation is sharply divided over immigration policy, and many Americans believe that people like Owino who were convicted of violent crimes should be deported back to their country of origin. Indeed, a Gallup poll earlier this year found that 37% of adults strongly favor or favor deporting all immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

“It’s not right to have these cases dragged on forever, it’s not fair to anybody,” said Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, which backs Trump’s immigration policies. “On the other hand, we have no obligation to allow people to stay here if their behavior is causing problems in our communities. And if they disqualified themselves from the ability to stay here as a permanent resident,” then they have to accept the consequences of their behavior.”

 

 




 

Inside detention

Subject to mandatory immigration detention, Owino was not entitled to a bond hearing.

 

“When I got there, I was in a complete shock. I thought, ‘This was supposed to be better (than state prison,)’ but actually it was worse. … The officers treated us like we have no rights, like we are not human beings,” Owino said.

In a recent interview with reporters, David Fathi, director at ACLU’s National Prison Project, said most people do not think about mass incarceration and unhealthy conditions when they think of immigration detention.

“These are very vulnerable people. Many of them have suffered major physical and emotional trauma, beatings, starvation or rape, either in their home country or on their journey to the United States,” Fathi said.

Those who are “less” traumatized often suffer from cultural dislocation, family separation and the stresses of incarceration, including overcrowding and solitary confinement.

FILE - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents surround and detain a person during a raid in Richmond, Va.
FILE-U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents surround and detain a person during a raid in Richmond, Va.

A Homeland Security inspector general report released at the beginning of the month showed that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had failed to meet government standards for housing migrant detainees at multiple facilities in 2018.

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Investigators conducted unannounced inspections at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center in California, the LaSalle ICE Processing Center in Louisiana, the Essex County Correctional Facility in New Jersey), and the Aurora ICE Processing Center in Colorado.

Poor conditions in facilities

At one of the facilities, inspectors saw mold throughout all the walls in the bathroom area, including shower stalls, ceilings, mirrors, and vents, and warned that prolonged exposure to mold and mildew can cause long-term health issues or allergic reactions.

 

ICE sent a statement to VOA saying the agency “appreciates” the efforts of the Office of Inspector General and that it concurs” with the report’s recommendation and the corrective actions detailed in the report.

“The safety, rights and health of detainees in ICE’s custody are paramount,” ICE said.

On the solitary confinement issue, ICE said the use of restrictive housing in ICE detention facilities is “exceedingly rare, but at times necessary,” to ensure the safety of staff and individuals in a facility.

ICE’s policy to use “special management units” — or solitary confinement cells — is to protect detainees, staff and contractors from harm by segregating certain detainees from the general population for both administrative and disciplinary reasons.

The agency’s spokesperson added that in 2013, ICE issued a directive titled “Review of the Use of Segregation for ICE Detainees,” which requires agency reporting, review, and oversight of every decision to place detainees in segregated housing for over 14 days, and requires immediate reporting and review of segregation placements when heightened concerns exist based on the detainee’s health or other factors.

To Liz Martinez, director of advocacy and strategic communications at Freedom for Immigrants, a nonprofit that has been monitoring the conditions at ICE facilities for years, nothing in the OIG report is “new.”

“The people who are in immigration detention and call us on our free hotline have been reporting these kinds of abuses all the time.” she said.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Would you support Anne Waiguru as Ruto's running mate in 2022?

Martinez said the “egregious” violations the OIG found are human rights violations.

“They keep happening over and over again, and no one is held accountable,” she added.

Freedom for Immigrants maintains an up-to-date map of the U.S. immigration detention system with more than 200 immigrant prisons and jails across the country.

According to government data, in fiscal year 2018, about 396,448 people were initially booked into an ICE detention facility, an increase of 22.5% from 2017. ICE’s interior enforcement efforts resulted in a 10% increase in book-ins resulting from ICE arrests.

Freedom for Immigrants’ website shows that 60% of people are held in privately run immigrant prisons.

According to ACLU experts, detained immigrants are the fastest-growing sector of the incarcerated population, from about 35,000 during the Obama years to 52,000 now.

“That’s well above the 45,274 that Congress funded for fiscal year 2019,” Shah said.

 Fighting deportation

After having his case go to the Board of Immigration Appeals twice, and then to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Owino was granted bond with the help of Freedom for Immigrants.

