Albanian Man Seeks Promised Green Card

An illegal immigrant living in Texas says the U.S. Department of Justice owes him a green card and protection from a dangerous criminal organization.

A decade ago, Ed Demiraj made a verbal agreement to help federal prosecutors with a human smuggling case, NPR recently reported. In exchange for his testimony against the alleged trafficker, Bill Bedini, Demiraj, an illegal immigrant, would be given a green card. His family would also be protected from reprisals.

However, after Bedini fled the country, the feds called off their deal with Demiraj and deported him to his native Albania. There, Demiraj told NPR, he was shot by a Bedini associate.

Now, Demiraj has returned to the United States, where he operates a home remodeling business. Yet, his citizenship status is uncertain, even though high-profile allies like former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh have advocated for him to be given a green card, the source reports.

Demiraj would not be the only immigrant whose avenue to citizenship involved personal injury. Illegal immigrants who are victims of violent crime and cooperate with police investigations are sometimes given a U-Visa, which can ultimately lead to a green card. This is how Antonio Luna, a 30-year-old Mexican pizza delivery man shot in 2009, obtained legal status, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.