The former Rwandan Ambassador to United States, Eugene Gasana has been granted a “permanent residence” status in United States.
Gasana, a once strong defender of President Paul Kagame and his government, broke ranks in August 2016 before seeking asylum in United States.
Gasana’s decision to abandon his post in New York came after being recalled to Rwanda.
He had served as Permanent Representative of the Rwandan Mission to the United Nations from July 2009 through July 2016.
Since then, Gasana has been living under the protection of the U.S. Federal Police.
Gasana’s Attorney, Michael Wildes says Gasana now holds a Green Card.
“I am pleased to announce the successful representation of Mr. Eugene Gasana, the former Ambassador to the Republic of Rwanda to the United Nations and Minister of State in charge of International Cooperation, in his Section 13 immigration matter, October 2018,” says Wildes.
Under Section 13 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, individuals who entered the United States under diplomatic status and meet certain criteria are eligible to obtain permanent residence status (i.e. a green card).
The card is evidence that Gasana has the right to live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis; to travel and return; and to petition for certain close family members to also receive green cards.
However, green card holders cannot do everything that U.S. citizens can. They cannot vote in U.S. elections.
And although they’re called “permanent” residents, this status isn’t always permanent. For example, they cannot remain outside the U.S. for unlimited amounts of time or make their home elsewhere—doing so will result in abandonment of their residency and refusal of their request to reenter the United States.
In most cases, green card holders must wait some years before taking the next step and applying to become U.S. citizens, through a process called “naturalization.”
Gasana speaks out
Gasana said he was “deeply thankful for the hard work and expertise of Mr. Michael Wildes in securing permanent residence for my family.”
Gasana said with “limited options available to us, Mr. Wildes brilliantly leveraged a rarely-used provision of law known as ‘Section 13 adjustment’ that protects former diplomats like myself. Adding to the complexity, our case required approval before my eldest son turned 21-years-old and would no longer be my dependent.”
The former diplomat further revealed that “As the deadline approached, Mr. Wildes and his team worked tirelessly to notify the top USCIS officials to ensure that our cases were timely approved.”
Gasana recently flew to Kampala to meet with President Museveni.
The Ugandan leader said Gasana wanted to lobby for the return of Jackie Wolfson, who was deported from Uganda in 2018 for “violation of immigration laws.”
Museveni said Gasana said he “came to help a white lady, Wolfson, who we had declared persona-non-grata, to come back and continue her charity work.”
Wolfson, who ran the Shule Foundation, a charity organisation that helped needy children access education, was quietly accused of helping in branding presidential hopeful Bobi Wine alias Robert Kyagulanyi, claims she denies.
Museveni said “some of our people in the diaspora had worked on it (Wolfson’s issue) with him (Gasana).”
It remains unclear why Gasana fell out with Kagame.
Museveni said Gasana told him he was involved in any efforts to topple President Kagame’s government.
Gasana, who is a trustee on the Board of the Africa-America Institute, completed two terms as President of the UN Security Council and previously served as the Rwandan Ambassador to Germany with accreditation to Austria, Bulgaria, the Russian Federation, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania.
In May 2005, Gasana was appointed Alternate Governor ad hoc at the Fortieth Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank.
Prior to this, Gasana was Chairman of the Board of AIRTEL telecommunications in Rwanda from October 2002.
Gasana’s previous diplomatic experience includes a posting as Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva and other international organizations — the World Trade Organization, World Intellectual Property Organization and the International Telecommunication Union — from 2001 to 2002.
He served as First Counsellor in Rwanda’s Embassy in Germany from 1998 to 2000 and was promoted to Minister Counsellor in December 2000; having previously been Chargé d’Affaires in that country from 1994 to 1995. He held the same position in Berne, Switzerland, from 1995 to 1997.
Prior to his recruitment as a diplomat, Gasana was a banker and consultant in Germany where he studied banking and business at the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne and completed his training at Commerzbank before undertaking an Executive Master of Business Administration course at the European Business School in Maastricht, the Netherlands.
Gasana is fluent in French, English and German. He was born in Bujumbura, Burundi.