Jackson's visit to U.S.

Since Jackson Liaram will not be visiting us this month, I am sadly canceling the scheduled events.  Jackson was turned down for a visa a second time.  He received a message of 214(b), which means he did not convince the consular that his visit was going to be temporary.  I find this amazing because officers of the Rotary Clubs who have contributed to the well and I wrote strong letters requesting he be granted a visa, specifically naming the dates he would be with us in the U.S. and that he would definitely return to Kenya because he has a wife and three children at Oltorotua.  However, Jackson said the person who “interviewed” him did not indicate he had read those letters but simply told him he didn’t think Jackson had a job or funds to visit U.S. or would be returning to Kenya.  Jackson responded that he has worked as a safari guide for eight years and friends in the U.S. would cover costs, as the letters say, but the visa was still denied.  I do wonder about our State Dept. if Jackson’s treatment is representative of their work.  As he described his interview in a brief text message, it was more like trying to buy a bus ticket than an “interview.”

Because each application costs $200, Carl and I feel, unless we get a member of congress to intervene, there is no point in applying again.  We talked to Roscoe Bartlett’s congressional’s liaison last Thurs., but she has not got back to us.  I am also working on material to send to MD Senator Barbara Mikulski.  Since Jackson can take leave from his job only between April 15 and June 1, I see little hope for his coming this year.

Thanks to District 7620 Rotary clubs and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick and other friends for planning special events that would have made his trip special.  Jackson, Carl, and I are very disappointed, as you can imagine.
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