No announcement yet.

immigration articles thread

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31
    Great article Mike! It sounds like DHS is finally getting a clue. I just hope they step it up, expand the practice and keep it going.
    Wolves Travel In Packs


    • #32
      asylum By K. Connie Kang ( | LA Times, Jan

      Singing "We Shall Overcome" and "God Bless America," a small group of North Korean refugees staged a rally in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday to appeal for public support in their quest for political asylum.

      Standing in front of the building at Olive and 6th streets that houses the U.S. Immigration Court, a dozen refugees who risked their lives to flee their homeland said they would have nowhere to go if the United States rejected their appeal. They were accompanied by more than two dozen Korean American supporters.

      "We are at the end of the rope," said Chang Ho Kim, who applied for asylum in May. "My wife and our two children don't know how we will make it if we are not permitted to remain."

      It was the second rally of its kind in Los Angeles and the first time refugees appeared at a public rally without wearing masks or other disguises. The event was coordinated by Koreatown attorney Roberto Hong, chairman of the Support Committee for North Korean Asylum Seekers.

      About 70 North Korean refugees in the region have applied for asylum since the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 was implemented, Hong said. But an unfavorable ruling by the Board of Immigration Appeals last year has prompted the community to take their case directly to the public and lawmakers.

      "North Koreans are the saddest and most oppressed people in the world today, and they need our help," said Yong Sim Middleton, of the Christian Evangelical Movement, who came from Boston for the rally. "When I visited North Korea seven years ago, I was so heartbroken, I couldn't stop weeping."

      Others also appealed for public support.

      "America is a generous country. Let us open our hearts to these refugees and give them a chance to be productive citizens," said Peter Joo, a missionary with the New Covenant Baptist Church in Torrance.

      As the group sang "We Shall Overcome" under the direction of the Rev. **** Jin Kim, who led the rally, an African American passerby visiting from Detroit briefly joined the group and sang along.

      "Stand up for human rights!" shouted Cassandra Henderson as she bid goodbye to the North Koreans.


      • #33
        Advisory panel wants to rebury bones found in L.A. Chinese Americans want to study them By David Pierson ( | LA Times, Jan 24

        The hundreds of brittle bones were buried in a forgotten cemetery with intricate ceramics, jade jewelry and opium pipes. They were the last earthly possessions of what could be dozens of Chinese workers too poor to have been buried back in China and too little-known to merit headstones. Some more than a century old, they offer an irresistible window into a dark chapter in Los Angeles' history.

        The bones and artifacts remained deep below Boyle Heights until three years ago, when workers digging the subway tunnel for the Gold Line rail extension uncovered them. The discovery thrilled Chinese American historians because it was one of the few involving the earliest generations of Chinese immigrants who came to California to help build the railroads and perform other menial tasks.

        But now, the items are at the center of an emotional custody dispute.

        Historians and some local elected officials say they should be carefully preserved and studied in order to build a better narrative of how early Chinese immigrants lived in America.

        But a local citizens' committee established to advise the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on the find believes the most respectful thing to do is rebury the 128 sets of remains as soon as possible. The MTA's board of directors will have the final say in the coming months.

        The issue has touched a nerve in the Chinese community, in part because of a desire to better understand the lives of so-called Chinese sojourners, male immigrants who in 19th century California could not vote, marry or be buried at local cemeteries and who lacked many basic rights, including the right to own property.

        "It would be further dehumanizing for them to be buried without any attempt to identify them," said Judy Chu, vice chairwoman of the state Board of Equalization. "They died alone without family to comfort them and make sure their time on this Earth meant something."

        Officials at the MTA defended the work of its Review Advisory Committee, formed in 1995 to handle community issues surrounding the rail line extension, and the Ad Hoc Sub Committee, formed two years ago to discuss what to do with the remains and artifacts.

        Committee members want to rebury the remains at nearby Evergreen Ceremony with a memorial, saying that would amount to the dignified burial that eluded them so many years ago.

        "I put myself in their situation," said Renee Chavez, chairwoman of the ad hoc panel and a member of the advisory committee. "What would my family have wanted? No. 1, they would not have wanted to be disinterred. But it happened. But we can provide the honor and respect they were denied."

        Committee meetings were tense at times after some Chinese Americans, saying they believed they were poorly represented on the panels, said their concerns were ignored.

        Of the 11 representatives on the ad hoc group, two were Chinese American and one, not of Chinese descent, was a board member of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California. None of the 13 members of the advisory committee was Chinese American.

