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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

Senator Menendez Sits on His Hands while #Dream30 Member Set to be Deported

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From LatinoRebels.com:

In a move that has left her mother “heartbroken,” Rocío Hernández Pérez, one of the members of the #Dream30, will be deported today to Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, after pleas from organizers and family members to Latino politicians asking for help with her case went unheeded. According to both Hernández’s mother and #Dream30 organizers, Hernández’s case has already been processed. Hernández has also been given her street clothes back, and is expected to be in Juárez within the next couple of hours.

Last week two mothers of the #DREAM30 went to Senator Menendez's office to plea for help. The Senator issued the following response (after arresting them of course): “unfortunately, congressional offices are not able to single-handedly interfere with and influence deportation cases. Senate Ethics prohibits “demands” to the agencies about individual cases.”

In addition to being cowardly, it appears that Senator Menendez isn't quite telling the truth. There are many examples where Senators have intervened on behalf of individuals facing deportation. See: Senators aid wife of missing soldier. Kerry Kennedy pressure officials, and Senator Durbin helps stop the Deportation of DREAMer Elier Lara.

I represented the individuals in both of these cases, and I can assure you that if it weren't for the courageous acts of Senators Kerry, Kennedy, and Durbin my clients would have been deported. In fact, it wasn't until there was Congressional intervention that the administration was willing to consider a favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

So Senator Menendez, what's your excuse?

I think Julio Ricardo Varela summed it up perfectly is his article that appeared today on NBC Latino when explaining opposition in the immigration reform community to the #DREAM30 protest:

How dare does anyone try to upset the immigration reform apple cart now? Obama is our friend, why are you making him look bad? We have private prisons to fund and border fences to build. Don’t you know that immigration reform will die?

Senator Menendez, the deportation clock is ticking, so maybe it is time to start acting like a leader, and not just another follower.

Update: Unfortunately, Rocio has been deported to Mexico.

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Updated 10-29-2013 at 01:35 PM by MKolken

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