When Al was 4 years old his father, Dr. Nwogu Okere was assassinated for exposing corruption in his homeland of Nigeria. When His mother, a journalist, spoke out for justice she was targeted with death threats. Al was brought to the United States by his mother, seeking political asylum, when he was only five years old.
Because of an incompetent immigration lawyer who told Al's mother they could handle the case over the phone from his office Al's mother request for asylum was denied and she was given an order of removal in absentia. Al, being a child, was under that same order.
Al's mother was subsequently deported and Al was cared for by family and friends here in the United States. His mother now lives in hiding in Nigeria where she must move from house to house of supporters, in fear for her life.
Al attends Central Washington University where he is on the Honor Roll and hopes to someday enter medical school to become a Doctor.
Al has been under ICE supervision since 2005 after a request to reopen his mothers case was denied.
Now Ice has ordered Al to get a current passport so he can be deported to Nigeria, a land he has no memory of with a language he doesn't speak. It is only right and humane to allow Al to stay in the only Country he can remember and allow him to be a motivated and productive member of this country he calls home.
Here is Al's plea in his own words.
"My names are Al McAllison Chisom Okere. A 21 year old student of Central Washington University. I have lived 16 years of this 21 years of my life here in the United States of America (USA). I am presently an Honor roll Student and looks forward to becoming a Medical Doctor.
I came to the USA in May, 1995 at the age of 5 years with my mother, after the sad assassination of my father, Dr. Nwogu Okere for his journalistic writings. Amidst a huge public outcry over my late father’s killing (these are all documented in Newspaper reports and even, in the United States Country Reports on Human Rights Practices), my mother who was also a journalist, called for justice and received numerous death threats - these are also documented in Newspaper reports from our country. My mother was forced to flee!.
Upon our arrival to the USA, my mother applied for Asylum with me as a derivative but we ran into a gross negligence from our ex-lawyer that led to our missing a crucial Court hearing. This led to an in absentia removal order being made against us!. The Lawyer had asked us to come to his office for a telephonic hearing without prior permission from the Immigration Judge.
We waited in the Lawyer’s office from 7am in the morning until 3.30 pm in the afternoon before we got the life shattering news that the Judge had refused our request for a telephonic hearing and had ruled against us in absentia.
My mother sadly ran into the legal bottleneck of not filing our appeal before the deadline. All the family and friends I know and have, are here in the USA. My mother presently is homeless and living a life in hiding in our country – she is moved from home to home of sympathizers, for her safety!.
My Aunties Grace, Regina and Kate and their families ( including all my cousins ) are all productive citizens here in the United States and have been my major support system. Also, my friends, their parents and siblings, my mother’s friends, my late father’s friends etc etc. have all become my family and support here in the United States. In fact, I am presently on full scholarship for my education from my late father’s friends!.
I do not remember anything about my mother’s country; I cannot speak the language. Every experience I have had in life and can remember ( to date ) are all here in the United States of America. Everyone I know and care about are all here!. I sadly cannot live the life my mother presently lives (in hiding in our country for her continued safety ) – since I need to go to school. Worst of all, with the rate at which people in my mother’s situation are being killed, removal for me will be equivalent to a death sentence!.
In fact, since my mother’s sad removal, our entire family lives in fear each day for her life and safety. She is presently like someone on death roll!. Close friends and family have been wonderful to me!. PLEASE, HELP SAVE MY LIFE!. I am presently being hounded for deportation, help me please- before it is too late for me!. Thank you."
Al Okere. A#73426339.
Please Call, Nathalie Asher,Field Office Director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement at (206) 835-0650. Ask Ms. Asher to please allow Al Okere. A#73426339. to stay here in the United States with his family, friends and continue his life and education. Please exercise the intent of the "June,17th, 2011 Morton Memo" and grant Prosecutorial Discretion.