This one is for all the neo-nativists out there, every one of you who talk about how those “damn illegals” are taking over this country and they are just a bunch of lawbreakers who no consideration for anything.
Today Tresa Baldas of The Detroit Free Press wrote about Marco Gonzalez, an undocumented father of five kids (all born in the USA, by the way) who was deported to Guatemala just a few days before Christmas. Before you start saying “tough crap,” a few things you should know about Gonzales, who is 42 years old and has lived in this country for 20 years.
Here is what Baldas wrote:
According to court documents and Michigan United, an immigrant advocacy group, Gonzalez arrived in Florida in 1993 after fleeing captivity from rebel forces who had abducted him while he was working in the fields with his father. They placed a sack over his head, held him captive for months in the mountains and put him in a cave for three days — hands bound to feet — when he tried to escape, records show.
This is additional information from a petition that called for Gonzalez to not be deported before he left:
Marco Gonzalez fled Guatemala in 1993 after being tortured and press-ganged by guerilla fighters, and eventually made his way to Detroit. He has five US Citizen children, ages 8 – 14, all of whom would be forced to stay in the United States on public assistance in the event of Mr. Gonzalez’s deportation. Mr. Gonzalez currently works as a pool-builder, and is fixing up two houses in Southwest Detroit. He faces deportation on December 30th.
Mr. Gonzalez’s youth in Guatemala was harrowing. During the civil war, he was repeatedly held by force by anti-government forces. When he refused to fight with them, he was tortured and imprisoned in a cave for months. Mr. Gonzalez eventually escaped, and was able to claim asylum in the US. The insurgents are still active as criminal gangs in Mr. Gonzalez’s home area, and often take violent revenge on returning refugees who did not support their cause during the war.
Mr. Gonzalez has had a green card for almost two decades. [NOTE: LR emphasis]
The proximate cause of his deportation is two bad checks he wrote in Florida in 1997 after his employer had refused to pay his wages for five months of work at a bakery. Mr. Gonzalez’s lawyer advised him to plead guilty because the charge was so minor, but did not inform him that doing so would cause him to lose is green card.
This practice was recently declared illegal by the US Supreme Court in the landmark Padilla case.
Baldas then added this:
Gonzalez ultimately did escape and fled to the U.S., where he sought asylum. Immigration authorities believed his testimony, records show, but his asylum case languished in the court for years while he built a life for his children and Guatemalan wife, whom he met and married here.
In 2011, an immigration judge denied him asylum, concluding Guatemala had become a more peaceful country and that it was safe for Gonzalez to return. The case remains on appeal.
And so on and so on. Baldas’ piece is a must read.
You can say whatever you like, but cases like Gonzalez’s are common in Immigration America. The system is messed up, and families are being separated every day during a time of record deportations.
Yet, instead we get a court saying this about Gonzalez in 2013, “Gonzalez was found to be removable to Guatemala for having committed a crime involving moral turpitude.” Because of a bad check from 1997.
We guess humanity is not a requisite of the U.S. government.