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U.S Congress Passes Bill to Enable 26 Year-Old Nigerian Sopuruchi Chukwueke get his Green Card – The ONLY Private Bill Passed in Two Years!

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Remember the inspiring story of Sopuruchi Chukwueke, a 26 year-old Nigerian who was being considered for a special legislation that will enable him obtain permanent U.S. residency by the United States of America congress? In August 2012, BellaNaija published the story of Sopuruchi, a young man who grew up as an outcast in the village of Ovim in southeastern Nigeria {click here to read it}. Tumors that distorted one side of his face wouldn’t stop growing, and doctors said he should be taken away and drowned. In 2001, when he was 15, his parents took him to an orphanage and abandoned him.

He was rescued by a missionary nun, who arranged medical care in the U.S. Eleven years and seven operations later, doctors have removed the benign growths caused by the genetic disease neurofibromatosis, and have performed reconstructive surgery.

However, his challenge was that he had overstayed his visa and had been living in the U.S illegally. In November 2011, he was admitted to the University of Toledo to study Medicine with one condition: that he obtain permanent-residency status by August 1 of this year. The only thing that could enable him obtain permanent U.S. residency was a bill applying solely to him.

Thankfully, the United States Congress passed a private bill last week granting Sopuruchi permanent residency after years of his living in Michigan on an expired visa. The bill is awaiting President Barack Obama‘s signature. According to CNN, his is the only private bill to pass in Congress in two years.

The day Congress passed the bill was one of the happiest days of my life,” Sopuruchi told CNN.I was overwhelmed with joy; it was nothing less than a miracle. Only in this country can so many miraculous and wonderful things happen to someone like me.”

He lives with the nuns in Oak Park, Michigan. They have cared for him since he came to the U.S., where he has undergone seven surgeries, including one that left him blind in the right eye. Doctors performed Sopuruchi’s surgeries over a period of time, he says, which contributed to his expired visa.

A benefactor later helped him attend Wayne State University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, obtaining a 3.82 GPA. Soon after that, he got admission to study medicine. Speaking about his ambition to become a doctor, he said “My own personal struggles to receive treatment have motivated and encouraged me to pursue a medical career … to alleviate the pain and suffering of others.”

And so, Sopuruchi began his journey to get legalized and has had strangers rally to his help. His attorney Thomas K. Ragland took his case pro bono. A  Michigan Democrat, Sen. Carl Levin sponsored the bill. The measure passed the Senate in the summer and the House last week.

If Obama signs the bill, the State Department will reduce by one the number of immigrant visas available to Nigerians.  That signature, he says, will be his favorite holiday gift.

We are so glad his journey to getting a permanent U.S. residency has gotten this far and we hope President Obama would not hesitate to sign his bill.

Photo Credit: CNN

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at www.deolascope.blogspot.com

34 Comments

  1. Sexxie

    December 24, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Awesome God! Thank you for this brother’s life and bless all those U have used to help him.

  2. divea

    December 24, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Yes o God has been faithful…Thank you Father on behailf of this brother, you have have been so true to Your Name-Father of the fatherless, helper…

  3. Lafunky

    December 24, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Thank God!

  4. odut

    December 24, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Amazing!

  5. Adetokunbo

    December 24, 2012 at 11:56 am

    -TOUCHING-

  6. Concerned

    December 24, 2012 at 11:59 am

    The Lord is forever faithful. There is nothing God cannot do.

  7. divea

    December 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    ‘behalf’

  8. idn1

    December 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    What will Nigerian govt feel after reading this not to talk of his parents?

    • Ada di ora

      December 24, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      His parents didnt abandon him. His mom was actually at his graduation last year, they got a special visa for her to attend. Obviously they are ecstatic.

    • Soraya

      December 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      Thanks for the clarification- I suspect the mother dumped him at the orphanage more out of sheer desperation than anything else. It is a miracle she kept him with her for 15 years before leaving him at the orphanage, which confirms my assertion

  9. otunba.net

    December 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    God Bless America

  10. Kenny

    December 24, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Only in America can this happen. May God continue to bless the USA and make us stronger than any nation in the face of this earth. Go bro have fun and welcome to the family i’m pretty sure you’ll do great things.