        Leading the charge to have the remains identified and the artifacts housed at an academic institution is Mike Ten, a South Pasadena city councilman whose family's roots in Chinatown date to the 1900s.

        "I'm really fighting for my grandparents and their generation," Ten said

        He's trying to raise $100,000 to pay for Cal State Los Angeles to take samples of the remains before they undergo DNA analysis, which could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars more.

        Cal State L.A. said it would donate a laboratory to curate the remains, but only if public fundraising can cover expenses.

        Though Ten praised the citizens' committees for arranging for plots at Evergreen Cemetery, he said he does not believe they grasped the importance of the findings to the Chinese American community.

        "They're tired of dealing with it," Ten said. "These are regular citizens dealing with a very sensitive issue. They're trying to stay away from the controversy. But an opportunity for history like this only comes every generation. This is our chance to capture it."

        When the MTA announced discovery of the remains, Chinese American groups accused the agency of trying to downplay the discoveries for fear of further delaying the $898-million extension, which is scheduled to be completed in 2009. The MTA had been criticized by Eastside residents for years for not delivering the new line sooner.

        Since then, an archaeology firm hired by the MTA has excavated and cataloged the remains from the site where they were discovered, at the corner of 1st and Lorena streets. Grave markers and headstones with Chinese characters believed to correspond to some of the remains were found nearby.

        The MTA launched an effort to find relatives last year after translating some of the grave markers and headstones and finding names of people and of towns in China. Though they received some calls from the public, no one has so far been able to claim any relationship to the people whose remains were discovered.

        Chinese American leaders say the MTA will never succeed without proper DNA identification. More important, they said, they believe the discovery is a critical link to an often ignored period of L.A.'s history.

        "They hit the jackpot," said ChorS**** Ngin, chair of Cal State L.A.'s anthropology department and director of the school's Asian and Asian American Studies. "We want a chance for our students to learn this history. Why the hurry? Don't bury them just yet. Let's take a close look."

        Ngin said Cal State L.A. -- situated between the city's oldest Chinese community, Chinatown, and the region's robust Chinese suburbs in the San Gabriel Valley -- is an ideal place to study the discoveries.

        Diana Tarango, chairwoman of the Review Advisory Committee and a member of the ad hoc group, said it was still unclear how many of the sets of remains unearthed are in fact the remains of people of Chinese descent. Because of the poor conditions in which they were found, archaeologists have determined only that 19 were Asian, 15 were of European descent, 11 were of mixed ethnicity and 83 were too damaged to tell. Members of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California say many of the remains of unknown ethnic origin were buried with the Chinese artifacts, which they say is a sign they were probably Chinese.

        Ngin said some of the remains belonged to Chinese females, a rare find because so many of the earlier Chinese communities were bachelor societies, a result of federal immigration policies. The women were most likely servants or prostitutes, Ngin said.

        Historians say the site in which the remains were found was the chief burial ground for people of Chinese descent between 1877 and 1924.

        Tarango said the panel's decision to rebury the bones and artifacts at Evergreen Cemetery with a memorial service reflected the desires of most in the community. She said the Cal State L.A. option was only officially presented last week and called the idea "too little too late."

        "We have to put this thing to rest," Tarango said. "Every month we put a lot of time and effort into this. We did this the democratic way. I feel so strong what we're doing is right: rebury them where we found them. That would be the honorable thing to do."


        • #34
          Vietnamese American reaction to the accord allowing deportations to their homeland is conflicted, often bitter By My-Thuan Tran ( and Christopher Goffard (christopher.goffard@ | LA Times, Jan 24

          To U.S. officials, a new pact announced this week with Vietnam, allowing the government to deport illegal immigrants, was almost routine -- a straightforward matter of treating Vietnam like other nations.

          But for many among the tens of thousands of immigrants in Orange County, the nation's largest Vietnamese population center, nothing about their homeland is routine. Tuesday's announcement of the long-negotiated pact has stirred sometimes-bitter debate within a community where loathing of Vietnam's communist government remains white hot.

          "The Vietnamese have already been persecuted. I am afraid that sending those people back would give them another life sentence," said Loc Nam Nguyen, director of the Immigration and Refugee Department of Catholic Charities in Los Angeles.

          Until now, most Vietnamese in the United States could not be deported back to Vietnam because many had left as refugees and Vietnam was unwilling to take them back. The repatriation pact, announced Tuesday after 10 years of negotiations, affects about 1,500 Vietnamese nationals -- many of them described by the U.S. government as people who were convicted of crimes in this country -- who arrived in the United States after July 12, 1995, when the two countries resumed diplomatic relations. The repatriations are scheduled to begin in two months.

