Passport

A one-man Dream Act

Born with tumors that distorted one side of his face and abandoned by his parents at an orphanage when he was 15, Sopuruchi Chukwueke was brought from Nigeria to the United States by a missionary nun 11 years ago, has graduated from high school and college, and has been accepted to the University of Toledo's medical school. However, he can't start classes because the visa he used to travel to the U.S. ran out ten years ago. As Bloomberg reports, his hopes now rest on an act of Congress

He can’t start classes this month, though, because the visa that enabled him to travel to Michigan for treatment expired 10 years ago, and he has been in the U.S. illegally since then. The only hope Chukwueke has of achieving his goal is enactment of legislation sponsored by U.S. Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, that applies solely to him and would give him permanent U.S. residency.

This is tried more than you might think: 

A long-shot option for obtaining legal status is a private- relief bill, which applies to just one person and is frequently related to an immigration issue. While about 100 such bills are introduced in each two-year congressional session, few are enacted: So far in the current session of Congress, which started Jan. 1, 2011, none of the 82 that have been introduced has reached the White House. In 2009 and 2010, only two became law. In 2007 and 2008, none succeeded.

Chukwueke's story also highlights the limits of the immigration reform which came into effect in the United States last week, which allows undocumented immigrants who came to the country before they were 16 to remain on visas which must be renewed every two years. His medical school will only allow him to attend classes if he attains permanent residency status.

Meanwhile, "Dream Act-lite" is running into problems of its own as the governors of Arizona and Nebraska say they will still refuse to give driver's licenses or other state benefits to people enrolled in the program. 

Passport

One somewhat interesting aspect of August's dumbest story [Update]

I'm with the Atlantic's Connor Friedersdorf in thinking that the real scandal in Politico's "exclusive" on the FBI investigation into Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder's nude swim in the Sea of Galilee (cue walking on water jokes)  last year is that "the federal law enforcement agency responsible for stopping domestic terrorism, organized crime and bank robberies spent an unknown number of staff hours investigating skinny-dipping that took place a year ago in a foreign country, and won't explain why they did it."

Yoder has apologized for the indicent and is presumably thanking his lucky stars that his distinguished colleague from Missouri is dominating headlines today. But even in a month of pretty dumb political news, making a scandal Yoder's late night dip feels like a stretch.

One thing that did catch my eye about the Politico story was that one of the (presumably clothed) colleagues that joined Yoder on the beach that night was New York Rep. Michael Grimm. As I blogged earlier this month,  Grimm's next stop on that August 2011 junket was Cyprus, where his host Peter Papanicolaou, the president of the Cyprus Federation of America, has since been arrested on Federal Corruption charges. Grimm did not file the required paperwork about the Cyprus trip, but it was reported in the New York Times in the context of a larger investigation into whether Grimm accepted illegal campaign donations. 

Just how many federal investigations were happening on that trip?

Update: Turns out it wasn't a coincidence. The Wall Street Journal reports that it was the Grimm probe that led them to the beach incident.