I have so much to say. This may take several blogs to finish. Then we’ll move on. Or not.
The penalty, in Minnesota, for first violation of an Order for Protection (OFP) may be treated as a misdemeanor and may be supported by a bond. At least this is the fact for a citizen of the United States. The penalty for the very same violation by a permanent resident or registered Alien is deportation with no appeal. Yes, Permanent Residents are still Aliens, at least for ten years.
In 1996, the United States of America passed a major overhaul to the existing immigration law. Below are a few of the changes that were signed into law by then-president Bill Clinton.
1) If an immigrant fails to report a change of address to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services with ten days, he or she can be deported.
2) If an Alien purposely becomes a public charge (welfare recipient) within five years of entry into the United States.
3) The Attorney General has the right to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. See? The law already exists.
4) An Alien can be held for two years without release before being brought before an immigration board. Then the ‘alien’ has to pay for his own legal representation. He is not provided an attorney. No bail needs to be assessed. There is no provision for the assumption of innocence. Get caught, we get to dump your ass in jail and then we ship you back to your country of origin.
5) The commission of a crime of Domestic Abuse is cause for deportation.
We posted my employee’s bail on October 24, fifteen days after he was detained by ICE. The day before that, he appeared before a judge who said that he was lucky that so many people from his Church, his employer and his children’s school had written letters on his behalf because his case was shaky.
He was detained because he violated an Order for Protection and pled guilty. His crime was to show up at his estranged wife’s house, by her invitation, with flowers. She called the police. This violation constitutes an act of Domestic Violence as defined by the 1996 immigration laws. At his trial, he was asked just one time (I have the transcript) if he realized that pleading guilty (which he did on advice of a public defender) might result in deportation. There was no discussion and his attorney urged him to take the plea.
The 1996 immigration laws are being enforced. He was held for deportation. Regardless of the intent of his violation of the Order for Protection and regardless of the way that the judge treated his guilty plea, which was to make it a misdemeanor violation with two days of community service as his penalty, he committed an act of Domestic Violence under Federal Immigration law. The laws are not fair, nor were they written with fairness in mind. Immigrants are Aliens, although I have never seen antennae on a single one.
Immigrants have dignity. We are afraid of Aliens.
The Constitution of the United States starts with “We, the People of the United States…” It does not discuss the origin of the People nor does it discuss the age, race or religion of those people. The Constitution defines Voters, Citizens and those who may become legislators. The Constitution says nothing about excluding anyone within this country’s borders. I have never seen the version that says “We, the Citizens” or “We, the specially defined Interest Group”.
When I posted the bail, the employee at the federal building asked how I knew him. I said that I was his employer. She asked what he did for me. I answered that he is an embroiderer. She paused for a moment. “Is he really worth $10,000 to you?” she asked.
“Every one of my employees is worth $10,000,” I replied.
Where we used to have the scales of justice, we now have the railroad train of justice. Once you are caught in the system, the train just starts moving along, in one single direction and it is nearly impossible to stop.
My employee has a court date next June. In the meantime, we are doing what we can to change the course of events. He does not belong on this train. Unfortunately, is not unique or alone. There are so many people caught up in this system because, while we define ‘Illegal Aliens’ so well in our minds, we really don’t have a clue what that actually means.
Done for now. There will be more. Do I sound angry? Yeah, maybe a bit.