Late Monday, August 25 attorney Neil Rambana received a notice from the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) attorney in Atlanta who had been trying to deport his client, a US citizen, stating that she was dropping her appeal of the judge's second order terminating deportation proceedings.
Since 1999 ICE and its predecessor agency the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) have been trying to deport David (for more on the background, click on the the David tag below). This has meant that David has spent nine years misclassified as an alien in the Georgia prison system, enduring maximum security incarceration and the loss of liberty from being denied the parole process due citizens.
If not for the ICE detainer, David would have been eligible for parole in 2005. Now he is still in prison and a Georgia Corrections Officer told me yesterday that because David's entire sentence will be served within a few months, “the parole board will not ramp up machinery for parole with so little time,” a response that does not fit Rambana's plans to seek David's immediate release.
Rambana described his response to the DHS withdrawal of its appeal this way:
The way this reads, it identifies that he has met his burden of proof and is a US citizen, and it memorializes for us that he's been put through the ringer unnecessarily and that all those things he suffered as a result of the detainer while he was in in prison is because they pushed the envelope unnecessarily. When they recommend withdrawing their appeal, they are saying that the judge [who twice terminated deportation proceedings] is right. That is malfeasance or nonfeasance.
Rambana continued, describing what happened in 2006 after Rambana had obtained an order from an immigration judge terminating the deportation proceedings, which ICE appealed without notifying Rambana:
I'm angry and I know his family must be angry too. He's been put in a situation where his security level increased; he was in isolation; and he was treated as a second class person. This is very upsetting.
The most upsetting part is that they did this behind our backs when we were attorneys of record. We could have addressed this issue several years ago. It was as though this person's life and wellbeing wasn't worth anything and they don't care. That is unacceptable and someone has to put them on notice that you cannot look at people and because of questionable immigration status treat them as a lesser person. You're not seeing a human being as a human being. You're treating them as pariahs or lepers because of an immigration matter. This is a US citizen, but because you didn't give them the benefit of due diligence they must suffer. How can they not do this? Who has all the resources? They [the DHS] do.
The attorney who withdrew the appeal is on vacation but Rambana hopes to learn the reason for the reversal next week. David is very fortunate to have an attorney who has been able to fight off the DHS in its maniacal, relentless efforts to remove him from the country despite his US citizenship, but many, many others are not so fortunate. For more on these cases, see the NationArticleFacts tag below.