Capital City Rescue Mission chef Kinimo Ngoran is coming home.
Ngoran has been held in federal custody in Batavia since late January after being picked up by immigration enforcement authorities. After a wave of public support from numerous elected officials in Albany, led by Sheriff Craig Apple, ICE has decided Ngoran can stay in the U.S. to finish his visa application process.
"The homeless love Kinimo," said Mission Executive Director Perry Jones. "He cooked well, they loved him. He always had a lot of food left over, and he made sure they had enough."
Ngoran came to this country illegally about 10 years ago from his native Ivory Coast, and has been working to become a citizen since then. His cause was taken up by a number of local elected officials, including Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.
"It's been six weeks of hell for Kinimo, and his wife who's been sitting here alone," Apple said. "Everybody's just super grateful. I think we're all just a little surprised that he's coming home."
Plans call for a welcome-home party at the Rescue Mission on South Pearl St. this afternoon.
Photo: Capital City Rescue Mission