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Immigrant denied asylum and green card awaits deportation

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Federal authorities in Washington, D.C., make provisions for those seeking asylum and a better life in this country. While many people have endured difficult trials just to escape countries divided by war and persecution, in some circumstances they may have to go through additional tribulations to remain in the relative safety of the United States. One Nigerian man's case is illustrative.

He left his native land following the violent upheaval in the country's southern oil regions. His journey took him through other nations before he eventually arrived in the United States in 2005. He married an American citizen, but they divorced. Two years ago, he married another woman and has been living with her since. But the Board of Immigration Appeals turned down the man's request for asylum in 2010.

Earlier this month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement took the man into custody, where he awaits deportation proceedings. He had applied for a green card, but that application too was recently turned down by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Even though the man had an outstanding deportation order, his attorney contended that he should not have been arrested during the window when he could have filed an appeal on his green card application.

It seems that immigration officials have treated the man's applications with skepticism because he apparently has given conflicting accounts about his background and provided an inauthentic passport to U.S. authorities when he first arrived here. Those who seek asylum, however, do have legal options to remain in the U.S. It is important that they know those options and how they could be used to prevent deportation.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Nigerian immigrant faces deportation after seeking political asylum," Dawn Rhodes, May 7, 2012.

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