In August, Bill Clinton Hadam's whole family completed their green-card applications. Last Friday, Bill was the first to receive his, and to become a legal permanent resident of the United States.
Such applications often take six months to a year. Bill's parents joke that their son's presidential name moved immigration officials to hurry his paperwork.
"They see 'Bill Clinton,' they say: 'Oh!'" says his dad, Hassan Mwanasumpikwa."Hurry!" says his mom, Dawami Lenguyanga.The development gives Bill's parents hope. If Dawami gets her green card before next September, when her daughter Neema turns 21, it cuts in half the time the family may have to wait to be reunited. Right now, applications by parents with green cards wanting to bring their dependent minor children to join them in the US are backlogged four-and-a-half years, according to Atlanta immigration lawyer Mark Newman. For the adult children of green-card holders, the wait jumps to almost nine years.
The next steps for Bill: naturalization and US citizenship.
Meantime, Dawami says, as her boys get older, they increasingly understand what it means to be missing their sister.
"Igey say me all the time: " she said this week.