  11. mee

    December 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    God Bless America!! This will NEVER happen in the UK. Trust them to throw the poor guy out

  12. Maxihenry

    December 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    God bless nun nd barack obama

  13. dont mention

    December 24, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    wow….very touching…God really bless america for al the kindness they show to us strangers…..may the sky be ur starting point brother..
    vikkyscreed.blogspot.com

  14. Ayo Odunsi

    December 24, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Thank GOD for this young man! GOD Bless America! The Lord that made this possible for hin shall continually stand by him in his journey to becoming a medical doctor of his dream.

  15. paul johnson

    December 24, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    thank u GOD.a 3 point in bio/chem is not bad at all.

  16. Tracy

    December 24, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    God continue to bless my country America

  17. duh

    December 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    God is a helper to the helpless. Its is well with his parents. There Wicked actions turned into a blessing. The God of signs and wonders never sleeps

  18. Winny

    December 24, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    AWESOME GOD, HE MOVES LIKE AN EARTHQUAKE TO FULFILL A PURPOSE IN ANYBODY’S LIFE. MAY HIS NAME BE PRAISED AND GLORIFIED FOREVER.

  19. Idak

    December 24, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Poignant tale. A moving story of humanity at its best.
    Sopuruchi, may you be blessed to be a blessing to others.

  20. whatever

    December 24, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    God bless America ! God bless the nun that rescued him! With the million churches we have in this country, an outsider rescued him. Tweh ! I spit on the faces of all the fake men of God in Nigeria. Keep paying ur tithe to fake churches, let them keep buying jets and praying for you without doing anything to help u. Tweh all u foolish followers. Merry Christmas 🙂

  21. R

    December 25, 2012 at 4:48 am

    Christmas present just in time! Thank God for Sopuruchi! You’re a starrrrrr

  22. chiomzy

    December 25, 2012 at 11:04 am

    on reading your story ,i shed tears because i can remember vividly well how your situation was back in the days when were still in primary and secondary school.my God will continue to make a way for you in Jesus name…AMEN

  23. SS

    December 25, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Faithful God……..

  24. Claire

    December 25, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    America! The land of opportunity, one nation, under God with liberty and justice for all. That’s why though I am not an American, all my kids are. That’s my gift to them. Merry Ekeresimes

  25. Dennis

    December 26, 2012 at 3:38 am

    And for that we get what, a good feeling? I think the money used could have helped many American Citizens. Life is what it is and to interfere is nonsense.

    • uju

      December 26, 2012 at 10:44 am

      Dennis, What exactly are you trying to say? Money to help which citizens? Praising God for on his behalf. May God continue to bless and keep him! Everyone knows that Doctors in the U.S do extremely well! Congrats to him!!!

  26. BC

    December 27, 2012 at 3:57 am

    GOD BLESS AMERICA!

  27. Aida

    December 28, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Gloryyyyyyyyyyy

  28. Sara Adebayo

    December 28, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Wishing him all the best!!!

  29. 9ja

    December 29, 2012 at 2:23 am

    Yes praise God, praise God, but while my fellow commentators continue to take the easy way out talking about “all my kids are american, that’s my gift to them” I will continue to struggle for my TRUE home Nigeria, the land of my forefathers. Take your nationalism elsewhere, thanks :).

  30. faith

    December 29, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    God bless America

  31. chukwueke uchealo

    April 2, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    thank God for what he did but I want to clarify certain points here. sopuruchi is my kid brother, he was never abandoned. he was with us in the village(Isiala-Ezere) not ovim. he finished his secondary school at Isuikwuato high school. it was while we were looking for a serious means of handling the challenge that we met a catholic mother in umuahia Abia state, and with the help of Abia state government and well meaning Nigerians, he was flown to USA in 2001 for treatment.

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