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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

PLEA TO OBAMA LEADS TO ICE ARREST

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A reader linked to this in the comments and it's worth bumping up to its own post. The New York Times' Nina Bernstein reports on a couple - a white US citizen woman and her Cameroon national husband - who have been battling to prevent the husband from being deported. Bernstein reported earlier in the week on the effective racial profiling USCIS is using to target mixed race couples in marriage-based green card cases - well worth reading if you have not already read the piece.



Caroline Jamieson wrote to President Obama pleading with the President to help with her husband's case. The White House forwarded the case to USCIS to check further and the agency instead forwarded the letter to ICE to pick up the husband and put him in deportation proceedings. The arrest was not a mere coincidence - the ICE officers specifically asked Hervé Fonkou Takoulo if he wrote a letter to the President. When he acknowledged his wife had, he was handcuffed and sent to jail to await deportation. 

ICE claims it does not use letters to elected officials as investigative leads and it also claims to be focusing on criminal aliens. But it was not until the Times started asking questions that Mr. Takoulo was released (albeit with an ankle bracelet monitor). 

The fact that Mr. Takoulo, an engineer, was even facing removal is troubling. He applied for political asylum and was denied. He was ordered deported after that. He married his wife five years ago and ICE has the authority to reopen the case to allow for Mrs. Jamieson to apply for her husband's green card. The agency has so far refused and has not even considered the question of whether the marriage is genuine. 

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  1. USC's Avatar
    What is troubling is that the culture of "No" at the INS is being taken a step further and this agency thinks that it can take matters into its own hands and that they are not accountable to anyone.

    Here, they were asked to provide the facts to the President's office so that the President could respond to one of his constituents, a USC. What they did instead, was to send out some of their thugs to arrest the USC's husband. They advised the husband that the letter had been sent to them for review by the President (a blatant lie) and that they had reviewed it (another lie) and that they denied it.

    It is unfortunate that a low level bigot can defy the President. There should be consequencies and the INS should remove, as in fire, the person who turned this over to the thugs instead of furnishing the President the required information.

    The President talks about firing the BP CEO if he had worked for him, he can start by practicing what he preaches by firing those responsible for this fiasco at the INS. There is no better way to send a message to these paper pushing bureaucrats.
  2. Love2Watch's Avatar
    I agree 100% that some people they think that they can make decision for the people that they are working for? On this case that presidential made a very stupid decision to send the lady's letter to the USCIS. He/She needs to be fired.
  3. Robert's Avatar
    I truly think immigration laws as so messed up that it gives the U.S. a bad reputation.

    I don't know how much education and travelling abroad, most immigration officers have but it should be a requirement for them to get the job.

    I don't know of any immigrants that come here simply to live off our system...Maybe we need to wokr on deporting those that are milking our system and have been for years by living on welfare and collecting food stamps and government assistance.
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