Congressman Dan Kildee Introduces Legislation to Halt Deportation of Deaf Michigan Resident
Legislation Would Grant Legal Permanent Resident Status to Francis Anwana, Allowing Him to Continue Residing in Michigan
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today introduced legislation to grant legal permanent resident status, also known as a green card, to Francis Anwana, a Michigan resident currently facing deportation.
Congressman Kildee’s legislation, commonly referred to as a private bill for immigration relief, would grant permanent resident status to Anwana. Congress has the ability to grant permanent residence to a foreign national on Congress' own initiative. As this bill is considered by Congress, Anwana’s legal status remains unchanged, but it is at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) discretion to consider Anwana’s unique case. This is the first private bill for immigration relief that Congressman Kildee has introduced. Congressman Kildee has been working with Anwana regarding his immigration case since 2015.
Anwana, who was brought to the U.S. as a child by his relatives from Nigeria, is deaf and has been living in Michigan for the past 35 years. Anwana was recently informed by ICE that he will be deported, as soon as this month. At age 13, Anwana came to the U.S. on a F-1 student visa so that he could study at the Lutheran Residential School for the Deaf in Detroit, since he did not have access to education in Nigeria. During his time in the U.S., Anwana learned American Sign Language and made many friendships from his school. In 1988, he transferred to the Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint to attend high school. Anwana currently volunteers in the community and is active in his Christian church community.
Anwana has previously applied for asylum because he would face persecution in Nigeria due to being deaf, but his asylum application was denied. Since then, Anwana has remained in the U.S. at the discretion of ICE. On September 6, 2018, Anwana was told he would be deported. Despite a public outcry in recent days, ICE continues to assert that they are moving forward with Anwana’s deportation. Last week, Congressman Kildee spoke with ICE field office in Detroit asking the agency for leniency in considering Anwana’s case.
“Francis was brought here as a child and America is the only country he knows. Despite being deaf, Francis continues to volunteer in the community and be an active member in his church. It would be wrong to deport Francis to Nigeria, where he has no family, means to communicate or ability to take care of himself. I will continue to fight on Francis’ behalf and I urge the Trump Administration to use its discretion on this case to allow him to remain in the United States,” Congressman Kildee said.