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Goldsboro couple reunited with six children

Posted November 2, 2011
Updated November 3, 2011

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— For four years, civil unrest in the West African country of Togo separated a Goldsboro couple from their children.

Victor and Louis Messan were reunited with their six children at Raleigh Durham International Airport on Wednesday. Upon their arrival, the Messans could not stop hugging the children. 

"I've very happy to see my children, to see all my children altogether this evening," Victor Messan said. "I so thank you, God." 

For years, the couple worked with Elon University's Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic to get their children, ranging in age from 12 to 23, to the United States.

The children stayed in Benin, which borders Togo, until their visas were approved. reunion Goldsboro couple reunites with six children

"We got an e-mail basically from the embassy saying the visas had been approved," the Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic's Andrew Haile said. "I got the chance to call Victor. Of course, Victor was very excited, and it was a really cool experience." 

The oldest sibling, Yaovi Messan, said through an interpreter that he was very happy to be reunited with his parents. 

Victor Messan was so overcome with emotion that he reverted back to his native language of French during the reunion. Through an interpreter, he credited the American government with bringing them together.

"The American government really saved my life, and thanks to the American government, I found my life here today, and my children have too," he said. 

27 Comments

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  • rescuefan Nov 3, 7:14 p.m.

    "This country belongs to we United States citizens. We are not the caretakers of the world and should not be.
    Tarheelfan13"

    First of all, that would be us United States citizens. And I have no clue what you are complaining about being caretakers of the world for. Your ancestors weren't born here and neither were mine. Just because you live here now doesn't mean that you have exclusive rights to living here. Seriously, can you get any more anti-American than to deny people legal entry into our country?

  • mmtlash Nov 3, 6:50 p.m.

    the only true natives to this country are the native americans that we essentially pushed out of their homes (remember the Trail of Tears?) otherwise all of our ancestors come from other countries....we are all immigrants if you go back a few generations....but alas folks forget...if a person has a legal right to be in the states why the hate?

  • crm0942 Nov 3, 6:30 p.m.

    Who paying for all this ? THREE GUESS & THE 1ST TWO DON`T COUNT

  • Tarheelfan13 Nov 3, 4:48 p.m.

    spiderwriter stated: "Why the hostility? These are legal immigrants, and they exercised some really herculean patience to remain so. They have certainly done their due, and endured the kind of hardship most of us will be fortunate enough not to have to think about. They WANT to be here -- so don't we want them here? That's what America IS. This is the kind of thing we should be encouraging!"

    This country belongs to we United States citizens. We are not the caretakers of the world and should not be.

  • mmtlash Nov 3, 2:15 p.m.

    great story!

  • barbstillkickin Nov 3, 1:08 p.m.

    Wonder how much that cost our state. Those kids sure looked thank full to be here. What a racket.

  • spiderwriter Nov 3, 12:27 p.m.

    Why the hostility? These are legal immigrants, and they exercised some really herculean patience to remain so. They have certainly done their due, and endured the kind of hardship most of us will be fortunate enough not to have to think about. They WANT to be here -- so don't we want them here? That's what America IS. This is the kind of thing we should be encouraging!

  • koolady Nov 3, 12:17 p.m.

    It is very costly to educate children these days...and most immigrants sign up for social services.

  • Tarheelfan13 Nov 3, 11:20 a.m.

    dad6 stated "am always glad to hear of a reunification but I hope they're not receiving any type of government funding. Please let's take care of our own first!"

    I agree.

  • psycho Nov 3, 11:04 a.m.

    Some of you seem to be forgetting that these folks are LEGAL IMMIGRANTS, as were most us and/or our ancestors - this country is made up mostly of people who immigrated here from other nations. These folks did it the right way and had to pay for it financially and with time lost with their children.

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