          In addition to these 1,500 people, another 6,200 Vietnamese nationals have received final deportation notices. However, because they arrived in the U.S. before 1995, they cannot be returned to Vietnam under the new pact. Instead, they face possible deportation to a third country, according to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

          In all, roughly 1.5 million Vietnamese Americans live in the United States, many clustered in enclaves in Orange County, San Jose and Houston.

          The repatriation agreement underscores the growing economic and diplomatic ties between the United States and Vietnam, even as many Vietnamese immigrants here abjure personal and business ties with their home country.

          The struggle of many Vietnamese to flee their homeland -- on rickety boats, in military plane convoys to Camp Pendleton -- remains the founding story of large immigrant enclaves. As a result, many reacted with anger or hesitation to the idea of returning any Vietnamese to communist control.

          Lan Quoc Nguyen, an attorney who serves on the Garden Grove school board, said that after the agreement was announced he received frantic calls from members of the community who worried it might affect them.

          "For those who go back to Mexico, they go back to their families and nothing happens to them," Nguyen said. "But for people who go back to Vietnam, it's a totally different ballgame. They will be discriminated against. They will be denied household registration and even identification papers because they cannot provide their background in the bureaucracy process. They will have a hard time finding jobs."

          But the reaction was neither unanimous nor one-dimensional. Many Vietnamese immigrants are also strongly conservative. The conflict between anger at the communists and distaste for lawbreakers led to mixed feelings.

          Lac Tan Nguyen, president of the Vietnamese American Community of Southern California, spent two years in a communist reeducation camp before fleeing on a raft in 1982 and detests the government in Hanoi, which he has denounced in dozens of protests. Yet he doesn't think lawbreakers deserve to stay in the U.S.

          "I would like to give people a second chance to make corrections and redo their lives in the United States," he said. But "the people who don't respect the law have abused their freedom here."

          A group of men drinking coffee Wednesday at the Asian Garden Mall in Westminster also said deporting criminals who violated U.S. laws was the right thing to do.

          "It follows the law. There are thousands of good people who want to come here from Vietnam who can't," said Du Nguyen, 62, who came here in 1975.

          "Returning criminals to Vietnam is better for society here," he said. "They make the society here dirty."

          Minh Dang, 56, of Westminster, who arrived in 1989, believes political refugees should be allowed to stay but had little sympathy for criminals. "We pay taxes to take care of criminals in prisons here," he said. "If they are criminals they deserve to be sent back."

          Reaction in Washington was swift. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) and 12 other lawmakers condemned the arrangement with Vietnam in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, demanding that the measure not be implemented until Congress approves it.

          Lofgren, who represents the congressional district with the highest number of Vietnamese Americans, cited Vietnam's "extensive and continuing record of human rights violations," saying in the letter that "it is appalling and unbelievable that this administration would even consider returning those who escaped communism back to the clutches of the very communists that they escaped."

          In recent years, the State Department has described the human rights situation in Vietnam as "unsatisfactory" and detailed a litany of violations, including limits on free speech and the denial of swift trials. Other groups, such as Amnesty International and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, have also documented human rights violations in Vietnam.

          But advocates for greater immigration controls applauded the repatriation memo. "The mistake was normalizing relations with Vietnam a decade ago without such a memorandum of understanding," said Mark Krikorian, director of the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies. He dismissed concerns about Vietnam's human rights record.

          "There are a lot of bad countries in the world, but it ain't Auschwitz," he said, describing it instead as "authoritarian."

          Charlie Manh, a lawyer from Westminster, expressed concern that the pact would target those who overstayed their visitor or work visas, or those who came here legally and committed crimes but have rebuilt their lives.

          "If you look into the real details, some don't deserve to be deported," Manh said. "For those with extreme hardship and the fact that they don't have any more family members over there, the law should have exceptions for them not to be deported."

          In 2002, the U.S. and Cambodia signed an agreement for the deportation of Cambodian nationals who were convicted of aggravated felonies.

          Assemblyman Van Tran (R-Garden Grove) said he feared deportees could be harassed or intimidated in Vietnam.

          "There has to be stringent oversight to ensure that the people are not politically persecuted when they go back to Vietnam," he said. "There are very legitimate concerns, given Vietnam is still a one-party totalitarian state."


