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38,296 Americans from Nigeria, 77 other countries

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The Allis and their newly adopted daughter, Nike. PHOTO: THEDENVERCHANNEL.COM

Colorado couple stuck in Nigeria after adopting child there
The United States has so far evacuated 38,296 citizens from Nigeria, Ghana, Benin Republic, and 75 other countries on account of the coronavirus pandemic.
The citizens were airlifted in 330 flights coordinated by the US Department of State.
The emergency evacuation commenced on January 29, 2020, according to the coronavirus repatriation statistics published on www.state.gov, updated on Friday.
This is happening as Nigeria directed its foreign missions to compile a list of stranded Nigerian nationals who wished to come back home.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that “the financial implications will be borne by the prospective evacuees, who will be compulsorily quarantined when they return.”
The repatriation report said the US government had evacuated 369 citizens in three flights from Nigeria, while 1,070 US nationals were evacuated from Ghana in five flights and 825 from Senegal in four flights.
The US had also airlifted 109 Americans from Burkina Faso; 524 from Cameroun; 866 from China; 400 from Cyprus; 2,770 in 23 flights from Ecuador; 1,686 in 29 flights from the Dominican Republic; 2,406 in 15 flights from El Salvador and 3,014 in 18 flights from Guatemala.
The report said, “The Department of State is rising to meet the historic challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, every day, all over the world. The US Government has no higher priority than the protection of American citizens.
“The Department of State has coordinated the repatriation of 38,296 Americans from 78 countries since January 29, 2020. On April 2, approximately 140 US citizens and residents were repatriated from Colombia.”
Meanwhile, no fewer than 188 Europeans were evacuated from Nigeria on Friday through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The flight was operated by a Boeing 777 aircraft owned by Austrian Airlines, a subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group.
Amongst those on the flight were Germans and Austrians.
Meanwhile, a couple from Colorado is stuck in Nigeria with their newly adopted daughter, unable to travel home for months while waiting for a visa for the young girl, just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, reports the denverchannel.com.
“We just wanted to have a family, and it made sense for us,” Robin Gallite, sitting next to her husband Alli, told Denver7 via FaceTime interview.
Alli has Nigerian roots, and when the couple decided to adopt, they chose to adopt from that African nation. They filed the paperwork and flew to Nigeria in August to take their new daughter, Nike. The process on the Nigerian side went smoothly, according to the couple. Getting their daughter paperwork so she could travel with them back to the U.S. proved to take months.
“Even though the child is legally ours, we can’t take her out of the country,” Alli explained. “She needs to be vetted through the system and get a visa.”
The adoption went through in August when Nike was nine months old. Six months later, her parents still did not have the approval for that visa. That’s when the COVID-19 pandemic began hitting the U.S., and Nigeria was placed on the President’s travel ban list.
“We would be able to go home since we are American citizens, but (Nike) wouldn’t be able to come with us unless she has the clearance to actually travel with us,” Alli said.
The couple could leave Nigeria for home, but wouldn’t be able to take their daughter with them.
“That decision to leave once we were together was, yeah, we just couldn’t. We just couldn’t leave her,” Robin said.
The family of three decided to stay together by staying in Nigeria. Evacuation flights have now left, many of the airports have closed to international travel. Nike still does not have her visa.
“To be faced with our own U.S. government holding us up as citizens to bring our daughter home is the hardest part to navigate for us,” Robin explained.
The three are staying with members of Alli’s family, working remotely, and contacting their local representatives and the U.S. State Department. They say they’re basically waiting and hoping.
“We just want to be able to introduce our daughter to our friends and family,” Robin said.
Denver7 has reached out to Representative Jason Crow and Senator Michael Bennett’s office on behalf of the family.

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