Rescind the deportation order and reunite Diarra King with his family in Norway

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Rescind the deportation order and reunite Diarra King with his family in Norway

This petition had 1,377 supporters

E McLaren started this petition to UDI - Norwegian Government and Immigration Minister Sylvie Listhaug

Diarra King is an American citizen, living and working in Norway, married to a Norwegian wife and raising a 6-year old daughter and 13 year old-stepson. Up until recently, he has been living his life freely in the country, working hard, paying his taxes, and serving as a basketball coach to local youth in his community.

Now the Norwegian government is deporting him – all because of application errors and a lack of guidance. King sent in a residency application form to Norwegian immigration officials in 2012, after being advised that he couldn't renew his residency permit without proper ID. King lost his passport in 2011, shortly before his residency was due to expire. King talked to local police and UDI about his 2012 application. King was to have sent in the application without the passport but was not made aware of this until well after the fact, and therefore worked on the assumption that everything was in order. He was recently notified by immigration officials that he had been living illegally in the country since 2011 and had three weeks to leave Norway, his family and the life that he built.

During this period he paid his taxes, travelled in and out of the country to visit family in America and to take holidays with his wife and children and was never stopped or detained even once for having illegal status.

He appealed the ruling and was allowed to stay pending the appeals process. The officials found that he was in violation and have very harshly decided to issue a 2-year travel ban on him for Norway while his second appeal is being processed. They have not issued a stay, which effectively means he has had to give up his job, pack what he can carry and get ready to leave his family for up to 2 years until the government decides how they want to handle this case. Two years with seeing his daughter go through her first real years of school. Two years without training with his step-son, to help him reach his dream of representing Norway in the NBA. Two years away from the love of his life – forcing her to be a single mom raising their children and supporting them without him through daily life. 

There is a lot of controversy surrounding immigration and the toughening of immigration laws. Often this is projected through a lens of “us” and “them” and the “haves” and the “want-to-haves”. But what is not often examined enough, is how anti-immigration laws are blind to the human element in an immigration case. How they don’t take into account the commitment an immigrant has made to a country – learning a new language, maneuvering through layer upon layer of bureaucracy for every important aspect of their lives from healthcare to insurance to taxes and, of course, immigration laws.  It doesn't take into account how 99 of 100 bureaucratic hurdles may have been leaped successfully, bringing quantifiable economic, social and cultural benefit to the host country. No, it focuses on the hurdle that one may have tripped on – in this case accidentally filling out a wrong form.

So what will King do? He plans to continue his fight – even if it is from abroad. He doesn’t want to risk stricter punishment by staying longer (another example of how law abiding he is and has been).  The government says his wife and children can just move to join him and move away, but King’s stepson still has a father in Norway, so just packing up and leaving isn't an option.

King’s lawyers say that the government’s decision to now allow him to stay is harsh and that the two –year deportation, for what are effectively non-criminal and minor administrative errors is extremely strict. He’s upset over this ruling…. and you should be too. 

Please take a moment to write sign this petition to the Norwegian Minister of Immigration and Integration, Sylvie Listhaug (postmottak@jd.dep.no) and Minister of Justice and Public Security, Anders Anundssen (postmottak@jd.dep.no), to express your dismay at the governments actions in this case and to urge them to reconsider the deportation decision while his case is under review.

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This petition had 1,377 supporters