          • #35
            <span class="ev_code_RED">This is a real tragedy . . .</span>


            Okla. immigration law blamed for death

            By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS ; Associated Press Writer Published: January 25th, 2008 11:14

            AMTULSA, Okla. -- Edgar Castorena had diarrhea for 10 days and counting, and the illegal immigrant parents of the 2-month-old didn't know what to do about it.
            They were afraid they would be deported under a new Oklahoma law if they took him to a major hospital. By the time they took him to a clinic, it was too late.

            A ruptured intestine that might have been treatable instead killed the U.S.-born infant, making him a poster child for opponents of House Bill 1804 months before it was enacted as the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007.

            "The sad part of it was the child didn't have to die if House Bill 1804 didn't ever come around," said Laurie Paul, who runs the clinic where Edgar was finally taken. "It was a total tragedy because the bill was there to create the myths and untruths and the fear."

            The law, billed by its backers as the nation's toughest legislation against illegal immigration, took effect Nov. 1. It bars illegal immigrants from obtaining jobs or state assistance and makes it a felony to harbor or transport illegal immigrants.

            A final portion of the law goes into effect July 1, requiring private companies to verify the employment eligibility of all new hires.

            While it's difficult to characterize which state has the toughest immigration-related law, Oklahoma's goes beyond most because it includes the clause about harboring and transporting illegal immigrants, said Ann Morse, program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures' Immigrant Policy Project.

            "What I think these laws may have are unintended consequences on the general public," Morse said recently. "How does the law get implemented? Who is the target?"

            The crackdown has caused thousands of Hispanics to flee for neighboring states, with as many as 25,000 leaving northeastern Oklahoma alone, according to the Greater Tulsa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

            The law's fallout also can be seen in the struggling businesses, worker shortages and widespread fear among immigrants who say they are afraid to drive to church or the market because police might pick them up.

            "I feel like I'm in some kind of Nazi country where if they see your color, you'll be stopped," said Maria Sanchez, a 22-year-old student who is looking to leave Oklahoma rather than risk waiting the seven years it will take to get her papers. "I can't work, I can't study, I can't go out, there's no point of me staying here."

            Civil rights leaders call the law xenophobic and redundant, and say other states will wrongly look to Oklahoma to push their own anti-illegal immigrant legislation. Business and church leaders also have been vocal opponents.

            "Oklahoma was settled by immigrants ... which means that diverse is normal in Oklahoma," said the Rev. Miguel Rivera, president of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders. "It's difficult for us to understand a state which is so Christian, that to have all this animosity toward immigrants is completely outrageous."

            Supporters - described by Dan Howard, the founder of an anti-illegal immigration Web site, as "good, American, God-fearing people of the heartland that bleed red, white and blue" - say the law is necessary because of Washington's bungled immigration policy. They also believe the law has helped deter crime and punishes the companies that make money on the backs of illegal labor.

            The bill's Republican author, state Rep. Randy Terrill, said similar versions have been introduced or are under consideration in more than a dozen states. Last year, more than 1,500 pieces of immigration-related legislation were introduced across the country, with 244 becoming law in 46 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

            "More than half the nation will soon be modeling Oklahoma's bill," said Terrill, who plans to introduce a companion piece this year that would make English the state's official language, order schools to report how many illegal children are enrolled and require people or businesses who transport, hire or rent to illegal immigrants to forfeit property.

            Terrill said there's no correlation between his bill and Edgar's death, noting that the child died in July, months before the law took effect, and that the law provides an exception for emergency medical care.

            "To the extent that these illegal alien parents deprived their own child needed and necessary medical care because of their ignorance of the law, then they should be in prison, frankly," Terrill said.

            Edgar's parents are believed to have gone underground following the boy's death, returning either to Mexico or going to stay with family in Arkansas, according to interviews with people in Tulsa's Latino community.

            Far from the halls of the state Capitol, fear leads illegal immigrants to develop elaborate emergency plans for their children in case the youngsters should find their parents missing.

            Irene Maldonado, 24, has been designated as the one to call in case her sister-in-law gets deported. Meanwhile, she worries if her husband, Jose, will come home on weekends from the construction jobs he works throughout the state.

            She has legal residency, he doesn't.

            "I don't know if he has less fear, or he's trying to be the macho guy," she said.

            Illegal immigrant Maria Saldivar, 44, searches for what little factory work she can to support her three children. Past employers now ask for papers.

            "Every time I look for a job, it's always the same thing," Saldivar said in Spanish through a translator. "There was more work for me to do before."

            Even workers with proper paperwork are leaving for jobs in neighboring states rather than split up their families.

