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September 09, 2009

Stay of removal

This article show how difficult it is to halt deportations under immigration law. Last year we managed to obtain 2 of the 311 stay granted nationwide. This is a sad comment as thousands of families are divide under the "rule of law".


Case by case, activists fight deportations
Immigrant students benefiting from blitz

By Maria Sacchetti, Globe Staff | September 7, 2009

A few months ago, Herta Llusho was just another college student. Then the government ordered her deported, and Llusho became an Internet celebrity almost overnight.
An army of supporters - including more than 2,800 Facebook fans, and counting - quickly launched a campaign on her behalf, and the 20-year-old immigrant from Albania recently won a three-month reprieve to remain in the United States. Now, she has become so popular that a stranger in Michigan recently spotted her in a restaurant and said, “Hey, you’re the girl that they’ve been talking about.’’

The bespectacled honor student is the third young person in the past few weeks to successfully delay deportation amid extraordinary public campaigns that combined grass-roots organizing with online social networking. Frustrated by the failure to pass federal legislation called the Dream Act that would allow illegal immigrants brought here before they were 15 to apply for legal residency, advocates are pushing to halt their deportations, one by one.
“It’s not just working because we’re getting lucky,’’ said Carlos Saavedra, lead organizer of the Student Immigrant Movement in Massachusetts, who has joined Facebook pages and sent faxes and e-mails to support the immigrants. “Those faxes mean power, and we’re getting the right message out.’’

Critics, while sympathetic to immigrants who were brought here as children, say immigration officials are caving to public support and failing to enforce immigration laws. One critic said the immigrants are being used as “political pawns’’ to push for a broader amnesty for 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States. An estimated 65,000 illegal immigrants graduate from high school in this country every year.
“It’s very wrong to try to use such anecdotes to appeal to the American citizenry that has a large concern about illegal immigration,’’ said William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration, or Alipac.us, an Internet-based organization with 25,000 members who favor reduced immigration. “Americans are being told that we’re at fault. We are not at fault. We’re not the ones that brought them here.’’

In the past few weeks, immigration field office directors in three states have granted delays of deportations to two college students and one recent graduate. Immigrants can fight deportation in a variety of ways, but in these cases they are appealing directly to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency in charge of detaining and deporting immigrants.

ICE, as the agency is known, has the discretion to grant “deferrals,’’ which are stays of deportation, based largely on humanitarian grounds. Deferrals can last days, or years, and vary in outcomes: Some immigrants end up applying for legal residency while others are deported, said ICE spokeswoman Gillian Brigham.
Deferrals remain rare, and usually follow an outpouring of community support, from US representatives, teachers, friends, classmates, and clergy. Last year only 311 people of all ages won deferrals; so far this year 356 have been granted, said Brigham. She said ICE evaluates each case individually and would not comment on specific cases because of privacy laws.

Posted by VisaLawyer at September 9, 2009 06:51 AM


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