BILLS WOULD RELAX TERMS OF DEPORTATION LAWS

Relates to:
Date: 2001-02-11

FAMILY HOPES CHANGES WOULD RETURN ADOPTED BRAZILIAN MAN DEPORTED FOR SELLING MARIJUANA
Gina Mace and Marilyn Miller Roane

Akron Beacon Journal

February 11, 2001

Jim Herbert knows it is unlikely he will be able to visit his adopted son in Brazil.

The distance and health problems have spurred him to lobby for changes to the law that deported Joao Herbert.

He thinks if a judge could hear how the 1996 Immigration Reform Act has torn his family apart, Joao would be allowed to come home.

"The punishment doesn't fit the crime," Herbert says, "and someone has to make that right some way."

One bill to change the law has already been introduced into the House of Representatives by Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif. Two more bills are expected to be introduced in Congress soon.

And the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case out of New York that addresses the issue of judicial review.

Joao Herbert and his parents didn't get to address a judge because the 1996 act removed judicial review before deportation. The only thing that mattered was that Joao had been convicted of selling marijuana.

"Had there been a judicial review in this case, I feel Joao's chances would have been excellent to remain in the United States," said his attorney, Margaret Wong. "I've been handling these types of cases for a long time and the only hope now for any justice is to push to change the law."

Filner, who represents the San Diego area, near the Mexican border, said seeing the human ramifications of the 1996 law was "the most emotional experience I have had as a congressman." That's why he's sponsoring legislation to change the law.

"Hundreds of families came to see me, telling me how they or their loved ones were arrested in the middle of the night," Filner said. "These are working people with kids in college. . . . Some committed minor offenses, but paid their debt to society and were raising families."

The 1996 Act, passed in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, was intended to rid the United States of foreign terrorists and violent alien criminals. What it did instead, was more than triple the number of immigrants - including legal permanent residents like Herbert - who were eligible for deportation. Because it was retroactive, people who committed minor crimes in the 1970s and '80s were caught in the net."

Immigrants from countries that will not take them back, like Laos, Cuba and Libya, stay in detention indefinitely. Last year more than 20,000 people - four times the number of detainees in 1992 - were in detention on any given day.

Melanie Nezer, of the Immigration and Refugee Service of America in Washington D.C., worked with Rep. John Conyer, D-Mich., to draft the comprehensive Restoration of Fairness in Immigration Act of 2000, which was introduced in Congress but didn't win approval last year. She said Conyers is expected to reintroduce the legislation and a similar bill will be introduced into the Senate by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass and Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla.

Nezer said the move to change the 1996 law last year had the backing of Attorney General Janet Reno. Nezer hopes the new attorney general, John Ashcroft, will see the unfairness of the law and support the reforms.

"If the people who are enforcing the law say that the law is wrong and needs to be changed," Nezer said, "that's a very powerful statement to lawmakers."

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JOAO DIE BECAUSE HIS DEPORTATION .

HERE IS MY OPINION JOAO IS DEAD NOW WE CAN'T DO NOTHING FOR HIM ANYMORE.
BUT HAVE OTHER ADOPTEE LIKE DAVID DROUIN HIS FROM BRAZIL ADOPTED AT AGE 4 HE HAVE LIVE IN US FOR 26 YEARS HE WAIT TO BE DEPORTED TO BRAZIL A COUNTRY HE DON'T KNOW .HE DON'T HAVE NO MONEY OR JOB TO DO IN BRAZIL DON'T UNDERSTAND PORTUGUESE AT ALL .
HE GOING TO BE ANOTHER JOAO HERBERT IN BRAZIL.
DAVID LOOK LIKE A AMERICAN EASY TARGET TO BE ATTACK BY POLICE AND CRIMINAL IN BRAZIL.
I WOULD LIKE ANY ONE LOOK INTO DAVID DROUIN CASE HE WAS ADOPTED BY A AMERICAN CITIZEN
THE YOUNG MAN NEED HELP HE HAVE DRUG ISUSE CAUSE HAVE FELONY .
THE YOUNG MAN IS MARRY WITH TWO DAUGHTER'S .
I WILL APPRECIATE ANY ONE HELP HE IS IN EL PASO COUNT JAIL.
WAIT TO BE DEPORTED TO BRAZIL A ANOTHER SAD STORY LIKE POOR JOAO HERBERT THIS MOTHER IS BROKE HEART TO.

DAVID DROUIN

Thank you for contacting us.

If you have some background information or newspaper articles, we can set up a case here on PPL.
Also, as there are several David Drouins in the US, can you clarify location etc?

Deportation from children's young age live all they life in US

I have no good news from David case he is jail at El paso county jail.
Waiting to sentence when I don't know he have no lawyer to help him now.
We still waiting for God miracles hope the law change soon and he can come home for his family.
David is my son he was adopted by my husband at age 4 in Brazil.
We move here to US 1986 David was four and half years old. The sad part this is he growth up like a American kid went to school here and we stop speak portuguese my son don't nothing about Brazil.
He come over to US with no choice now the immigration take all his right to be in American again.

You can find some

You can find some immigration lawyers who will work for free. The outcome on these cases is pretty disheartening... but some adoptees have been able to survive the deportation attempts.

Read through the cases on our deportation page here
http://poundpuplegacy.org/deportation_cases

Look for some of the cases where it appears the adoptee was not deported and read the reasons why.
Here is one:
Sandra Orantes-Cruz

Also you may find name of legal clinics and others who can help you find a competent lawyer for the adoptee immigration issues.

Pound Pup Legacy