I received the following email message not long ago. I reproduce it here without editing. This man had read of Monica on this site. His story, his witness relates to the complicated and unfair reality facing millions who have called this country "home" for decades. If we ever reach the point where we completely dismiss the human element in our decision making as a people, we will step across a line onto the wrong side of the ledger of justice. As I read this man's words, I fear we are perilously close to taking just such a step in the wrong direction. God forbid that we do so.
In December 11th my girlfriend was arrested at her house as a result of a final order of deportation that she had from October 24, 1986 when she was 5 years old.
Back in 1986 she and her mom were arrested after crossing the border however, they were released and scheduled to appear in a court in Harlingen Texas, but they never showed up to the hearing because they moved to New York. That was back in October 1986, the court gave them a period of 4 months to leave voluntarily but of course they did not leave.
Her father, who was here before them, became a permanent resident and in 1993 tried to adjust her status but the process got to a point where it stopped. From that time she got an I130 approved and an I212 granted too.
Years passed and she never left or retry to adjust her status until 2003-04 when she hired an attorney. He filled a motion to reopen the case that was denied, in fact he did it three times and they were all denied. The person in charge of the case is the district counsel in Harlingen Mike Ochoa.
The last time she tried to do something was around 2005-06 as she was trying to use her father who became a US CITIZEN in 1996 to adjust her status. The case was never reopened.
In December 11th a couple of ICE officers got to her house around 6:30 am and arrested her. She was taken to a detention center in Pompano Beach Fl and a week later was transferred to the South Texas Detention Complex in Pearsall Texas.
At this point we had been talking to a countless number of immigration attorneys and they all said that that is a difficult and almost impossible case. Moreover, some of them charge great amounts of money that neither I nor her family can afford.
She is suffering in that so-called detention center the people that work there are not even ICE official it is a private company GEO who is in charge of the detainees they made them sweep and mop the floors sometimes and give these people who are civil detainees who have not committed any crime a really hard time. In a country that advocates human rights they are violated everyday.
All the people who love her want her OUT OF THAT PLACE as soon as possible. Her father is a naturalized citizen, her brother is an American citizen and he is about to graduate as a marine. He is going to serve the country that allows her sister to get hurt and mistreated Her youngest sister is also an American citizen and her oldest sister a permanent resident. In other words, she is the only one left out.
she graduated from high school in 1999; she got a real state license. Since 1999 she has been paying her taxes annually, she has stocks. She even went to college for a semester, with a hold of course, and had a 4.0 G.P.A. I have official transcripts. I have excellent letters of recommendation from her employers.
She has built a good credit; she has a mortgage under her name and paid another in the past. She speaks perfectly English and Spanish and some French. And of course she has a clean criminal record.
She has tried to success. lawyers have said that the best thing to do is to wait for her to get deported that at this point it the only thing they suggest because the court in Texas are really difficult and with this case being that long (since 1986) it was going to be even harder.
The reason she is detained is that she has a FINAL DEPORTATION ORDER from 1986, I know most laws are really hard to immigrants especially to those with deportation orders but what I think it is unfair is that she is being punished with a "crime" that she committed when she was 5 years old and was not in control of her life. She is a victim of the circumstances.
Why if her whole family is American she has to go to Colombia where she has never been since she came here.
I also know that this might not be an argument in front o a judge I guess they go by laws and not for reason and feelings. My biggest desire is to see her out that JAIL.
She is such a good person and do not deserve to be there a second. She is more American than anyone that has been born in States but the only thing is there is not paper that says that.
I READ YOUR STORY ABOUT MONICA AND I CAUGHT MY ATTENTION THAT THAT IS MY GIRLFRIEND'S NAME I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MONICA AND IF THERE IS ANYTHING YOU CAN HELP ME WITH?
Bishops, District Superintendents and Change
1 month ago