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Undocumented Oklahomans Without

a Criminal Record Increasingly Face Deportation

Nebert Adala had a tough decision to make in 2014 when he found out his work visa would not be renewed.

Adala, a Kenyan immigrant, had arrived in the country about five years earlier and just begun to settle down in Tulsa. He studied radiological technology at Tulsa Tech and Hillcrest Medical Center, got married and found a job in assistedliving care.

Adala, now 41, knew he could voluntarily return to his home country, where he hadn’t lived in years. Or he could stay in the United States and hope his clean criminal record would allow him to avoid government attention while he tried to pursue citizenship.

That hope withered when Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents greeted him as he arrived at work one morning in late 2016.

After a short jail stay and a fruitless, expensive legal challenge, Adala was detained again last year and put on a plane bound for Kenya, where he remains today.



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