A high school in Denver, Colorado is rallying behind a Kenyan man set to be deported from the United States to Kenya next month.
Anthony Wanjiru has lived in the US for eight years and has worked in the IT department at Valor Christian High School or an H1-B work visa since 2014. His application for visa renewal was recently rejected by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and is set to be deported on March 7th.
Students at Valor High School have started a campaign to help Anthony remain in the country, saying he has been a great influence to the school’s student community.
"He's the most humble, caring person you'd ever meet,” student Hunter Khan told The Denver Channel. "He's an amazing guy, and he's really brought an amazing influence to Valor,” Lindsay Stenstrom, another student, added.
The students have launched the #AnthonysVisa hashtag in support of Anthony.
After arriving in the US eight years ago on a scholarship, Anthony received a master’s degree and then landed an IT job at Valor on an H-1B work visa.
He says coming to the US was a godsend of an opportunity and a chance to better his life, having escaped the slums of Nairobi. He says he loves his adopted country and the students at Valor a great deal and will will miss dearly if deported. "If there's one thing that keeps me crying at night, it's the thought of not seeing them. I love America very much," he says.
Anthony says he met with the offices of Colorado’s two US senators, Cory Gardner and Michale Bennett, and they offered to try and help him remain here at least a few extra weeks to plan an appeal on his H1-B case.