He said it was difficult fighting a deportation case from detention, since unlike in criminal proceedings, immigrants are not entitled to court-appointed attorneys.

Though there were days he thought about accepting deportation, Owino said he decided to make a plan for himself, instead.

“I was scared to go back (to Kenya) based on what happened to me. … I set a program for myself. I thought, ‘If I get out, no more drinking.’ So, I stayed away from that, and that was my No. 1 priority,” he told VOA.

Owino’s next court date is in September. In the meantime, he enjoys the company of his wife and 11-month-old daughter.

He acknowledges he made serious mistakes in his life, but sees himself as an example of what could happen if detained immigrants are given an opportunity to rebuild their lives.

“I’m just blessed, you know?”

SOURCE: VOA

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Diaspora

59-year-old Kenyan man in US faces up to 20 years jail term after pleading guilty to fraud

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A Kenyan who lives in Ohio, USA risks being jailed for over 20 years for fraud.

Mr Robert Mutua Muli, 59, a Kenyan immigrant, this week admitted to have conspired with other Kenyans to defraud various county governments in the US Sh60 million by posing as employees of a leading IT company called Fairfax County.

American investigators are also in pursuit of the other suspects who are believed to be hiding in Kenya.

ACCOMPLICES

Muli told the Alexandria Federal Court that he worked in cahoots with people who are in the country to defraud various counties in the US, namely Philadelphia, Detroit and Vermont.

In his statements the suspect said that a co-conspirator in Kenya would send an email to a contact in the local governments pretending to be an employee of a leading IT firm and asked local governments to redirect payments of services to a different bank account.

Mr Muli’s role was then to withdraw the money and make transfers to various accounts.

POLICE ALERTED

According to the Washington Post, the fraud took place between August and September 2018.

Fairfax County raised the alarm when it realized that it had not received payments for services it rendered and alerted the police.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans in US who survived "Deep Freeze" say they miss the weather back home

“In September 2018, Fairfax County identified a financial fraud and immediately reported the incident to law enforcement,” county spokesman Tony Castrilli told the court.

Muli of Carrollton, Ohio, struck a plea bargain Monday with federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Virginia. Under the plea deal, Muli admitted that he conspired to commit wire fraud against four separate state and local governments. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in October

According to court documents, Muli would submit phony invoices to the governments’ finance departments. The invoices were made to resemble legitimate bills from vendors like Dell Computers.

The biggest victim was an unidentified local government in Virginia, which lost more than $610,000. The state of Vermont lost $3,900.

SOURCE: Agencies

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Diaspora

Body of Kenyan student who died in US to be flown home for funeral

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The body of Ms Norah Jelagat Borus, a Stanford University student who died last week, will be flown into the country this weekend, Nation has learnt.

On Thursday, a source privy to the funeral arrangements that are ongoing at the All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi and at her father’s home in Elgeyo Marakwet, told Nation that the body has been handed over to the family.

“The family has been given the body and it is expected to be flown to the country by Saturday or Sunday. She would be buried next week,” said the source.

MYSTERY DEATH

Mystery still surrounds her death as the cause is yet to be known.

The deceased’s father, Dr Peter Borus had told Nation on Wednesday that the university and other US authorities are conducting investigations.

“We are distraught as family and with heavy hearts, we ask for your prayers and seek your understanding and indulgence to allow us mourn privately. We are so far working well with Stanford University and relevant authorities to conclude the matter,” read a text message from Dr Borus, who, together with some family members are in the US.

The body of Ms Jelagat, one of the top students in the country in the 2013 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), was found dead on June 14, at her residence in the institution.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru lays wreath on the grave of Dr John Dube

BURIAL PLANS

Mr Joseph Maswan, the family spokesman is coordinating burial arrangements.

NORAH

Ms Jelagat, a last born in the family of Dr Borus and Dr Dinah Borus, was a Masters student of Computer Science at Stanford University.

Nation learnt that friends are also meeting at the family’s rural home in Elgeyo-Marakwet County, to condole with the family.

Ms Jelagat, a Precious Blood Riruta alumnus, scored an A and was the best girl in Nairobi County in the 2013 KCSE results.

She joined the Equity African Leadership programme in 2014.

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