Our office just took on a case involving an alien from Mali - came to the US on a J visa as a Fulbright Scholar. He married a USC and had his I-612 hardship waiver petition denied by the State Department.
I've been researching the current political situation in Mali and the Al-Qaeda insurrection in the north of the country, in and around Timbuktu. This is a hot spot of violence and both the US and UK have imposed travel bans to that country.
I'm cautiously optimistic that we can help this fellow, in spite of the prohibition imposed by the State Department of granting waivers for someone who has received financial support from the US government. We should have the waiver package ready to file in the next 30-45 days.