Support for Associate Professor Mzenga Wanyama

(Updated 4/24/2018)

Augsburg University is sharing this background about the immigration case involving Associate Professor Mzenga Wanyama to keep our campus and the public informed.

Student-led March + Rally
*Augsburg University is sharing these details of the student-led march and rally at the student organizers’ request:

Thursday, April 26th — 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Meet in Murphy Park. Walk together to U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office. Peaceful rally + speakers outside

ICE is trying to deport beloved Augsburg Professor Mzenga Wanyama and his wife Mary. We insist that they be allowed to stay! Join this student-led action in support of Professor Wanyama, his wife, and all immigrants as we thank Sen. Klobuchar for her support and ask that she boldly do everything in her power (we have two specific asks!) to advocate for this important pillar of our community.

Please spread the word!

Facebook event:

P.S. Mzenga has asked that his next meeting at ICE take place without a rally. He is fully supportive of this action, making it our primary opportunity to demonstrate continued public pressure.


Most recent news about Mzenga Wanyama and Immigration and Customs Enforcement
The most recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement check-in appointment for Dr. Wanyama and his wife, Mary, was April 5. The outcome of the meeting was that ICE has allowed the Wanyamas 90 days to depart the United States.

Augsburg University statements
Augsburg issued a statement from Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow following the Wanaymas’ April 5 ICE meeting, as well as statements before and following the previous ICE meeting, on March 9. These statements are posted below:

Augsburg University Faculty Senate statement
The Faculty Senate of Augsburg University wishes to express our unanimous and unconditional support for our friend and colleague, Professor Mzenga Wanyama. We urge all those who care about Professor Wanyama to consider signing the petition on his behalf at

A website,, has been created by friends and supporters of Mzenga and Mary Wanyama. The site includes a statement from the Wanyamas, information about the next Immigration and Customs Enforcement meeting, and information about getting involved and providing support.

Work authorization and sponsorship
Augsburg University complies with federal law that requires employers to verify that employees are eligible to work in the United States. Dr. Wanyama has authorization to work in the United States, issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Sponsorship for permanent resident status is not an option at this time due to a restriction related to a J-1 two-year home residency requirement. The two-year home residency requirement means that those who come to the U.S. in J-1 status cannot become permanent residents in the U.S., change status, or get work or family-based visa status until they return to their country of last permanent residence for at least two years cumulatively. A request to waive the two-year home residency requirement was filed several years ago, but the waiver was denied. Augsburg is working with legal counsel to pursue all options available to us under the current scenario.