No Penalty For Soyinka Destroying His Green Card

By Ikenga Chronicles November 15, 2016

The United States Immigration experts said that the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has the right to destroy his American Green Card  without facing criminal or civil charges. Immigration attorneys, Isaac Falusi and Samuel Adewusi, said in separate interviews that the controversies surrounding the decision of the professor are inconsequential in the U.S. Soyinka will still be able to visit the United States at any time he desires even after destroying his Green Card before the public glare, the lawyers said.

Falusi, an expert on immigration and international trade law said Soyinka would have merely exercised his free speech by destroying his Green Card.

“Destroying a Green Card is an expression of free speech which no one will ever be penalised for in America,” Falusi said. “Being a resident in America is a voluntary thing.”

“The government gave him the Green Card because he was qualified when he applied for it,” Falusi said.

The lawyer said the U.S. Homeland Security, which handles such documents, may not even be aware of the controversy and even if it were, it still won’t mean an action will be taken.

“If he has made a public show of destroying his card, that doesn’t mean the Homeland Security is aware of it,” Falusi said.

“But even if they were, he will still be able to easily obtain another Green Card because his name is still on the computer as a valid American resident.”

There have been reports that Soyinka faces a jail term should he destroy his green card. The professor first stated a fortnight ago that he would destroy his green card if Donald Trump was elected president.

“The moment they announce his [Trump’s] victory, I will cut my green card myself and start packing up,” Soyinka told a gathering at Oxford University in what appeared like a casual observation about the tone of the American’s campaign at the time.

“But if he really wants to cut his access to the U.S., then he will need to do more than shred his residency card” Adewusi said.

“At the consulate, you must request for and fill a document called Form I-407. It is a long process but only after you complete before you could boldly say that you have destroyed your access to enter America.”

Adewusi echoed Falusi’s position that Mr. Soyinka’s action is strictly an exercise of his free speech.

“It’s more of a free speech the same way people burn flags and their passports. No one will penalise him for anything,”. Adewusi said.

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