            "My guy who runs my framing crew, he had 70 workers, and as of Nov. 1, he lost 35 of them," said Caleb McCaleb, who runs a homebuilding company in Edmond. "My painter has lost 30 percent of his work force, my landscaper has lost 25 percent of his work force."

            Some in Terrill's own party doubt the wisdom of his legislation.

            "We've removed not only those here illegally and working, but those who are here legally," said state Sen. Harry Coates, a Republican who voted against 1804 and wants to repeal portions of the bill. "I'm not the smartest person in the world, but I understand economics."

            Vicente Ruiz, a 47-year-old legal immigrant who runs his own electrical contracting business, put it more bluntly: "It's all about making money, and if everybody moves away, the whole state is going to suffer."


            • #36
              AMTULSA, Okla. -- Edgar Castorena had diarrhea for 10 days and counting, and the illegal immigrant parents of the 2-month-old didn't know what to do about it.
              They were afraid they would be deported under a new Oklahoma law if they took him to a major hospital. <span class="ev_code_RED">By the time they took him to a clinic, it was too late</span>.A ruptured intestine that might have been treatable instead killed the U.S.-born infant, making him a poster child for opponents of House Bill 1804 months before it was enacted as the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007.

              "The sad part of it was the child didn't have to die if House Bill 1804 didn't ever come around," said Laurie Paul, who runs the clinic where Edgar was finally taken. "It was a total tragedy because the bill was there to create the myths and untruths and the fear."

              The law, billed by its backers as the nation's toughest legislation against illegal immigration, took effect Nov. 1. It bars illegal immigrants from obtaining jobs or state assistance and makes it a felony to harbor or transport illegal immigrants.

              Terrill said there's no correlation between his bill and Edgar's death, <span class="ev_code_RED">noting that the child died in July, months before the law took effect, and that the law provides an exception for emergency medical care</span>.

              "To the extent that <span class="ev_code_RED">these illegal alien parents deprived their own child needed and necessary medical care because of their ignorance of the law, then they should be in prison</span>, frankly," Terrill said.[/QUOTE]

              Yes Proud.

              this is a real tragedy for the baby to have had these irresponsible parents. What is even worse is that the parents and other activists are trying to use this law to cover their ignorance and negligence. Pathetic and disgusting.

              Did they not have friends or people around them to ask what to do for their baby that has loose bowels???? they ignored his condition because they had no clue, and were too worried about their own selves that they sacrificed their own child's health. These 2 were in fear of being discovered and it wasnt about a law that was not even in effect yet. It was a matter of poor judgment also as you see they eventully did take him to the doctor. but it was too late. Yes I agree they should be put behind bars... if they were us residents that is exactly what would happen to them for being negligent and endangering a life.

              The author of this article should be donkey-whipped for the title of this article.


              • #37

                Irregardless of circumstances, this was a very sad story. You know how the media has to put a spin on everything - slanted one way or the other. The parents are certainly accountable for their lack of attention, but I believe their suffering is enough penalty to pay for his untimely death.


                • #38
                  Originally posted by ProudUSC:

                  Irregardless of circumstances, this was a very sad story. You know how the media has to put a spin on everything - slanted one way or the other. The parents are certainly accountable for their lack of attention, but I believe their suffering is enough penalty to pay for his untimely death.
                  Yes I dont really mean put in jail literally. these people need counseling on how to raise and care for children. I think there were activists that went to the author to write this story to use this childs death in order to try to further a cause. and this i feel is pathetic. The child was born in a hospital and had they had access, therefore this was not a matter of being scared about being illegal.. they were simply inadequate as parents to recognize the health problem.


                  • #39
                    Top Story Immigration officials detaining, deporting American citizens
                    By Marisa Taylor | McClatchy Newspapers
                    Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 email | print tool nameclose
                    tool goes here
                    U.S. citizens detained? | View larger image

                    FLORENCE, Ariz. "” Thomas Warziniack was born in Minnesota and grew up in Georgia, but immigration authorities pronounced him an illegal immigrant from Russia.

                    Immigration and Customs Enforcement has held Warziniack for weeks in an Arizona detention facility with the aim of deporting him to a country he's never seen. His jailers shrugged off Warziniack's claims that he was an American citizen, even though they could have retrieved his Minnesota birth certificate in minutes and even though a Colorado court had concluded that he was a U.S. citizen a year before it shipped him to Arizona.

                    On Thursday, Warziniack finally became a free man. Immigration officials released him after his family, who learned about his predicament from McClatchy, produced a birth certificate and after a U.S. senator demanded his release.

