Your letters of support asked for due consideration. We do not believe that was given.
On June 4, 2012 our daughter, Kate Therrien Betene’s mother-in-law appeared before the consular officer in the US Cameroon Embassy. Her five-minute interview consisted of three questions. One was repeated three times: “How did your son, Claude Betene, get to the US? “ The other two were”Who is paying for your trip?” and “Do you have minor children at home?”
Our daughter’s husband came to the U.S. in a completely legal way. He has a Green Card and is finishing a Masters in Public Health at the University of Minnesota. He twice came to the U.S. on a visitor visa during their three-year engagement and on both occasions returned to Africa in accordance with the law. My daughter is an engineer at Hennepin County Medical Center and seven weeks ago they had their first child, a baby girl, Abigail.
Mrs. Aligui, like any new grandmother, is anxious to see her first and new granddaughter. She is a pre-school teacher in Cameroon, so she wants to come on her vacation to see the baby. My daughter and her husband are paying for her trip.
Her file contained a letter from her principal allowing her to take summer vacation. It included a letter from the Governor of her province stating that as a public employee she is allowed to leave the country on a visitor visa. Also included were the certificate of property ownership (for three homes) and the birth certificates and school enrollment forms of her 7 year-old and 12 year-old minor children. In addition, she had her marriage certificate and a letter from her husband approving the trip and confirming that she will come back.
At the conclusion of the five-minute interview, her request was denied because in accordance with Immigration and Naturalization Act she had not shown the consular officer that her trip to the U.S. would be temporary or that she had enough money in her bank account to pay for the trip.
Mrs. Aligui is upstanding and loyal citizen of Cameroon. She has a husband, elderly mother, and two young children in Cameroon. She has a longstanding job and provided proof of property ownership. She just wants to come see her new granddaughter.
If a woman of Mrs. Aligui’s stature cannot get a visitor visa there is something wrong in the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon. We petition you to please look more deeply into this unfair denial. Time is of the essence as her summer vacation will only last a short time and we would like her to still be able to come this summer. It is obvious to all of us signing this petition - and should have been obvious to the consular officer - that Mrs. Aligui does not pose a “non-return” risk. Please do what you can to correct this injustice.
Mark and Rae Therrien and many concerned fellow citizens
The photo is of Rae, Kate and Christine