Monday, June 22, 2009
U.S. Citizen Obtains His "Alien" File: Record of Government Misconduct
Today Mark Lyttle, 31, a U.S. citizen who was kidnapped and rendered stateless by numerous government agencies as part of his illegal deportation to Mexico, obtained a copy of his file from the Atlanta Immigration Court. (See Atlanta Immigration Court for background.)
Mark's file includes many of the documents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that resulted in his deportation. During our time together in the last couple of days Mark also shed new light on the ignorant, racist, bureaucrats who did this to him, as well as his experience abroad. He walked about 200 miles in El Salvador, drinking leftover sodas on the roadside because he remembered his brother in the army told him how important it was to stay hydrated.
Mark is very resourceful about certain things and much less so about others. He's also very open and thoughtful. It's been fun hanging out with him.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM MARK'S "ALIEN" FILE AND CONVERSATIONS
1) Mark thinks that his problems started at the Neuse (pronounced NOOSE) Correctional Institute in Goldsboro, North Carolina at the end of August, 2008,when he met with a social worker doing a standard intake diagnostic interview. Mark said, "She said, 'We're curious about the name 'José' because it's a Hispanic name." Mark said she had said something in the computer attributed this name to his father. Mark's adoptive father's name was Thomas Lyttle, now deceased, and Mark's biological father's name is equally Anglo-sounding and remote from "José."
Mark replied, "My name is Mark Daniel Lyttle. I don't have a Hispanic name." The social worker told him, "'We're going to check that out. We're going to contact Homeland Security.' I said, 'Go ahead. I'm going to contact my family so I can protect myself and make sure precautions are taken.'" He said he was puzzled because, "They had my social security number; that's the second time I was there. They didn't do that the first time I was there, five months prior."
(As far as I understand, Mark's criminal record, including the two violations Immigration Judge-For-Now William Cassidy, see previous posts, mentions in his deportation order, all stem from his time in mental institutions and halfway homes. His mother, Jeanne Lyttle, a health care professional, told me that the staff would secretly tell her that the employees would regularly provoke Mark and other patients. After the patients physically responded, the staff would press criminal charges.)
The social worker at Neuse asked Mark to sign a document. Mark refused and she said that his signature was not needed for the referral to ICE. Shortly after that he was interviewed by the ICE agent who told him his name was "Jose Thomas" (sic).
Mark's family had moved outside the state since he was incarcerated; he couldn't find them and they couldn't find him.
2) Mark's Notice to Appear was issued on November 5, 2008, two days after Mark had signed a sworn statement that he was a U.S. citizen. The Notice to Appear states, "you are an alien present in the United States without being admitted or paroled, or who arrived in the United States at any time or place other than as designated by the Attorney General." There is no evidence provided to substantiate the allegation, just the charge.
The form also states that he is deportable because of criminal convictions.
It was signed by Tracy Moten at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, GA, where Mark was held. Moten is a Supervisory Detention & Deportation Officer, and another form indicates she was the examining officer. Mark told everyone he met he was a U.S. citizen, so presumably that includes Moten.
3) A longer document, the "Record of Deportable/Inadmissible Alien" (I213) also was prepared on 11/5/08 and is the document referenced by Cassidy. This document states in capital letters:
"SUBJECT CLAIMS TO HAVE BEEN BORN IN THE UNITED STATES BUT DOES NOT POSSES [SIC] ANY DOCUMENTATION TO SUPPORT HIS CLAIM."
Mark did not have a passport and he did not bring his birth certificate with him to prison. Mark's family had moved since he had been incarcerated. He told everyone in ICE, as well as Cassidy, that his brothers were in the military and they could find them if they tried, a statement that was verified when the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City located Mark's brother Tommy at Fort Campbell over four months later. It took them 45 minutes, Mark said.
The I213 also states: "Subject claimed during interview questioning that he has a bipolar mental illness condition."