                    "The immigration agents told me they never make mistakes," Warziniack said in an earlier phone interview from jail. "All I know is that somebody dropped the ball."

                    The story of how immigration officials decided that a small-town drifter with a Southern accent was an illegal Russian immigrant illustrates how the federal government mistakenly detains and sometimes deports American citizens.

                    U.S. citizens who are mistakenly jailed by immigration authorities can get caught up in a nightmarish bureaucratic tangle in which they're simply not believed.

                    An unpublished study by the Vera Institute of Justice, a New York nonprofit organization, in 2006 identified 125 people in immigration detention centers across the nation who immigration lawyers believed had valid U.S. citizenship claims.

                    Vera initially focused on six facilities where most of the cases surfaced. The organization later broadened its analysis to 12 sites and plans to track the outcome of all cases involving citizens.

                    Nina Siulc, the lead researcher, said she thinks that many more American citizens probably are being erroneously detained or deported every year because her assessment looked at only a small number of those in custody. Each year, about 280,000 people are held on immigration violations at 15 federal detention centers and more than 400 state and local contract facilities nationwide.

                    Unlike suspects charged in criminal courts, detainees accused of immigration violations don't have a right to an attorney, and three-quarters of them represent themselves. Less affluent or resourceful U.S. citizens who are detained must try to maneuver on their own through a complicated system.

                    "It becomes your word against the government's, even when you know and insist that you're a U.S. citizen," Siulc said. "Your word doesn't always count, and the government doesn't always investigate fully."

                    Officials with ICE, the federal agency that oversees deportations, maintain that such cases are isolated because agents are required to obtain sufficient evidence that someone is an illegal immigrant before making an arrest. However, they don't track the number of U.S. citizens who are detained or deported.

                    "We don't want to detain or deport U.S. citizens," said Ernestine Fobbs, an ICE spokeswoman. "It's just not something we do."

                    While immigration advocates agree that the agents generally release detainees before deportation in clear-cut cases, they said that ICE sometimes ignores valid assertions of citizenship in the rush to ship out more illegal immigrants.

                    Proving citizenship is especially difficult for the poor, mentally ill, disabled or anyone who has trouble getting a copy of his or her birth certificate while behind bars.

                    Pedro Guzman, a mentally disabled U.S. citizen who was born in Los Angeles, was serving a 120-day sentence for trespassing last year when he was shipped off to Mexico. Guzman was found three months later trying to return home. Although federal government attorneys have acknowledged that Guzman was a citizen, ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said Thursday that her agency still questions the validity of his birth certificate.

                    Last March, ICE agents in San Francisco detained Kebin Reyes, a 6-year-old boy who was born in the U.S., for 10 hours after his father was picked up in a sweep. His father says he wasn't permitted to call relatives who could care for his son, although ICE denies turning down the request.

                    The number of U.S. citizens who are swept up in the immigration system is a small fraction of the number of illegal immigrants who are deported, but in the last several years immigration lawyers report seeing more detainees who turn out to be U.S. citizens.

                    The attorneys said the chances of mistakes are growing as immigration agents step up sweeps in the country and state and local prisons with less experience in immigration matters screen more criminals on behalf of ICE.

                    ICE's Fobbs said agents move as quickly as possible to check stories of people who claim they're American citizens. But she said that many of the cases involve complex legal arguments, such as whether U.S. citizenship is derived from parents, which an immigration judge has to sort out.

                    "We have to be careful we don't release the wrong person," she said.

                    In Warziniack's case, ICE officials appear to have been oblivious to signs that they'd made a serious mistake.

                    After he was arrested in Colorado on a minor drug charge, Warziniack told probation officials there wild stories about being shot seven times, stabbed twice and bombed four times as a Russian army colonel in Afghanistan, according to court records. He also insisted that he swam ashore to America from a Soviet submarine.

                    Court officials were skeptical. Not only did his story seem preposterous, but the longtime heroin addict also had a Southern accent and didn't speak Russian.

                    Colorado court officials quickly determined his true identity in a national crime database: He was a Minnesota-born man who grew up in Georgia. Before Warziniack was sentenced to prison on the drug charge, his probation officer surmised in a report that he could be mentally ill.

                    Although it took only minutes for McClatchy to confirm with Minnesota officials that a birth certificate under Warziniack's name and birth date was on file, Colorado prison officials notified federal authorities that Warziniack was a foreign-born prisoner.

