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Monday, September 10, 2018

“It Will Be A Death Sentence” – Disabled Nigerian Man In US For 34 Years, Facing Deportation Cries Out

Francis Anwana, who is deaf, can’t talk and has cognitive disabilities, was just 14 years old when he left Lagos for the United States on a student visa, Freep reports.

According to the report, he enrolled at the Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint. Now 48, Anwana lives in Detroit at an adult foster care facility, helping mow the lawns and mop the floors at a nearby church on Detroit’s west side. .
But in a shock to immigrant advocates, the U.S. now wants to deport him to Nigeria, a country he has not lived since he was a teenager.
Given his severe disabilities, it would be a virtual “death sentence” for him, said Susan Reed, an attorney with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. .
Because of his disability, Anwana, one of about eight or 10 children, can only read at a second-grade level and is unable to mentally grasp the fact he could be forced to go back to Nigeria, according to advocates and his lawyer. .
On Wednesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told Anwana he would be deported on Tuesday, Sept. 11, but after the advocates raised concerns, ICE told them that his deportation has been postponed. .
Several years ago, his visa was not renewed because he was often moved around from group homes and caretakers lost track of his case, said local advocates.
They repeatedly tried to get him a path to citizenship, but failed. He has no criminal record, advocates say.
On Friday, he communicated to the Free Press by sign language through a translator, Sarah Shaw, who has known him for years.”I am happy” living in the U.S., he said. .
Shaw, who is helping Anwana navigate ICE check-ins, said he is unable to understand what deportation is and his immigration proceedings because he has no family in the U.S.
His elderly mother in Nigeria has no ability to support him or meet any of his medical needs. He needs medication to manage his conditions.”

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