According to ICE's own record, they had in custody a mentally ill individual who claimed to be born in the United States, and the only evidence they had to prove otherwise was a single coerced statement signed by Mark. This occurred in September, 2008, while he was being badgered by the ICE agent in Neuse -- as I reported earlier, Mark was given a statement indicating he was Jose Thomas and told he had to sign it. He signed it: "Mark Daniel Lyttle."
All of the documents in his record are signed either "Mark Lyttle" or "Mark Daniel Lyttle."
4) The I213, which Cassidy used for the deportation, is demonstrably inconsistent. It documents government employees' stupidity and reckless disregard for human dignity. It does not document Mark's alienage.
The author of this bizarre document is David Collado, an ICE Deportation Officer in Atlanta.
-Under Father's Name, Nationality, it says: "Nationality: MEXICO LYTTLE, Thomas" but of course Thomas Lyttle, Mark's adoptive father, was not born in Mexico AND the original document alleging Mark's alienage said his father's name was Jose Thomas.
-Under Mother's Name, Nationality, it says, "Nationality: MEXICO LYTTLE, Jennie." Mark's mother's name is Jeanne; she was born in Ireland; and the original document on which ICE had issued Mark's order of removal stated that Mark's mother's name was "Maria Thomas."
When Jeanne, Mark's mother, read this part of the document, she said, "I laughed. I didn't know I was born in Mexico."
-Under criminal record it says, "None Known" but it also says that his status when found was "IN INSTITUTION" and he was "encountered while incarcerated at Neuse."
-It uses the name "Mark Daniel Lyttle" but the sworn statement of the ICE agent in Neuse from September says his true name is "Jose Thomas" and "Mark Daniel Lyttle" is an alias.
MARK RETURNS TO THE SCENE OF CASSIDY'S CRIME
I was curious about this guy Cassidy who deported at least one U.S. citizen and who was spreading false rumors about Mark and others to his superiors in Washington and the immigration legal community, and so was Mark. We wanted to take a look at him and also see if Mark could identify the translator who could verify Mark's exchange with Cassidy that Cassidy has denied occurred. While we were waiting for Mark's record, I looked at the Atlanta court schedule. Cassidy's schedule was missing. The clerk told me, "He called in sick this morning."
Mark said, "Is the sickness fear? Where's the doctor's report?" Mark said this because the rules for obtaining a copy of an immigration file require advance notice of the Court as to the date on which one would be picking it up.
Mark's letter to Cynthia Long, the Atlanta Court administrator, stated he would be there with me on Monday, June 21, the same morning Cassidy called in sick.
If reporters want to follow up, other names of individuals involved with Marks' case are:
Steven [sp?] Fuller. On the hearing recording for December 9, 2009 Cassidy says, "The government is represented by Steven [sp?] Fuller."
Nicole F. Kelly, Assistant Chief Counsel, filed a "Motion to Rescind and Vacate Final Order" on April 24, 2008 after Mark returned to the U.S. and was arrested by ICE despite possessing a U.S. passport.
Jill Jensen, Assistant Chief Counsel filed "Motion to Terminate Proceedings" on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security on April 28, 2009 stating that "the NTA was improvidently issued."
Both of their motions exclude mention of evidence before Mark's deportation indicating Mark was a U.S. citizen and both motions exclude mention of blatant errors in the charging documents.
The DHS attorneys are in the same building that houses the immigration courts at 180 Spring Street SW.
Judge Sease, also at the Atlanta Immigration Court, used to be an ICE attorney and in that capacity was engaged in ex parte communications with Judge Cassidy about ten years ago that were the subject of a complaint against Cassidy, as noted in a comment on the post below.
Mark's attorney, Neil Rambana, filed a FOIA request for Mark's file and has not received a copy. He also tried to pick one up at the Atlanta Court several weeks ago -- this is noted in the file copy Mark obtained -- and was told the file was not there and they did not know where it was.