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Deporting Love: A Married Couple’s Journey to Stay in the United States

On November 28, 2005, Enrique Gonzalez walked across the border to pursue a safe and prosperous life in the U.S. Afraid of gang recruitment in El Salvador and seeking to escape to a safe place with opportunities to work to help himself and his family, after two days of processing and detention, he was taken (by immigration officials) to a Texas bus station where he was left to find his way in what would become his new home, the United States of America. Thirteen years later, with a U.S. Immigration approved marriage to a citizen, Enrique is being deported.

In the January 2017 Executive Order, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, the Trump administration laid out a much wider dragnet authorizing and empowering ICE in the deportation of undocumented.  Unlike the discretion of the Obama Administration, as evidenced in the 2011 Memo, which exercised a great deal of flexibility the Trump Administration's laser-sharp focus is on the numbers! Every undocumented …



"Motion to Reconsider" Granted!

Case Will Be Heard By Immigration Judge

Enrique and I are celebrating a great victory! On the very day of our 4th anniversary, June 26th, 2018 - we received the extraordinary news, our deportation was halted. Our "Motion to Reconsider an Immigration Judge's Decision" was "granted."  This by no means suggests the battle is over. In fact, given the Dept. of Justice and Attorney General Jeff Sessions' unprecedented move to disallow immigration judges from doing their job of hearing cases and executing what is known as an "Administrative Closure" where applicable, we have a tough journey ahead. We are told the next step is to request a change of venue to the Chicago Immigration Courts which may take as much as 90 days to 6 months. From there we will have the chance to explain our case and seek removal of the deportation order on the basis we have an approved I130 (petition for alien resident or "marriage test").

Our case is far from over! This is just one battle won in a lengthy war that will continue to unfold as we work, not only to legalize my husband Luis Enrique Gonzalez-Ortiz but, to advocate for those who are silent and in the shadows fearing persecution and injustice just the same. After we have our day in court, our next steps will be to complete the 601 Waiver, a document that will ask the courts to allow Enrique to stay in the US while we await adjudication of his green card. After the green card is approved, he will have to leave the country and re-enter from El Salvador after which point, he will have the official docs to stay. This whole mess will be over (at least our case will be), but what about the unjust and messy process that is American immigration? We plan to take that on as a voice for others.

#1 - Remove Immigration Oversight From the Single-handed Controls of the Department of Justice and Attorney General (currently, Jeff Sessions)

The oversight of millions of lives and the direction of adjudicating procedures of countless immigration judges should not be in the hands of one man - especially not a xenophobic tyrant whose aim is to whitewash America. Old fashioned and outdated racial discrimination is hidden under the cloak of a white, Bible-quoting Christian, lawmaker, who is capable of separating children from their parents in a move to "detour" legitimate Asylum claims, all the while stripping judges of the necessary tools to help adjudicate their claims, while also single-handedly redefining what is "asylum" and while incentivising judges to process volumes of cases while skirting the constitutional right of "Due Process" (even leading to mass hearings as opposed to hearing the merits of individual cases) is simply unconscionable and inhumane. This must be stopped and prevented from ever happening again by realigning immigration oversight within the executive branch of governance.

As you can see in our approved motion to reconsider (above) our request to "Administratively Close" our case was denied. The immigration judge cited, "see matter of Castro-Tum." See for yourself in the following case in which Sessions overreached, not only by his very unusual intervention in prior cases but in his far reaching conclusion that literally stripped immigration judges from granting closures which is what we must have to remove the prior deportation order.



 Learn more about Jeff Sessions' Judicial Constraints here:

The DOJ Decision That Could Mean Thousands More Deportations

Imagine you're an immigration judge and someone is standing before you, facing deportation. You need to make a decision, but there are complications. Maybe the person is still waiting to hear about a visa application, or she seems too mentally incompetent to understand what is happening.