IMAGE: Francis Anwana

A man with several disabilities who's lived in the United States for more than three decades is now facing deportation.

Francis Anwana sat beside his interpreter Friday at a meeting in Flint with Congressman Dan Kildee discussing his future in the United States.

Anwana is deaf and was born in Nigeria. He was brought to America on a student visa when he was just 13 years old.

When his student visa expired, he tried to apply for citizenship but was denied.

In 2006, he was referred to the immigration court and was then ordered to be removed from the country in 2008.

However, year after year, authorities granted him another year of deferred deportation - until now.

On September 5, after 35 years in America, he was told that he would deported back to Nigeria - a country he no longer calls home.

A place where he doesn’t know anyone.

“I want to stay in Detroit. My girlfriend, I had a girlfriend in Flint. I wasn’t happy. I had to leave Flint, but I’m very happy. I have a sweetheart. She likes to take me around and show me places,” Anwana said.

Francis is not here legally, but if he’s forced to leave it means leaving everyone and everything he’s ever known.

It’s something Kildee is trying to stop.

Just this week I filed a private bill, a private immigration bill it’s not a commonly used tool in congress, but it does happen for really unique circumstances. I never filed one of these because I never came across a case that warranted it,” Kildee said.

All that changed with Kildee met Anwana.

“It would be wrong in every way I can imagine for him to not be able to stay here in the United States where he knows people, he has people who care about him and he can communicate here,” Kildee said.

Copyright 2018 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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