Monday, December 10, 2007
Why the only solution to Immigration is to build a fence? Can we look at the root of the problem? Thousand or even Millions had been waiting years to become residents, even Citizens? Many lost the residential privilege and became on the limbo as undocumented for the dysfunctional of the Immigration system. Why can not any Members of Congress overview the root of the problem and compromise to fixed???
Immigrant's fight spurs questions
Did Gjystina Hines' marriage to a U.S. citizen, having a son with him and being pregnant with their second child count for anything when she faced deportation?
Or what about that the 23-year-old Howell woman was holding a regular job, paying taxes and appearing for her regular appointments with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Detroit?
The answer is "no," according to U.S. immigration officials.
However, there are others who believe the system needs to be reformed so cases can receive more individual attention and not simply a broad-brush approach.
Although Gjystina Hines' marriage will help her gain legal status in the U.S., immigration spokesman Greg Palmore said Hines was deported for one issue.
"It's all based upon that she came into the country illegally," said Palmore, who works for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Detroit.
He said Gjystina Hines, who was born in Albania, didn't have any pending paperwork with respect to immigration. Her request to adjust her status from illegal alien to resident alien was denied, and the only remaining order was for her deportation.
"Our job is to carry out that removal," Palmore said.
Last year, he said, immigration enforcement removed more than 221,000 people with no legal status from the United States.
In Michigan and Ohio, the number of people deported has grown significantly in the last several years. Immigration officials said the number is up 37 percent over a year ago, and deportations have more than doubled since 2004.
Immigration officials say fugitive-hunting teams now in Cleveland and Detroit have led to more arrests.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement workers have removed about 4,000 undocumented immigrants from the region this year.
Gjystina Hines was deported Nov. 23 and left with her husband, Clint, and their 3-year-old son, Dylan. She's also pregnant and due in April. Immigration officials said people who are deported typically face a ban from re-entering the country for a minimum of five years.
Now, Gjystina Hines, a 2002 Brighton High School graduate, must now apply for a waiver to come back to the United States.
Her attorney, Justin Casagrande, said immigration law needs reform.
"Immigration lately is making a push to remove people, and some of those are people who are trying to do the right thing," Casagrande said.
"She (Hines) had all these connections to the U.S.," he said, adding none of them were legally relevant.
He said people such as Hines are trying to play above board, but don't have anyway of getting a review of their case.
"You can't get a judge to these cases, can't get someone impartial," he said. "Nobody in decision-making roles has the ability to take these other things in account. It's a one-size-fits-all (approach) ... and it doesn't work."
Casagrande said his client was deported based on the facts involving her father, who entered the country illegally from Albania in 1997 and without inspection, which is like someone sneaking over the border from Mexico.
Gjystina Hines, her mother and brother came to the U.S. in 1999, identified themselves at the airport as having no legal papers and were listed as arriving aliens. Her father filed for political asylum for his family but was eventually denied.
Faced with a final order of deportation, Gjystina Hines' parents and her brother voluntarily left and went to Canada in 2003. Gjystina Hines, though, stayed because she was already married.
"People think when you marry an American citizen, they think all things are forgiven," Casagrande said. "It's mostly true."
He said certain violations can be forgiven, but not when it comes to entering the country illegally.
"She got stuck carrying the weight on this," he said of his client.
Casagrande called Gjystina Hines' case "an extremely unusual situation." In addition to dealing with removal proceedings, he was also working with U.S. Citzenship & Immigration Service, which grants citizenship, resident cards and visas. He said that is a completely different agency than the immigration and customs enforcement.
"We were working two sides of the bureaucracy," he said.
Casagrande said Gjystina Hines' request for adjustment of status had no bearing on her deportation case. The attorney said she had two parallel cases happening with immigration.
Then why did it take three years for the Howell woman to finally be deported?
"It's not that unusual for things to take that long," Casagrande said.
Palmore said immigration was waiting for travel documents — a valid passport — before deporting Gjystina Hines.
"We just can't grab someone and remove them," Palmore said