MORE GRATUITOUS CRUELTY AND BOGUS “LAW ENFORCEMENT” FROM DHS – DIMINISHING AMERICA AND MAKING ALL OF US SMALLER EVERY DAY – THAT’S THE TRUMP-SESSIONS-HOMAN WAY!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/she-cant-bear-to-leave-her-kids-but-she-doesnt-want-to-be-a-criminal/2017/10/09/44c40ea2-acfb-11e7-be94-fabb0f1e9ffb_story.html?utm_term=.63f3cbd1471b&wpisrc=nl_buzz&wpmm=1

Petula Dvorak reports for the Washington Post:

“Every night that the girls get home from soccer practice, do homework and eat dinner may be the last time they get to do this with their mom.

They all know this.

So every moment this week is being savored and remembered. They take extra walks together. Catia Paz’s husband cooks all of her favorite dinners. And she always agrees to read one more story to her daughters, 6 and 8, at bedtime.

The worst part? None of this has to happen.

Paz, 32, is facing a separation of at least 10 years from her husband and children because of political whim. And if you’ve recently supported the crackdown on immigration, please read on to see what that looks like in this small living room in Northern Virginia.

Paz has until Friday to self-deport.

Not because she committed a crime.

She’s a high school graduate (3.1 GPA) and an active church member. She’s worked at the same Nordstrom for the past 11 years. She’s on the snack rotation of her daughter’s soccer team. She could be any suburban mom.

But because she was 17 when she escaped her war-torn home town in El Salvador — not the cutoff age of 16 — even a miracle deal on the “dreamers,” those covered by the controversial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, wouldn’t help her.

The rest of her sprawling extended family — all 65 of them — have legal status.

“I know they want the bad hombres out,” Paz said, sitting in the living room of the tiny home in Woodbridge, Va., she and her husband bought last year. “I want them out, too. But I’m not one of them.”

She knows the arguments, hears the hatred. People saying they support immigration but only legal immigration.

“For their families, when they came, there weren’t all these papers. It wasn’t so hard,” she said. “It is all different now.”

Paz crossed the border illegally 15 years ago to escape the violence in El Salvador and join her parents, who were already in the United States. The immigration system learned about her presence in the country when her father applied for permanent residence under an act welcoming refugees from Central American violence. Instead, the parents got temporary protective status. Her sister got DACA protection because she was 16 when she came, but Catia got nothing; she’d arrived too late to qualify.

In 2011, an immigration judge ordered her removed from the country. She fought to remain, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement granted her multiple stays from 2012 to 2015, an agency spokeswoman said.

She was enrolled in ICE’s alternatives-to-detention program, but in September, when she checked in, she was given an ankle monitor and a deadline — self-deport by Oct. 13.

If she leaves, she can’t return for 10 years. So that means if her daughters, Genesis and Alison, stayed they would be 18 and 16 before they could see their mother again in the country of their birth.

Paz could just stay and hope something will work out, that the tide of popular opinion will turn, that a last-minute appeal by her lawyer will come through, that lawmakers, who are nearly all descendants of immigrants, will belatedly recognize what they are doing to families such as hers.

“But then, I’d always be scared,” she said. “They could grab me and deport me anytime. I don’t want my kids to see that. And if I stayed, I would be a criminal.”

“I’m not a criminal,” she said. “I want to keep a clean record.”

One of Paz’s friends in a similar situation decided to stay. She simply couldn’t leave her small children, so she stayed past her self-deportation date, hoping to go undetected.

“But a police officer pulled her over one day. She was taking her kids to school,” Paz said. “He said her back light wasn’t working.”

The woman was sent to a detention facility in another state, then immediately deported. She didn’t get to say goodbye to her kids.

“She finally had the kids sent to her,” Paz said. “But that’s not good, either. They are American citizens who now can’t even go to a good school.”

So that’s her dilemma. Does she hunker down and try to eke out as many days with her kids as possible, knowing she can be arrested and deported any minute?

Does she take them with her to a war-torn town, costing them the education and opportunities they’d have in their own country, in exchange for a childhood with their mother?

Or should she just keep her clean record, kiss her husband and kids goodbye and get on a plane Friday?

This is what she and her husband, German, talk about every night, after the girls are in bed.

He works construction, and he can get off early and pick them up every day after school, he offers. He already does the cooking, so that part won’t be hard. But, but. It’s all so hard.

Does any of this sound like our country to you?

I left their home the other day sad, but mostly furious. How can we tear apart good families like this one?

Catia Paz is not alone. There are 4 million parents like her who would have had a temporary, three-year reprieve with President Barack Obama’s 2014 Deferred Action for Parents of Americans executive order.

“Felons, not families,” Obama said, explaining who would be deported and protected under his order. “Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids.”

But no. It was challenged at the Supreme Court, and, in June, the Trump administration rescinded the executive order.

Now Paz must decide: Be a mother or a criminal? And we must decide: Who are we?”

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Cowardly cruelty masquerading as “macho law enforcement” at DHS. This isn’t law enforcement. Every decent American should be ashamed both of our current broken immigration system and what DHS has become under Trump & Sessions. Every day of the Trump Administration diminishes America. By the time he and his cronies are done, our national conscience will be so small “you could drown it in a teacup.”

PWS

10-09-17

 

PETULA DVORAK IN THE WashPost: Forget The Administration’s Fear-Mongering — There Are Many Amazing Kids In Our Midst Seeking Survival & A Chance To Contribute! These Are The Kids I Met In Immigration Court — And I Am Still Moved & Inspired By What Many Of Them Have Achieved & Their Potential!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/theyve-survived-untold-horrors-undocumented-teens-dont-deserve-to-be-demonized/2017/03/27/518dcebe-09b5-11e7-a15f-a58d4a988474_story.html?hpid=hp_regional-hp-cards_rhp-card-columnists%3Ahomepage%2Fcard&utm_term=.346ab2350bee

Petula Dvorak writes in her regular local column in the Washington Post:

“Their dreams — to become a lawyer, an interior decorator, a sailor in the Navy — are a lot like the dreams that other kids at their Maryland high school have.

