Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Adam, 8 Years Old, Loses Mother to Iraq War and Father, a Marine, to ICE

"Get this letter out to the American people..."

Today I received a letter from Anthony Chiu, a Marine who served in Afghanistan and was honorably discharged in 2003. Shortly after his discharge Mr. Chiu committed three crimes and served the prison sentences associated with these (identity theft, embezzlement, and forgery -- all apparently associated with one single incident).

Then ICE tried to deport him. He is from Virginia but has been in ICE jails for over four years, most of them at the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona.

During this time his wife was killed in Iraq.

Here is part of what he wrote:
I have adjusted my Immigration status to that of a Lawful Permane[n]t Resident on September 13, 1988. I've been in Immigration detention for the last four years... My wife and I were married nine loving years before she was killed in the Iraq War. I'm upset that ICE did not and would not let myself have the ability to attend her Funeral in Arlington National Cemetery shortly after she was back here in the United States from Iraq. ICE told me to F%$& myself and it was not their F@#$ing problem that I was unable to go because I committed criminal acts which two are now misdem[e]anors and one is still a felony...

The deportation officers who spoke to Mr. Chiu this way were at the Eloy Detention Center.

Mr. Chiu asked me to share his story and I am posting his entire letter here. If this information is accurate, it appears that Mr. Chiu should be eligible for relief based on the hardship his deportation would cause his son. As I obtain more information I will update this post.

Adam's mother died fighting for a country that is deporting Adam's father, a legal permanent resident and Afghanistan war veteran who could not attend her own burial. This is the lunacy of U.S. immigration policy: in the name of the nation and the family, nativist policies are ruining the lives of the very U.S. children on whose behalf these struggles are supposedly being waged.

Adam and Anthony Chiu's ordeals are no surprise because the nation and family are both fictions, and bad ones at that, making the violence done in their names especially stupid and horrifying.

If this were a class, an essay question might be "what would Antigone say?"

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