In April, ICE told Nestor Marchí to get out — to leave the country where he has lived, worked, paid taxes, and raised a family since 1994. The previous grants of a work permit and permission to stay? Not relevant. The fact that his entire criminal record consists of one speeding ticket and one ticket for an expired license tab? Doesn’t matter. His family’s fears that he will die if he no longer has the medical treatment and prescription drugs for his congestive heart failure and diabetes? Not ICE’s concern.
In 1994, Marchí came from Brazil looking for a better life for his family. His son – then seven years old – grew up to be a firefighter. Marchí, who had been an aviation worker in Brazil, continued working here and paying taxes, and then was caught up in a workplace raid. According to the TriadCity Beat:
But he struck a deal with the US Department of Homeland Security to assist the government in investigations into fraud, waste and abuse in the aviation industry in exchange for a work permit. He dutifully showed up for regular check-ins at the Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, in Charlotte, at first every 30 days and eventually once a year.
In all those years, Marchí had only two traffic tickets – one for expired license tabs and one for speeding. His attorney of ten years, Jeremy McKinney, told WFMY News:
“It was the Department of Homeland Security and ICE that chose to place him under an order of supervision and allow him to stay,” said McKinney. “It’s not a misdemeanor, it’s not a crime to overstay a visa.”
This April, when Marchí went to the immigration office to check in, officers told him he had to leave the country.
“This administration is not going after ‘bad hombres,’” said Jeremy McKinney, a Greensboro immigration lawyer who assisted Marchi in filing a humanitarian appeal. “They’re conducting this quiet and very easy enforcement action taking in non-criminals who voluntarily appear at the immigration office.”
- Piedmont father to be deported after living, working in US for 2 decades; family calls deportation a ‘death sentence’ (Fox 8 News, 5/10/17)
- Father of Greensboro Firefighter will be Deported After Two Decades in NC (WFMY, 5/10/17)
- Check-in with ICE leads to order to leave country after 20 years (Triad City Beat, 5/1017)
And in other immigration news
ICE announces largest anti-gang crackdown in agency history (Washington Post, 5/11/17)
ICE arrests nearly 1400 in major anti-gang operation (BBC, 5/11/17) ICE officials said they arrested 1,378 people in its biggest gang sweep ever – and that more than 900 of those arrested are native-born U.S. citizens.
More immigrants going to court over ‘unreasonable’ detention (NJ.com, 5/10/17)
“Balbose is one of many people detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for long periods of time who have been turning to the courts to gain release from custody as they await decisions on whether they can remain in this country.
“According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, or TRAC, a nonpartisan, nonprofit data research center based at Syracuse University, there have been 763 new civil immigration lawsuits filed in disputes nationwide involving immigration matters this year through the end of March. The group said almost all were brought by immigrants seeking redress from federal government action or inaction….
“The filings, such as the one by Balbose, are not public.”
“The videos, published on Tuesday by the Meyer Law Office, a Denver-based firm specializing in immigration cases, show two arrests which occurred over the past several weeks at the Lindsey-Flanigan courthouse in the city.”
Mexican drug smugglers to Trump: Thanks! (New York Times, 5/5/17)
“President Trump’s idea of a wall is not new. Chunks of walls, fencing and anti-car spikes have been erected periodically, particularly in 1990 and 2006. …
“But rather than stopping smuggling, the barriers have just pushed it: farther into the desert, deeper into the ground, into more sophisticated secret compartments in cars and into the drug cartels’ hands.”
US cuts congressional bill deportation delays for immigrants (Washington Post, 5/10/17) When someone is in the country without authorization, but with compelling humanitarian reasons to stay, a member of Congress may introduce a “private bill” to give them legal residence. Those few bills – only 94 passed between 1986 and 2013 – often take years to get through the committees and processes of Congress. In the past, ICE has held off on action while the bills were pending in Congress. Not any more.
“In a letter to lawmakers, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Thomas Homan said the agency will only hold off deporting immigrants with legislation pending on their behalf for up to six months with the possibility of one 90-day extension.”…
“Examples of immigrants who avoided deportation and got congressional approval in 2010 to stay in the U.S. included the Japanese widow of a U.S. Marine who gave birth to their son after he was killed in Iraq and a man whose mother was killed in a U.S. car crash when he was teen who had never been legally adopted.
“Gregory Chen, director of government relations at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said immigrants could now be deported before lawmakers review bills on their behalf.”
Haitians fear wrenching end to U.S. immigration protection (Washington Post, 5/10/17
“President Donald Trump’s appointees must announce by May 23 whether to continue “temporary protected status” for about 50,000 Haitians legally living and working in the U.S. Without this status, they could suddenly face deportation….
“According to James McCament, President Donald Trump’s acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Haiti’s poverty, political instability, infrastructure problems and cholera outbreak no longer qualify its citizens for a program responding to countries in crisis….
“The AP obtained emails sent from April 7 to May 1 showing a USCIS policy chief repeatedly asking staff how often Haitians with temporary status were convicted of crimes and how many took advantage of public benefits. Her employees replied that such data weren’t available or difficult to find in government records.”
The Immigrants: 26 immigrants who are changing the Twin Cities restaurant scene (Star Tribune, 5/11/17)
“If you were to take all the immigrants out of restaurants in Minneapolis, there wouldn’t be any functioning restaurants,” said Daniel del Prado, chef at four-star Burch Steak and Pizza Bar in Minneapolis. He would know. He’s an immigrant, from Argentina. Hardworking immigrants have been a key power source for the local dining scene since Minnesota became a state, and thank goodness for that, seeing as how they are constantly invigorating our insular, snow-covered culture by importing flavors, customs, ingredients and ingenuity from every corner of the globe.