Friday, September 2, 2011

Andres Robles Released! DHS Misrepresents Date Notified of Citizenship

Andres Robles derived U.S. citizenship in 2002, was unlawfully deported in 2008, returned to the U.S. last week, and the next day was arrested for missing probation hearings following his deportation, then told of an active deportation order.

For more background, read here.

Andres Robles, 22, was released yesterday evening from the Lafourche Parish jail without explanation, "They just pulled me out and told me I was getting released," he told me today from his parents' home in Thibodeux, Louisiana. He was really happy to be back in his old bedroom, where he would have been living the last few years if DHS had not unlawfully deported him in 2008, ignoring the fact that he had derived U.S. citizenship from his father in 2002.

According to Andres, when his sister Maria, 26, saw him being cuffed in the court clerk's waiting room on August 24 while they were waiting to clear up the warrant for him missing probation meetings while out of the country, she pleaded with the judge to order him released, but Judge Larose ignored her last week, and he also never let Andres speak to him when he was arraigned on Monday, August 29, "The DA just said the charges and that was it. They didn't let me talk or anything. They just said, go to the box."

Andres explained that on Wednesday, August 24, the day after he returned from Mexico, while he was being marched out in hand cuffs, he heard his sister tell the district attorneys what was going on, that Andres' warrant for missing his probation hearings was because of a wrongful deportation orders. Someone assured her they would explain this to the judge when Andres was arraigned. But this never happened. "It was the same people. My sister told one of the DAs and they didn't say anything."
No one at the jail told Andres why he was let out, but Maria knows why. I spoke with someone in the parole office yesterday who figured out the jail's error, and Maria spent most of yesterday calling the probation office and the jail and forced them to fix the problem the jail caused when it failed to record that in 2008, after Andres, then 19, served a prison sentence, the jail released him to ICE and not to his home. This is a common problem across the country.

The probation officer told me that their policy is to record when inmates are picked up by ICE. No one at the Lafourche jail did this and thus there was no record that his failure to appear was because of their own poor judgment in turning a U.S. citizen over to ICE and not because Andres was ignoring the conditions of his parole. There is no doubt that if Maria hadn't been calling the jail, Andres would be there tonight as well.

Meanwhile, following attorney Larry Fabacher's persistent entreaties and reporting posted on the Bender's Immigration Bulletin on the agency's failure to file a motions to terminate his removal proceedings and vacate the removal order, Craig Harlow, DHS Deputy Chief Counsel at Oakdale on August 31, 2011 finally filed a Motion to Reopen and Motion to Dismiss Removal Proceedings. The motion states that "It has come to the attention of the undersigned that the respondent was recently issued a United States Citizenship Card by the U.S. Department of State." The motion fails to state the true date at which DHS learned of Andres' US citizenship (June 15) or the date at which it learned of his U.S. citizenship card; nor does it state that Andres derived U.S. citizenship in 2002 and that this, not the date of his certificate of citizenship, is the legally relevant information; a certificate of citizenship is not a legal requirement for proving derived U.S. citizenship.

The DHS filing also does not move to vacate and rescind the previous deportation order, as was done by DHS attorneys following Mark Lyttle's wrongful deportation order. (My understanding is that this is necessary to clear this matter from the EOIR database, which otherwise will represent his status as a deported criminal alien and could continue to cause problems for Andres down the road.)

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