Obama Still Deporting DREAMers Like Ivan Nikolov
Ivan Nikolov still needs your help. He has been locked up since May for the "crime" of coming to the United States with his mother when he was eleven years old. All he wants is to be able to stay in the U.S. with his fiancée Alanna, a senior at Wayne State University in Michigan. Ivan's mother was already deported last week, leaving Ivan's U.S. citizen stepfather heartbroken and questioning the actions of his own government. Ivan waits in prison not knowing if each day will be the last day he sees his fiancée. Today his fiancée and stepfather are holding a press conference at Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan, to try to raise awareness of Ivan's situation in order to stop his deportation (see details below below the fold).
Contrary to Julia Preston's otherwise informative New York Times article about the success of undocumented youth organizing to stop their own deportations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has not announced any formal policy on this point. This allows ICE to approach the issue on a case-by-case basis, deporting some DREAM Act-eligible youth (DREAMers) while exercising mercy in others. It's like the emperor in the stadium, giving the thumbs up to the gladiator he likes and sending the others to the lions. The emperor doesn't have to explain himself, the thumb does the talking.
Except in this scenario, the emperor isn't Obama, it is the supposedly subordinate agency that reports to Obama: ICE. Anti-immigrant elements within the Department of Homeland Security, of which ICE is a constituent agency, have decided that the chain of command that keeps every other military and federal law enforcement agency running smoothly doesn't apply to DHS. They've decided to take matters into their own hands, leaking draft policy memos to hostile Republican Senators and staging a public vote of no-confidence in their own leadership.
ICE is a rogue agency that wants to cause political problems for its own leaders so that ICE agents can ramp up deportations beyond the record 400,000 people Obama is already deporting this year. And so far, Obama and Napolitano have caved to their supposed subordinates, more afraid of anti-immigrant voters than Latin@ voters.
Who is running the show here?
Univision anchor Jorge Ramos has cast his own vote of no confidence in the Obama administration, and some Latin@ voters are likely to follow Ramos's lead this fall.
Meanwhile Ivan waits in jail for the crime of coming to America as an eleven-year-old child. Will you ask DHS Secretary Napolitano to let Ivan out while he fights his immigration appeal?
[Disclosure: I represent Ivan in his immigration case.]
For Immediate Release
Juan Escalante 407-602-8675 (National Contact)
Mary Woolley 313-804-0980 (On the Ground Contact)
Macomb Community College, In front of the K Building
14500 E. 12 Mile Road • Warren, Michigan
Friends, Family, and Community Members Urge Senators to stop the deportation of Ivan Nikolov, 22-year old from Michigan
Friends, family, and community members gathered today at Macomb Community College to express their support for Ivan Nikolov, a 22 year old who aspires to studying film or music, and urge Senators Stabenow and Levin to take action to stop his impending deportation.
Ivan would be eligible for the DREAM Act, which, if passed, would grant a path to citizenship for undocumented youth who arrived in the country as children and commit to at least two years of university education or two years in the military.
Ivan, who was born in Russia, and is currently in detention, relayed the following message via his fiancee: "I've been here for as long as I can remember. I've worked hard, I've played by the rules, and I deserve the chance to fulfill my dreams and contribute to this country."
Ivan's fight to remain in this country began on Monday, August 9th, with an effort led by undocumented youth and allies from a number of organizations -- DreamActivist.org, ONE Michigan, Immigrant Youth Justice League, New York State Youth Leadership Council and America's Voice.
"Deporting immigrant youth who want to get an education is not a preferred policy by the Department of Homeland Security. They've recognized cases like these in Michigan before- last year they deferred the deportation of Herta Llusho, a DREAM-eligible Albanian immigrant," stated his fiancee, Alanna Woolley.
"We're running out of time. If Senators Stabenow and Levin don't intervene, Ivan will be deported to a country he doesn't remember. Ivan deserves this chance to stay in the country with his fiancee, his family, and his friends," stated his step-father, Mike Porter.
At least 65,000 undocumented immigrant youth graduate from high schools every year, and many of them struggle to attend institutes of higher education and the military. The DREAM Act will grant youth who traveled to the United States before the age of 16 a path to citizenship contingent on continuous presence in the country, good behavior, and the attainment of at least a two-year university degree or a two-year commitment to the armed forces.
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