Legal Immigrant Deported For "Crime" of Taking a Bath. By Roger Algase
Nolan Rappaport should be commended for the painstaking research and discussion of the issue of crimes committed by immigrants in his article: Analysis of Immigration Subcommittee's Sanctuary Cities Hearing in the July 28 issue of Immigration Daily.
This does not necessarily mean that I agree with his conclusions or recommendations.
In any discussion of immigration and criminal law, it is important to distinguish between serious crimes and minor or trivial ones. Does putting detainers on or deporting immigrants convicted of DUI or disorderly conduct really promote public safety?
A few years ago, one of my former clients, a woman who was in this country with a legal work visa who could have looked forward to a promising career and future in America, was arrested and ultimately deported for bathing together with her boy friend and his young son after being sentenced to pay a token fine. She was not aware that there could be any problem with mixed or family bathing when one of the parties was a child.
At her criminal court hearing, there were two ICE agents in the back of the room who took her into custody as soon as she had paid her fine, and locked her up for a in deplorable jail conditions, before eventually putting her on a plane back home.
Did that do anything to make America a safer and better place? Our elected lawmakers should be asking questions like this instead of exploiting the murder of an innocent young woman in San Francisco as an excuse to whip up anger and hysteria against immigrants in general.
Instead of trying to sensationalize this tragedy in order to demonize millions of Mexicans and other minority immigrants, would not our Congressional leaders be making better use of their time by investigating why so many African-American US citizens are dying in police custody? We may be waiting a very long time for those hearings to begin.
Roger Algase is a New York lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping primarily skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards for more than 30 years. Roger's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org