JACKSNVILLE, FL - A Nigerian man who has lived in the United States since he was 10 says he has escaped deportation on the grounds he would face persecution as an albino.
Franklin Ibeabuchi, 36, told The Florida Times-Union of Jacksonville his family decided to leave Nigeria for Jacksonville because of his skin color. In much of sub-Saharan Africa, albinos become targets because they are feared, while their body parts and bones are believed to be powerful in traditional medicine.
Ibeabuchi is married to a U.S. citizen and his children are also citizens. One of his sons is albino.
"Take my son to Nigeria? I would not consider it," he told the newspaper, saying he would have left his family in Florida.
Ibeabuchi got help from the Florida Coastal School of Law's immigration rights clinic and Peter Ash, a Canadian businessman. Ash, who is albino, founded an organization called Under the Same Sun after he saw a documentary about albinos in Africa.
A judge refused in February to order Ibeabuchi deported. He now hopes to apply for permanent residency and to go back to work.