It’s their nightmares — seeing relatives killed, paying off coyotes, being raped at the border, spending weeks in a detention center, being homeless in a new country — that make them so different.

“They’ve survived untold horrors,” said Alicia Wilson, the executive director at La Clinica Del Pueblo, which is working with Northwestern High School to help these teenagers.

The Hyattsville school has absorbed dozens of these students — part of a wave of more than 150,000 kids who have crossed the U.S. border over the past three years fleeing violence in Central America.

We usually hear about these young immigrants only when they’re accused of committing heinous crimes — such as the two undocumented students charged with raping a 14-year-old classmate in a bathroom at Rockville High School. Or when they become victims of heinous crimes — such as Damaris Reyes Rivas, 15, whose mother wanted to protect her from MS-13 in El Salvador but lost her to the gang in Maryland.

In country with a growing compassion deficit, plenty of people resent these kids, demonizing them along with other undocumented immigrants. But I wish those folks got to spend the time with them that I did. They’re funny, vulnerable, hard-working and stunningly resilient.”

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Exactly what I found  in more than a decade as a trial judge at the Arlington Immigration Court. The young people were among the most memorable of the thousands of lives that passed through my courtroom. “Funny, vulnerable, hard-working and stunningly resilient,” yes they were all of those things. To that, I would add smart, courageous, talented, motivated, and caring.

Many appeared at the first Master Calendar speaking only a few words of English. By the time the second Master rolled around (often 9-12 months on my overcrowded docket) they were basically fluent.  And, they often were assisting others in the family to understand the system, as well as taking on major family responsibilities with parents or guardians holding down two, or sometimes three jobs.

I checked their grades and urged/cajoled them to turn the Cs into Bs and the Bs into As. Many brought their report cards to the next haring to show me that they had done it.

I recognized the many athletes, musicians, chess players, science clubbers, and artists who were representing their schools. But, I also recognized those who were contributing by helping at home, the church, with younger siblings, etc.

Just lots of very impressive young people who had managed to put incredible pain, suffering, and uncertainty largely behind them in an effort to succeed and fit in with an strange new environment. They just wanted a chance to live in relative safety and security and to be able to lead productive, meaningful lives, contributing to society. Pretty much the same things that most off us want for ourselves and our loved ones.

More often than not, with the help of talented, caring attorneys, many of them serving in a pro bono capacity, and kind, considerate Assistant Chief Counsel we were able to fit them into “the system” in a variety of ways. Not always, But, most of the time. Those who got to stay were always grateful, gracious, and appreciative.

Even those we had to turn away I hope left with something of value — perhaps an education — and the feeling that they had been treated fairly and with respect, that I had carefully listened and considered their claim to stay, and that I had explained, to the best of my ability, in understandable language, why I couldn’t help them. Being a U.S. Immigration Judge was not an easy job.

Overall, I felt very inspired when I could play a positive role in the lives of these fine young people. “Building America’s future, one life at a time, one case at a time,” as I used to say.

PWS

03/28/17

 

Fears Grow Among U.S. Civil Servants In The Face of Overt Hostility and Disrespect From Incoming Administration And Congress — In Bizarre Twist, U.S. Government Threatens To Attack And Dismember Itself! Who Will Be Left To Carry Out Deportations, Bust Druggies, Or Support The Military? Not Everything Can Be “Outsourced” To Your Buddies!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/fear-among-federal-workers-flourishes-as-they-face-a-hostile-trump-presidency/2017/01/09/7bf558fc-d67a-11e6-9f9f-5cdb4b7f8dd7_story.html?utm_term=.6708ec49824e&wpisrc=nl_buzz&wpmm=1

Petula Dvorak writes in her local column in the Washington Post:

“This workforce that’s supposedly as bloated and unwieldy as the Sta Puft Marshmallow Man? It was about the same size in 1950. (You know, around the time so many folks think America was great?)

It also has been slowly shrinking and is now a little smaller than it was under Ronald Reagan.

So let’s stop pretending that this hostility toward federal workers is about cost-cutting.

Trump already has promised a huge building up of the military — at least 500,000 more in the Army alone. So money is not something that the federal government is looking to save.

This new Washington (or New York on the Potomac) has plenty of plans for our taxpayer dollars.

Trump is promising lots of nonmilitary jobs.

There’s The Wall! Imagine the work that’s going to create.

Construction workers, managers to deal with thousands of miles of worksite along the U.S.-Mexico border, paper pushers to get all the materials sorted and the laborers paid. Of course, that money will probably wind up going to private contractors, the guys who command $500 billion in taxpayer money every year, but aren’t counted as part of the federal workforce.

Maybe The Wall isn’t going to cost U.S. taxpayers anything because the workers aren’t really going to get paid. Just ask the guys at Magnolia Plumbing D.C. or AES Electric in Laurel, Md.

There’s also the promised deportation of about 3 million to 4 million undocumented immigrants. Imagine the federal workers required for that effort, given the current backlog of 500,000 deportation cases.”

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I have previously blogged about the unprecedented (at least during my 43+ years in Washington) hostility toward Federal career civil servants being promised by the Trump Administration and the GOP-controlled Congress: http://wp.me/p8eeJm-5A

http://wp.me/p8eeJm-4O

PWS

01/09/17