Things That Matter

An Undocumented Mother Of 3 Is Facing Deportation Back To Mexico For A Misdemeanor Committed 7 Years Ago

Cristina’s Statement to ICE

WATCH, SHARE, SIGN: Cristina read this message to ICE just before going to her check in. She was then detained. Please take the time to sign and share her petition at afsc.org/cristinabelongshere #CristinaBelongsHere #Not1More

Posted by American Friends Service Committee on Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Cristina Rodriguez is facing deportation for a misdemeanor committed 7 years ago while trying to leave an abusive partner.

In a story that is becoming all too familiar, a mother of three is facing deportation for an old crime that, according to her attorney, James Lamb, is one of the lowest level misdemeanors in the state of Colorado. James Lamb, a senior associate at Chan Law Firm in Denver, Colo., spoke with mitú about the deportation of Rodriguez. Cristina Rodriguez’s problems started in 2010 when she tried getting away from an abusive partner.

Rodriguez called the police on her abusive partner and told the police that she was holding their infant son when he struck her. When the police arrived, they discovered that while Rodriguez’s partner was abusive, Rodriguez was not truthful in telling the police that she was holding the infant when he struck her. This falsehood led the police to arrest Rodriguez for lying to the police. The child was taken to the emergency room by police, where evidence of previous sustained physical abuse was found. Rodriguez’s partner was convicted of felony child abuse. Rodriguez had no knowledge of the child’s abuse until she called the police and the proof was discovered by the doctors, according to Lamb.

“I don’t think it would be fair to categorize her as a negligent mother or anything like that. Certainly, since that case, which concluded in 2010, she has not had any other criminal encounters at all,” Lamb told mitú. “So, that got the ball rolling on immigration proceedings. There was prior counsel on that case and Cristina eventually ended up taking voluntary departure. It’s not necessarily the case strategy I would have chosen, for a number of reasons but that’s what happened.”

Rodriguez was detained after going to a scheduled check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a technique of detention that is being called a “silent raid.” A “silent raid,” according to America’s Voice, is defined as the practice of immigrants going to ICE office for routine check-ins and being detained and deported.

In Rodriguez’s case, she went in for her check-in on Wednesday, June 21 and is expected to be deported today, Friday, June 23. The quick turn around for her deportation is because of her nationality. As Lamb explained to mitú, when it comes to deporting people, there is usually a schedule set up by the ICE office in the area. For Colorado, Mexican nationals are deported Friday mornings.

“We’re dealing with something that’s more machine that human. So, they have a day when they tend to send out Mexican nationals and in the Denver area, that just happens to be Friday morning,” Lamb told mitú. “That doesn’t mean you’re going to be deported that day, just means that you’re probably going to be moved probably to Arizona or New Mexico to a staging facility and held there until they get around to finally taking you across the border.”

Lamb told mitú that it is likely that ICE won’t hold Rodriguez long since publicity is building around the case.

Since her detention, #CristinaBelongsHere is being used by those who have learned about the case to bring more visibility to Rodriguez’ situation. Rodriguez was brought to the U.S. when she was just 5 years old by her parents and has very few memories of Mexico, according to Rodriguez’ recorded statement. The statement was recorded just before Rodriguez went for her check-in with ICE.

“It’s very sad that this country, being so powerful and full of opportunity, can’t fix the immigration system,” Rodriguez said in her recorded statement. “Thousands of families are being separated daily and they don’t understand that it tears not only the families but everything we’ve accomplished.”

Lamb confirmed to mitú that ICE has denied Rodriguez’ stay of removal and a recent press release confirms that she has been moved to a facility in Arizona.


READ: Colorado Man Who Spent Months In A Church To Avoid Deportation Is Detained By ICE

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President Joe Biden Signs Executive Order To Preserve DACA

Things That Matter

President Joe Biden Signs Executive Order To Preserve DACA

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

January 22, 2021

The Trump administration spent years trying to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The Obama-era program was important in helping young undocumented adults who came to the country when they were children. President Joe Biden has restored it.

President Joe Biden has restored DACA to its original 2012 form.

President Biden was with President Obama when DACA was passed to protect the young adults who benefit from the program. President Biden’s executive order is giving hundreds of thousands of young adults protections and the ability to work once again.

“This memorandum, known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) guidance, deferred the removal of certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, have obeyed the law, and stayed in school or enlisted in the military,” reads the memorandum posted on the White House website. “DACA and associated regulations permit eligible individuals who pass a background check to request temporary relief from removal and to apply for temporary work permits. DACA reflects a judgment that these immigrants should not be a priority for removal based on humanitarian concerns and other considerations and that work authorization will enable them to support themselves and their families, and to contribute to our economy, while they remain.”

Original: During the 2020 election, Latinos were a massive electoral voting bloc. In fact, for the first time ever, the Latino vote outnumbered the Black vote. According to the Pew Research Center, there are now 32 million eligible Latino voters and that accounts for 13 percent of all eligible voters. 

And, Latinos helped deliver the presidency to Joe Biden. So it can be expected that the community has high expectations for Joe Biden to deliver on his campaign promises of immigration reform.

During a recent speech about his first 100 days in office, Joe Biden outlined his priorities once he’s sworn in on January 20th, and said he would “immediately” send an immigration bill to congress.

