Fany Seeks Visa to Attend College in U.S.

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Ashley Henderson
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Updated: 9/30/2013 6:35 pm
HIXSON, TN (WDEF) -- You've probably heard us talking about our Irish reporter James Mahon, who is stuck in limbo because he can't get his work permit renewed.
Well, a Chattanooga couple is also questioning the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency about the plight of a student from Honduras who is struggling to return to the U.S. for College.

Ronnie Bull is a contractor by trade..but he and his wife Michele have been making regular mission trips to Honduras.
That's how they met a 12 year old orphan named Fany Gomez.

RONNIE BULL, SPONSORED FANY "We asked if we could bring her over here to get some education . She ended up staying 8 years and graduated here at Berean."

There were other children in the family and Fany knew she would not have enough money to take a full load, as an out of state student at Chattanooga State, as required, so she returned to Honduras to visit family.
That was last year and the Bull's are trying to find a different way to get her back in the U.S.

RONNIE BULL "If you've got immigration reform then you have people who came here illegally..and I believe in reform..but they're getting an opportunity..a better opportunity than she will get because she's legal. That's our whole point".

CARLOS CALDERIN, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY "Her problem is coming back in ..I mean you have to have a valid visa to come in and my guess is probably her visa has expired. "

So, Fany actually could come, but she would have to apply to the college, who would then do the paper work to get her back.
President Obama's DACA program, Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals, would help a different group---foreign born students in the country illegally now, who want to stay.

CARLOS CALDERIN, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY "If the person is not under the "DACA" program, or any visa, or any of that stuff..chances are they do not have a social security number..so that's where they normally end up with problems."

RONNIE BULL "We'd like to have some leniency ..Just like the others are getting ..Maybe even a different visa..to where she can work and go to school."

Ronnie and Michele Bull will be working with La Paz, and its immigration attorney to get her back for college.
And, as for our colleague James Mahon---he's still waiting for word about his work visa renewal from Sen. Corker and Congressman Fleischmann's office.


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