Thursday, June 12, 2008

Immigration Judge Reorders ICE to Release US Citizen Held in Georgia

Yesterday morning I posted something (see the post below this one) about a US citizen who was detained for 8 months in 2006. Immigration attorney Neil Rambana, in Tallahassee, Florida, who took the case pro bono, argued his client's US citizenship status successfully and the judge terminated the deportation proceedings. But last month Rambana's client was once again being held in a detention facility in Lumpkin, Georgia and once again facing removal proceedings. Since mid-May Rambana had been trying, unsuccessfully, to contact ICE attorneys and explain their error, or, as I see it, their crime of false imprisonment.

At 5 pm EST yesterday Rambana received a long overdue note from immigration judge William Cassidy in Atlanta that the client in question once again had his deportation order terminated. The circumstances surrounding this are somewhat confusing, as is the case with many transactions with the immigration bureaucracy. I am waiting until Rambana figures out exactly what happened before posting more details, hopefully later today.

One fact that is clear is that ICE twice detained the same US citizen, who is Latino, for more than 8 months, even though ICE has no jurisdiction over US citizens.

The image above is of William Lumpkin, former Senator and Governor of Georgia, and namesake for the town hosting the ICE detention center that held Rambana's client.

Lumpkin made his name by clearing Cherokees out of Georgia. He wrote a book called, Removal of the Cherokee Indians from Georgia, 1827- 1841.

Mary Young, the historian who is my source for this information, writes that Lumpkin's "sudden addiction to Indian removal" was a response to "his flagging political career."

See Mary Young, "The Exercise of Sovereignty in Cherokee Georgia," Journal of the Early Republic, 10 (1990), note 7, citing Carl J. Vipperman, "The 'Particular Mission' of Wilson Lumpkin," Georgia Historical Quarterly, 66 (Fall 1982), 295-316.

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