We have recently taken on a deportation case that touched the hearts of all of us at the office. This Italian national that entered on a visa waiver, married a US citizen and fathered a child. Now he is detained by ICE, subject to expedited removal. Is he eligible for a bond and a hearing before a judge? No, not under our current immigration system. We are fighting to stay his deportation, and the entire Italian community is behind us. We are going to discuss the case on 1170AM KCBQ radio this evening, listen to the show tonight. We will keep you posted on the progress of this case.
Here is what Roberto Roucco, the Italian Vice Consul has to say about this matter in a letter to Congresswoman Susan Davis:
Dear Congresswoman Susan Davis:
My name is Roberto Ruocco, I am a US citizen resident in San Diego, California, and I am the Vice Consul of Italy in San Diego, CA which is in your district. I am writing to you to request your kind and compassionate intervention with regards to the following case: MB, a citizen of Italy, is currently detained at the INS detention Center of El Centro, CA for overstaying his visa waiver permit in violation of the immigration law.
M entered in the US as tourist (no visas are required for Italian citizens to visit the USA)in July 2006, met and married a US citizen wife, and had a beatiful baby boy, C, born on June 6, 2007. Because she refused to adjust the status of M to legal permanent residence, M overstayed his visa waiver permit. However, after the birth of his son, he felt that she could change her mind. The situation did not change.
M discovered that his wife was a drug addict, had numerous prior criminal convictions, had had six children all abandoned and given in care of foster houses. Notwithstanding his marital nightmare, he wanted his son to have a normal life. He worked hard all days and succeded to rent a decent appartment for him and his family in the local Little Italy . Working was never a problem because he accepted all kind of jobs.
Further, his kind nature and peaceful character made him appreciated by the entire italian community. In March 2008, while under the influence of drugs,his wife assaulted him with a knife with the baby in her arms and M was forced to call the SDPD to protect him and C. A temporary restrainig order grating full custody of C to M, and criminal proceedings against his wife ensued.
M filed a petition to adjust his legal status under the Violence Agaist Women Act (VAWA)applicable to a man subject to abuse from a US citizen spouse. To take care of C while M was at work, M ‘s sister came from Italy. On July 9, 2008 M was apprehended by the INS at a check point at sent to jail in El Centro, CA. The entire Italian community mobilitated and provided funds for a proper legal assistance. Two immigration lawyers, Jacob Sapochnick and his associate Susan Perez were hired to motion the immigration court to bail him out based on the petition under the VAWA. Their request was denied. The lawyers moved the federal court for an habeas Corpus while the immigration proceedings would follow up. Their request was denied, but the expedited removal stopped for now. The lawyers appealed to both orders and requested that the Courts granted to bail him out based on the need of custody of the child. No way.
As of today, M lies in jail for having done nothing criminal: 30 long days in the hell of El Centro and no criminal charges: only a violation of visa waiver. Those who have minor criminal charges usually are let go if they are not at flight risk. But not M, who has a baby to take care of.
M intends not to give up, he will not accept any removal from the US because he feels that San Diego is his home and the home of C and because his petition under VAWA is ground for him to be a legal resident of the US. This writing does not have the purpose to interfere in whatsoever manner with the course of the justice. Our legal system is set in a way that hopefully justice is granted. However, in this case justice can be honored without a human being be locked up for months without having committed any criminal actions.
M is not at flight risk, his son needs him in San Diego, his community wants him back. I would like to have the opportunity to inform you in more details about this unreasonable violation of human rights which does not honor our legal system, and to request your authoritative intervention to have M free soon so he can properly defend himself while he is near to his child.
Please contact me at your convenience if you deem that it can be useful.
Respectfully submitted, Roberto Ruocco Vice Consul of Italy in San Diego, CA