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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Nigerian shares wife with American for green card


This may sound like fairy tale, but it is real. A Nigerian couple that migrated to God’s own country in search of greener pastures resorted to pseudo marriage to secure the green card believed to be a ticket to heaven. First, the man introduces his betrothed wife to his American darling as his sister to pave way for his marriage to the American lady.

When the marriage crashed, his wife marries an American to secure the life ticket. So how did it fail? Attempt by a friend to sleep with his pseudo sister (Nigerian wife) foiled the deal. His ‘oyibo wife realized she was a guinea pig and quit the affair.

Nigerians at a recent function in the United States were informed about the travails of fellow countrymen in a bid to get the coveted green card. A was asked: “Can a man betroth his wife to another in exchange for U.S. green card or a woman disguise as sister to the hubby under the same roof with another woman to enable him get a green card?

“Oh yes!” KK, a Nigerian, responded at the event, adding: “We know some people here who have married and divorced up to 18 times,” he jocularly remarked at the end of year party in Silverspring, Maryland, last December.

“In fact, there are some people here that betrothed their wives to other men to get papers,” the man fondly called KK said.

According to him, the craze for green card defies the sanctity of the biblical injunction that “what God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”
To validate his point, he paints a gloomy picture. “One of our brothers who lived in the US for 28 years was deported last October after he handed his wife to another man to get papers.”

The man in his early 50’s identified as Johnson, from the South Eastern part of the country, may have to live with the psychological torture for the rest of his life. After 28 years of sojourn in the U.S., he was deported as an illegal alien.

How did it happen? He had gone to the Immigration office for green card interview after several failed marriages. After the interview, he was asked to go with his wife. As he stepped to the door, the immigration officer ordered him back and instructed him to look at the volume of file about him on the table. When he opened the file, he discovered that he had been advised to report for voluntary departure, which he failed and was placed on deportation status for violation of the order.

Johnson’s case is a bitter pill for the couple. He arrived the U.S. with his betrothed wife from Nigeria, but the couple cohabited as brother and sister under the same roof to accommodate the man’s American wife married to secure papers with the hope that once it was successful, Johnson would file a divorce and remarry his betrothed wife. The union lasted until the man’s friend attempted to date his real (Nigerian) wife. His resistance incurred his friend’s wrath and the latter spilled the beans by reporting him to the American wife. The wife lived with this emotional torture for years until the burble burst and they parted ways, yet the green card could not be secured.

Having exhausted the man’s option, the alternative was for the woman to move in with an American man as husband with the same intention. Since the woman and her hubby were at the mercy of the American, the woman appeased her new heartthrob with material and human needs in a bid to get papers. Interestingly, after several years of savouring the woman and milking her of hard-earned dollar as fees for the services, the Americana hubby declined on the interview date, leaving the woman in the cold at the Immigration and Citizenship Services that concluded that the marriage was contracted for immigration purposes.

But that would not deter the couple. With the couple’s fate hanging in the balance, the wife filed a divorce with her pseudo American husband and re-married another. This time, the process was thorough but short-lived. The snag was that having secured her green card, the attempt to file for her original husband landed them in trouble, resulting in the deportation of her husband by immigration officials. Efforts by his town union and lawyers to rescue the man were unsuccessful.

The joke that led to the revelation was initially intended to lighten the mood at the dinner party. However, it stirred various reactions from the audience and offered an insight into the trauma many Nigerians experience abroad. For many, it evoked feelings of anguish, nightmare, depression, and helplessness that characterize their daily life as they struggle to secure the ‘the green card’ perceived as ‘the life card’ in the United States of America. For some, the joke was reminiscent of the murky waters they swam to acquire the green card, widely believed to be ticket to heaven.

Shortly after the discussion that dominated a chunk of the discussion settled, further probing by Sunday Sun opened the floodgate of gory tales from the Nigerian comedian in his early 50’s, who is a chauffeur in a popular state in the US.

“My brother, I have lived in more than five states. I first lived in New York 23 years ago, when I arrived U.S. I married a lady but that didn’t work out, and because of the fear that she might report my illegal status to the immigration, I moved to Tennessee. Again in Tennessee, I remarried another lady. The marriage also crashed,” he told Sunday Sun.

According to him, the failure of the second marriage worsened his problem.
How? “After the necessary protocol by our attorney, we were invited for green card interview by the immigration. On the appointment day, I was full of joy, hoping for the ticket for a better opportunity to access educational grants that would transform my life.”

Unfortunately, KK’s dream never materialized. He was denied the green card. Worst still, he was requested to report for voluntarily deportation on a fixed date. The voluntary deportation warrant by the immigration sent jitters into his spine, having left Nigeria eight years then. He eloped. “I relocated to Missouri with cab driving as the only option of surviving, since I could not get work permit for employment” he further disclosed.

Twenty-five years down the line, KK was yet to visit home because that would amount to his voluntary departure. To persuade him to visit Nigeria, his brothers sent a mail purporting that his father had passed on, but that would not bring him home. Now in his early 50’s, KK still has no wife or child. But, he believes it shall get better someday.

By Agaptus Anaele, Maryland, USA

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