Joe Biden promises swift action on immigration reform as soon as he takes office.

Over the weekend, President-Elect Joe Biden promised he would take swift action when it comes to immigration reform and rolling back many of the cruel and dangerous policies put into place by the Trump administration.

“I will introduce an immigration bill immediately,” he said in a news conference on Friday.

Although he didn’t go into detail regarding the proposed legislation, he’s previously committed to ending Trump’s ban on immigration from predominantly Muslim nations, and that he wants a path to citizenship for Dreamers, and an increase in guest worker permits to help bring undocumented agricultural workers – many of whom are now considered “essential workers” – out of the shadows.

Biden had already promised an immigration overhaul within the first 100 days of his presidency but this commitment definitely increases the pressure on him and congress to get things done.

Biden also said his justice department will investigate the policy of child separation.

During the same press conference, Biden said that his Justice Department will determine responsibility for the family separation program, which led to more than 2,600 children being taken from caregivers after crossing the U.S. southern border, and whether it was criminal.

“There will be a thorough, thorough investigation of who is responsible, and whether or not the responsibility is criminal,” Biden said. That determination will be made by his attorney general-designate, Merrick Garland, he added.

During the campaign, Biden finally took responsibility for many of his administration’s immigration failures.

Nicknamed the “Deporter in Chief,” Obama deported more immigrants than any other president in U.S. history with over 3 million deportations during his time in office. 

But as part of that administration, Joe Biden is also complicit. That’s why during the campaign he seemed to acknowledge at least some of the pain the duo caused.

“Joe Biden understands the pain felt by every family across the U.S. that has had a loved one removed from the country, including under the Obama-Biden Administration, and he believes we must do better to uphold our laws humanely and preserve the dignity of immigrant families, refugees, and asylum-seekers,” Biden’s immigration plan reads. 

While Obama’s methods pale in comparison to the cruel tactics like family separation, inhumane conditions, and targeted raids, the impact the deportations have had on families is cannot be quantified.

Biden, like any Vice President, is put in the position of having to defend his president, but also himself as the future president. This isn’t a bad thing, Biden must distinguish himself from his predecessor but if the shadow of Obama’s legacy is buying him goodwill, it might be difficult to undermine that administration’s stances.

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More Information Has Come Out About the Man Who Senselessly Shot a Young Woman While She Was Walking Her Dog

Things That Matter

More Information Has Come Out About the Man Who Senselessly Shot a Young Woman While She Was Walking Her Dog

Photo via bella_joy_gardens/Instagram

On June 10th, 2020, a senseless crime was committed. 21-year-old Isabella Thallas was shot and killed while she was out walking her dog with her boyfriend, 26-year-old Darian Simon. Simon, who was shot as well, survived.

Almost immediately after Thallas lost her life, the police were informed of the murderer: 36-year-old Michael Close, who lived in the same building as the couple.

Michael Close had shot the couple from his window with an AK-47. Thallas died almost instantly.

Close was quickly arrested and charged with first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, and possession of a high-capacity magazine during a crime.

But questions piled up as to why Close committed this crime in the first place. Why did he target the couple? Was the murder pre-meditated? How did this unstable man get his hands on an AK-47?

As the police put the pieces together, the motive was shocking. According to Close, he shot and killed Thallas because her dog defecated in the alley behind his unit.

The story he gave police lined up with Darian Simon’s version of events as well. Simon says that he and Thallas were walking their dog together behind their building. Simon commanded the dog to “poop” when he heard Close yelling at him from the window above them.

“Are you going to train that f—ing dog or just yell at it?” Close allegedly yelled out the window at them. When Simon bent down to pick up the dog’s feces, that’s when Close open-fired out the window. Simon was able to run away with wounds to his lower body. Thallas lost her life.

According to Close’s girlfriend, the man had been mentally unwell for a long time.

He had been diagnosed with depression as well as a personality disorder but refused to seek help. He frequently abused drugs and alcohol after being sober for three years.

The murder of Thallas was a culmination of a tumultuous night where he had been drinking and arguing with his girlfriend for hours. Thallas just happened to be the person who was at the receiving-end of his outburst. She was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

And recently, some more disturbing information has come to light about Thallas’s murder.

According to Denver Police, the gun that Close used to murder Thallas was taken from his friend, police officer Sgt. Dan Politica.

The close friendship between a police officer and an unhinged murder is, understandably, drawing questions from the Denver community.

The Denver Police Department confirmed that Close and Politica were “close friends”. Thalla’s mother, Anna Thallas, appears to have even more information on the friendship.

“They’re best friends. Life-long best friends for over 20 years. They grew up together,” she told 9News Denver.

Anna Thallas is angry and frustrated that the Denver police aren’t conducting an internal investigation.

The DPD argues that Sgt. Politica did nothing wrong. Thallas points to his failure to report the rifle missing until after her daughter was missing as a massive red flag. It is also worth noting that Politica has a history of violence and disciplinary actions by the DPD.

According to phone records, Close texted Sgt. Politica before the murder complaining about a dog in his neighborhood. After he murdered Thallas, he left Politica a voicemail saying he “really f—-d up bad.”

“That man should be stripped of his uniform,” Anna Thallas said. “Had that officer acted in his capacity and the oath that he took to serve and protect and was a responsible gun owner, Isabella might still be alive. My daughter might still be here.”

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