Monday, January 02, 2006

NJ Immigrant Becomes All-American Football Star

Penn State defensive end Tamba Hali is a 2005 All-American college football player and an immigrant who came to the United States when he was 10 years old after escaping from war-torn Liberia. He was lucky to escape from flying bullets, friends being killed, and the danger of being recruited to a brutal war by desperate rebels.

Mr. Hali's father was the first one to come to the United States, earning a master's degree at Farleigh Dickinson from 1978 to 1980 and carefully complied with his visa. After returning to Liberia, Mr. Hali's father came to the United States in 1985 and struggled for four years with all the paperwork and requirements from immigration officials before Mr. Hali could finally come to the U.S. in 1994. According to news articles, one difficulty was convincing the immigration agency that he truly was Mr. Hali's father. When the immigration service demanded a baptismal certificate, they complained that it was impossible to get it in the middle of a civil war. They finally agreed to take DNA tests for all three of the children, costing thousands of dollars.

The United States is a better place for allowing legal immigration and in this case (after years of difficulties) giving legal immigration status to a young boy who grew up in New Jersey to become an All-American college football player.

The Miami Herald and the Penn State Digital Collegian both wrote articles about Mr. Hali.


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