Monday, March 14, 2005

No justice for green card holders

Linden Corrica worked hard to escape from poverty in his native Guyana to immigrate with his wife to New York city where he has been a responsible citizen for ten years. He is also a Rastafarian. A year and a half ago he was caught with about $10 worth of marijuana. His lawyer advised him to plead out and he served 8 days at Rikers. That should have been it, however he has been held in custody by US immigration ever since and our government is spending ten of thousands of your tax dollars to deport him.

You would think they would spend the time and money looking for violent offenders but no, in a growing trend, our government goes for the easy statistics. Looks pretty good when they're justifying their budgets to say they deported close to 200,000 "criminals" but who are keeping you safe from? Pot smokers, shoplifters and turnstile jumpers.

Now Corrica is no angel. He has other minor marijuana violations on his record but he hardly presents a danger to the community and was otherwise contributing to the community and the economy. The worst of it is that he could have pled not guilty and gone to trial and perhaps been exonerated but no one, not even his lawyer told him it was an option. Meanwhile, your tax dollars are being squandered on leaving a child without a father and a family without a breadwinner while violent crimes are being committed every day in the streets by US citizens.

This is one you can't blame on Bush, the policy was set in place in 1996 and has since caught many an unwary immigrant in its web of injustice. So much for that motto on the Statute of Liberty. The moral of the story is, if you carry a green card - don't plead guilty - to anything.


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