9 Year Old Sends Desperate Plea to Laura Bush to save Father from Deportation

From New York Daily News:

The brave 9-year-old son of a Brooklyn minister is praying First Lady Laura Bush will help "save my dad."

After failing to get a response to three letters he sent to President Bush begging that his reformed father be pardoned for a nearly two-decade-old drug bust, Chigozie Okorie decided to plead his case to the person closest to the leader - his wife.

"Please help me and my dad," the East New York fifth-grader wrote to the First Lady. "My dad made a mistake in 1989 when he was young."

The boy's father, Chibueze Okorie, is in jeopardy of being deported to Nigeria.

Because of a stringent federal law passed in 1996, immigrants convicted of crimes, even minor ones committed years ago, are rarely allowed to remain in this country. Okorie's best hope may be a presidential pardon.

The nonprofit group Human Rights Watch says nearly 680,000 immigrants, many of them parents, were deported under the law between 1997 and 2005.

Since 1992, after he served an 18-month prison term, Okorie, 46, has stayed far from trouble - becoming a poster boy for rehabilitation. As minister of evangelism at the Church of Gethsemane in Park Slope, he has devoted his life to counseling prisoners and ex-cons.

"My dad has changed and is working for our church," the boy wrote Mrs. Bush. "Please help me and my dad and speak to President Bush."

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