                    McClatchy also was able to track down Warziniack's three half-sisters. Even though they hadn't seen him in almost 20 years, his sisters were willing to vouch for him.

                    One of them, Missy Dolle, called the detention center repeatedly, until officials there stopped returning her calls. Her brother's attorney told her that a detainee in Warziniack's situation often has to wait weeks for results, even if he or she gets a copy of a U.S. birth certificate.

                    Warziniack, meanwhile, waited impatiently for an opportunity to prove his case. After he contacted the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, a group that provides legal advice to immigrants, a local attorney recently agreed to represent him for free.

                    Dolle and her husband, Keith, a retired sheriff's deputy in Mecklenburg County, N.C., flew to Arizona from their Charlotte home to attend her brother's hearing before an immigration judge.

                    Before she left, she e-mailed Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. After someone from his office contacted ICE, immigration officials promised to release Warziniack if they got a birth certificate.

                    After scrambling to get a power of attorney to obtain their brother's birth certificate, the sisters succeeded in getting a copy the day before the hearing.

                    On Thursday, however, government lawyers told an immigration judge during a deportation hearing that they needed a week to verify the authenticity of Warziniack's birth record. The judge delayed his ruling.

                    "I still can't believe this is happening in America," Dolle said.

                    Warziniack began to weep when he saw his sister. "They still don't believe me," he said.

                    Later that day, however, ICE officials changed their minds and said that he could be released this week. They said they were able to confirm his birth certificate, but they didn't acknowledge any problem with the handling of the case.

                    The officials blamed conflicting information for the mix-up.

                    "The burden of proof is on the individual to show they're legally entitled to be in the United States," said ICE spokeswoman Kice.

                    Warziniack, 40, told McClatchy that he has no memory of telling anyone he was Russian. Instead, he recalled the shock of withdrawing from his heroin addiction after 18 years of drug abuse.

                    Katherine Sanguinetti, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Corrections, suspects that prison officials were relying on information that Warziniack gave when he was first taken into custody because they never received the Colorado court documents concluding that he was a U.S. citizen.

                    Even now, the prison records inaccurately show his current location as "the Soviet Union."

                    In the end, Sanguinetti said, ICE is responsible for making sure that it detains and deports the correct person. Her prisons flag hundreds of prisoners a month as foreign-born, but can't possibly verify the information, she said.

                    "Could it happen again? Sure," Sanguinetti said. "But we would hope that ICE during their investigative process would discover the truth."

                    Rachel Rosenbloom, an attorney at the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College who's identified at least seven U.S. citizens whom ICE has mistakenly deported since 2000, believes that the agency should set up a more formal way of handling detainees when they appear to have valid claims of U.S. citizenship. At the very least, she said, ICE could release people such as Warziniack on bond while waiting for immigration judges to hear the cases.

                    "It's like finding innocent people on death row," Rosenbloom said. "There may be only a small number of cases, but when you find them you want to do everything in your power to make sure they get out."

                    (Researcher Tish Wells contributed.)

                    McClatchy Newspapers 2008
                    | | email | print
                    Login to leave a comment!
                    Hide CommentsCollapse All Comments
                    06:01:03 01/25/2008jfmxl
                    ' Why wouldn't they believe him after he sobered up, especially when one phone call could put the matter to rest? Why did they still hold him, even after presented with proof of citizenship? '

                    Because there is a whole new crony capital prison industry and laws which make it OK to imprison "illegal immigrants" where no judge can let set them free for a period of six months is just what the "doctors" **** Cheney and George Bush ordered.

                    At $5,000/per inmate/month the Bush/Cheney cronies don't mind setting them free after six months after its been shown there was absolutely no reason to hold them to begin with.

                    This new foray against American citizens is to be expected, given the moral bankruptcy of the greedy in power. Check out the whole sordid prison-for-profit scene in TX, especially at T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas. Whole families imprisoned for nothing other than profit. Turned loose after six months because there were never any charges against them to begin with.

                    It had only been "real" illegal immigrants that I'd known of prior to this report. Branching out and going after the sickest and weakest Americans is the next logical step for these, the sickest and most criminal gang of thugs to have seized power in American history.

                    And look at the chain gangs of folks defending them! Hatred seems truly to be at the bottom of the American soul. Fear and hatred.

                    And the regime is making the cash register jingle playing on our fear and hate. The Texas two step
                    "Until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes everywhere will be war"...................BOB MARLEY


                    • #40
                      Steps should be taken as to not have this happen again.
                      "Until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes everywhere will be war"...................BOB MARLEY


                      • #41
                        That is crazy stuff. Can't understand how those mistakes can happen.
                        God Bless America - God Bless Immigrants - God Bless Poor Misguided Souls Too

                        National Domestic Violence Hotline:
                        1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.


