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Update on the status of Transylvania honor student and Sudanese refugee Lino Nakwa, who is facing deportation

LEXINGTON, Ky.—U.S. Representative John Yarmuth’s office has confirmed that the office of Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff will review the case file of Transylvania honor student and Sudanese refugee Lino Nakwa.

Nakwa is facing deportation to Sudan on an immigration technicality. In 1992, 12-year-old Nakwa and his older brother were kidnapped by the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army, a rebel terrorist group that murdered his father. For a month, Nakwa and his brother were held by the SPLA before making their escape.

In 2003, Lino and four younger siblings were granted refugee status and immigrated to Louisville. Nakwa worked full-time at UPS to support his younger siblings while attending classes at Jefferson Community College as a full-time student. He graduated with distinction and entered Transylvania last fall as a junior where he works two campus jobs and was named to the dean’s list.

Though his records show that he was kidnapped by the SPLA and held there against his will, the United States government is now denying Nakwa’s request for a green card because it says he received “military-type training” (as a 12-year-old) while being held by the rebel group. Nakwa’s older brother lives in the United Kingdom and also faces possible deportation. Nakwa’s younger siblings all have green cards, because they were never kidnapped by the SPLA. One of his younger brothers is on a soccer scholarship at Xavier University and a sister was a Governor’s Scholar.

Letters of support for Nakwa can still be sent to:

F. Gerard Heinauer, Director
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
P.O. Box 82521
Lincoln, NE 68501-2521

Please refer to USCIS case file LIN0626050570.

For more information and links to the media coverage that Nakwa’s story has received, you can go Sudanese Refugee Education Fund.

For additional information, contact the public relations office at (859) 233-8120.

4/18/2008

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