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Immigrants may face unexpected challenges

Many North Carolina newcomers face a number of challenges when trying to integrate themselves into their new communities. Some immigrants find assimilation difficult because of discrimination, whether at school, in the workplace or during the normal course of their everyday activities. One man was imprisoned for more than 10 years for crimes the court now acknowledges  he did not commit.

The now-46-year-old man is an immigrant who was charged for multiple rapes against women. He seems to have been targeted because of certain markings on his face. He was convicted and sentenced to prison, where he has remained for the last 16 years. His daughter says that she has always believed her father in his adamant and often-repeated profession of innocence.

In 1999, when the man was sentenced to prison, he voiced his own concerns that there was still likely a rapist at large in the community that could bring harm to many people. Three years later, an advocacy group from California Western School of Law offered its assistance in proving the man's innocence. After a request for new DNA testing was granted, the man's innocence became apparent to the court.

Because his green card was revoked when he was convicted, the man was prohibited from returning to his family upon his release from prison. His attorneys say they are taking steps to rectify that situation. North Carolina immigrants who believe they have been unjustly accused by law enforcement agents can seek legal assistance for their problems. A logical first step to take in the process would be to discuss their situations with immigration attorneys in the area.

Source:, "Immigrant Freed after 16 Years for Rapes He Did Not Commit", William Bigelow, Nov. 24, 2015

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