                        • #42
                          By KAREEM FAHIM | NY Times, Jan 24

                          NEWARK "” The editor of a Brazilian community newspaper who said he was detained by the police in September sued the Police Department on Wednesday, saying that his rights were violated when officers demanded that he hand over photographs of a crime scene and handcuffed him to a bench when he refused.

                          The lawsuit, filed in the Federal District Court, is the latest complaint stemming from the events of Sept. 6, when a freelance photographer with the Portuguese-language paper Brazilian Voice stumbled upon the body of a woman in a trash-strewn alley in the Ironbound district. The photographer took pictures of the body and returned to the newspaper office. Then he and the editor, Roberto Lima, contacted the police.

                          A police official who came to the scene asked the photographer about his immigration status, violating a state directive that prevents local law enforcement officers from asking the immigration status of witnesses to crimes. In a statement released on Wednesday, the police director, Garry F. McCarthy, said that in response to the photographer's allegations, the department had started a "more comprehensive training program" and had disciplined the police official, Deputy Chief Samuel A. DeMaio.

                          In the lawsuit, Mr. Lima, who returned to the alley with the photographer, maintains that Chief DeMaio bullied him and warned him not to publish pictures of the dead woman. He also says Chief DeMaio instructed another officer, Detective Lydell A. James, to seize the camera and an electronic storage card.

                          The journalists were taken to a police station, according to the lawsuit. When Mr. Lima asked that the camera be returned, he was told he would have to give the police all the copies of the photos taken at the crime scene, according to the suit. He refused, and a police officer handcuffed him to a bench for about half an hour but did not charge him, Mr. Lima says in the lawsuit.

                          He said he was released only after he accepted the advice of a Municipal Council member for the area, Augusto Amador, who told him to give the police the photos.

                          In an interview Wednesday, Mr. Lima said, "It's my right to decide what to print." The police, he said, detained him simply "because they can do things" without repercussion.

                          Mr. Lima's lawsuit, filed by the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Seton Hall University Center for Social Justice, says the Police Department violated state and federal laws, including the First Amendment to the Constitution and a state reporter shield law. The suit seeks compensation and punitive damages.

                          In the end, Mr. Lima did not publish any photos of the dead woman, he said, because it would have been disrespectful.

                          In his statement, Mr. McCarthy, the police director, said, "Although I am not at liberty to comment directly on matters concerning open litigation, I can, however, ensure this department's continued cooperation and adherence to the legal process


                          • #43
                            NEW YORK (AP) "” A man smuggled a monkey onto an airplane Tuesday, stashing the furry fist-size primate under his hat until passengers spotted it perched on his ponytail, an airline official said.
                            The monkey escapade began in Lima, Peru, late Monday, when the man boarded a flight to Fort Lauderdale, said Spirit Airlines spokeswoman Alison Russell. After landing Tuesday morning, the man waited several hours before catching a connecting flight to LaGuardia Airport.

                            During the flight, people around the man noticed that the marmoset, which normally lives in forests and eats fruit and insects, had emerged from underneath his hat, Russell said.

                            "Other passengers asked the man if he knew he had a monkey on him," she said.

                            The monkey spent the remainder of the flight in the man's seat and behaved well, said Russell, who didn't know how it skirted customs and security.

                            Airport police were waiting for the man and his monkey when the plane landed about 3 p.m., and the man was taken away for questioning. It was unclear whether he would face any criminal charges.

                            The city's animal control agency said the monkey appeared healthy. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was planning to take it for disease testing and keep it quarantined for 31 days, CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said.

                            If the monkey is healthy, it could wind up in a zoo.

                            "It is kind of a spirited monkey," Russell said. "That will be the nickname of the monkey: Spirit."


                            • #44
                              zis is was in the bag lol


                              • #45
                                Oh Mike

                                this is too funny. a spirited monkey.

                                What kind of jacked up security do we have in the airlines??? doesnt give one a warm feeling.


                                Sorry, you are not authorized to view this page

                                Home Page

                                Immigration Daily


                                Processing times

                                Immigration forms

                                Discussion board



                                Twitter feed

                                Immigrant Nation


                                CLE Workshops

                                Immigration books

                                Advertise on ILW



                                About ILW.COM

                                Connect to us



                                Immigration Daily