Normal People Read the Sports Page

  • In 2014, Takyi Botchway won the Diversity Visa lottery, and later joined the Air Force with hopes of becoming a pilot. On July 4, Rachael Riley of The Fayetteville Observer reported that Airman 1st Class Botchway hoped to become a U.S. citizen so he can sponsor his 7-year-old daughter, who still lives in his home country of Ghana. “It would really be a big turning point,” Botchway said of having his citizenship application approved. “… I’ll be so happy when I can break the news [to my daughter] and tell her to come to live here.”
  • Blessing Ovie fled Nigeria as an unaccompanied refugee when she was 9, facing unspeakable challenges, Brendan Quealy of Michigan’s Traverse City Record-Eagle reported in June. Nearly a decade after fleeing, with the help of the United Nations and Bethany Christian Services, Ovie now lives in Traverse City with her foster parents and has a 2-year-old daughter — and just celebrated her high school graduation. “Everything is a miracle,” said Ovie.
  • After 18 months living in Nogales, Mexico, fearing the country’s cartels would continue to target them, Selene Sanchez Maldonado, her husband Erick Martinez Campos, and three children were finally processed to enter the U.S. and apply for asylum, reported Rafael Carranza of the Arizona Republic. “We’re involved because we think that at least some people gaining access to safety is marginally better than nobody. But it does put organizations in a complicated position … without having access to the kind of oversight and reach that the government does,” said Joanna Williams, director of the binational migrant aid group Kino Border Initiative.
  • In May, Adam Shaw of Fox News reported on images from the Department of Homeland Security that showed an empty Border Patrol facility in Donna, Texas, as unaccompanied minors are transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). A far cry from the constant deluge of crowded facilities and running migrants that is typical fare on Fox.
  • Kwity Paye was just a “kid in Rhode Island trying to sign up for Junior Pee Wee football” when he realized he was different, Hallie Grossman writes in ESPN. After his mother brought him and his brother to America to escape civil war in Liberia, “Paye became an immigrant, then a citizen; a football player, then a really good football player; a star on the defensive line at the University of Michigan, then an NFL draft hopeful earmarked for first-round glory.” He hopes to travel to his home country someday soon: “Being able to become someone of status and then go back to my community, and go back to my village and uplift them? … That’s something I look forward to.”



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Ali Noorani

Ali Noorani


President and CEO of National Immigration Forum, author of “Crossing Borders” (April 2022, Rowman & Littlefield), host of the podcast, Only in America.