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Thread: Deporting Veterans

  1. #1
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    Default Deporting Veterans

    [IMc - Besides the unconscionable savagery of abusing a struggling vet in this way, we can see from this example two horrible things with Trump's deportation policy. Firstly, not all immigrants who have committed crimes should be deported. These things should be evaluated case by case. But more importantly, Kim was ambushed by ICE while participating in the lawful immigration process. Practices like this - detaining people who are easily caught, not fugitives, because they attend a required hearing, is part of the ICE strategy to drive people underground, making them even more in non-compliance. It's a strategy to deliberately criminalize people. Like many veterans, Kim's troubles began with his difficulty becoming a civilian after his service in Iraq. Since the Revolution (with the partial exception of WWII) we have treated our veterans shamefully. This is right in that tradition of rewarding service with suffering.]

    Iraq veteran facing deportation speaks out from jail: 'I would feel utterly alone'

    Sam Levin

    Friday 14 July 2017 05.00 EDT Last modified on Friday 14 July 2017 12.43 EDT

    Chong Kim gathered paperwork demonstrating his recent accomplishments and headed to a federal building in Portland to meet an immigration officer. It was 5 April, and the 41-year-old housekeeper thought he was heading to a routine check-in.

    The officer, however, wasn’t interested in his achievements. The Oregon man quickly learned he was facing possible deportation to his native South Korea, a country he left at five years old.

    “It frightens me to think about,” said Kim, wearing an orange jail uniform, seated in a small windowless room at a detention center in Tacoma, Washington, one of the country’s largest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) facilities and the site of frequent protests. “How impossible a task would it be to rebuild my life from scratch? I would feel like I’m utterly alone.”

    The deportation case, based on an old criminal record, is particularly disturbing to his friends and family given that Kim is an Iraq war veteran who struggled with drug abuse after his deployment, but had recently turned his life around.

    “It’s hard to imagine a more clear example of someone being a part of a country than putting their life on the line for it,” said Tim Warden-Hertz, Kim’s lawyer and a directing attorney at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. “There’s this hidden process of deporting veterans.”

    His detention comes a time of increasing alarm across the country about the devastating impacts of Donald Trump’s crackdown on immigrants, which has affected refugees who fled persecution, victims of violence, undocumented people brought to the US as children, and parents seeking green cards, among others.

    And the push to deport Kim has shined a light on the lack of immigration protections for non-citizen military veterans and the severe consequences for immigrants caught up in the criminal justice system – even after they’ve rehabilitated their lives.

    Kim had a green card and was legally admitted to the US in 1981 with his parents. He grew up in Portland and worked for UPS and his family’s convenience store before enlisting in the military in 2005.

    It’s hard to imagine a more clear example of someone being a part of a country than putting their life on the line
    Tim Warden-Hertz, lawyer for Chong Kim
    The US was the only home Kim knew, and he decided it was his duty to serve.

    “It felt like something I should do, particularly at a time of a war,” he told the Guardian in his first interview about his case. Kim said that joining the military was one of the best decisions of his life.

    “It gave me the ability to stand up tall and say, ‘You’re just as American as anyone else.’”

    Deployed to Iraq in 2009, he served as a driver of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (M-Rap) vehicle. On one mission, he helped save an Iraqi national whose vehicle was on fire, according to an army member’s testimony.

    After being honorably discharged in 2010, Kim lived with severe drug addiction and eventually became homeless, sometimes shoplifting food, he recalled. In 2013, he was convicted of first-degree burglary after he was caught trying to steal groceries. He was subsequently detained by Ice and threatened with deportation, but ultimately released.

    He did not, however, get the help he needed. One day in February 2016, Kim said, he was high and bored and filled an empty beer bottle with gasoline, lit it on fire and threw it at a brick wall behind a store. He said he thought no one was watching, but someone called police and he was charged with felony arson.

    “I was not in the right state of mind,” he recalled.

    His attorneys argued that the act was in effect a careless prank and that he had no intention of hurting anyone. There were no injuries and only minor damage. Kim pleaded guilty to attempted arson and was sentenced to treatment. He entered a residential substance abuse program run by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) last August and successfully completed it in January, records show.

    “It was the first time in my life I was hopeful,” said Kim, who became sober and got a job as a cleaner at a VA hospital.

    When he got the call to meet with an immigration officer in April, he thought he was just switching probation officers. Three months later, his case is still pending.

    Ice declined to comment on the specifics of the case, saying in a statement it was under review and that Kim was arrested “after it was determined he has a prior felony conviction”.

    After the inauguration of Trump – whose anti-immigration agenda and xenophobic rhetoric was central to his campaign – Ice arrests increased by 40%. That could be a factor in Ice’s decision to target Kim months after his criminal case was resolved and after he got the rehab he needed through the VA, another branch of the federal government.

    The deportation of veterans, however, is not a new problem. Records suggest that more than 230 were deported in 2016 under Barack Obama, and Democrats have recently pushed for legislation to help deported veterans return to the US.

    Jordan Meyers, a 29-year-old veteran who met Kim at a veterans’ support group, noted that many vets suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, which can lead to drug problems and run-ins with the law. Those vets need programs and services, not deportation, he said.

    “Is this how we support our troops?”

    Asked about the deportation of veterans, an Ice spokeswoman added: “The Department of Homeland Security will not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.”

    Kim is also classified as the kind of “violent felon” prioritized for deportation under Obama, and activists said his case demonstrated that when conservatives and progressives alike argue that Ice should focus on “criminals”, there’s little consideration for immigrants’ individual circumstances and whether they actually pose a public safety risk.

    “He’s not a danger to anyone,” Warden-Hertz said of Kim. “It’s tragic. Just as things are finally going well, Ice calls him in and detains him.”

    Kim, who was living with his father at the time of his recent arrest, said he did not speak much Korean, and had no idea how he would find a job if he were deported.

    It’s also been painful, he said, to watch other detainees get shipped away every few weeks, especially those torn apart from their children.

    “It’s frightening, because I don’t know what happens to people when they leave here.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...P=share_btn_fb

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Deporting Veterans

    That story was on TV here, a sick and sad decision.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Deporting Veterans

    It's more common than you might think. We just had an idiot politician resign from parliament here because he holds citizenship in another country and should never have stood for election. Many of his countrymen have been deported because of their criminal records too. The solution is fairly simple.... if you want to live permanently in a country other than the one you were born in, take out citizenship... or obey the law.
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Deporting Veterans

    Dudes waving the vet card hard in this case.

    Felons are just the sort of non-US citizens that should be sent packing, and detaining one during the due process of law, such as scheduled meetings, makes sense.
    "Simple minds discuss people, Average minds discuss things, and Great minds discuss ideas".

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Deporting Veterans

    Seems surprising to me that he was naturalized as part of his service. There is a process for it.

    I'd be curious to see what his history prior to service was compared to after. What effect did that service have on him?
    Tom

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Deporting Veterans

    From what I've read, Kim had no criminal record prior to or during military service. He was a permanent resident and on his way to post-service citizenship when, like too many of our vets, he fell into cycles of addiction and a couple of substance addled petty crimes. He has no current connection to Korea and deporting him there makes as much sense as deporting me to Mongolia.

    Back to my two main points - Each case should be taken case by case; and people should not be ambushed and punished for showing up for hearings that are part of the immigration process - or any other hearings.

    Part of the plan here by the Trump administration is to discourage members of any immigrant community from any participation in the system - to prevent them from reporting crimes or cooperating with the police, to bar them employment protections, to keep them from driving registered cars with valid licenses, and all that. It's a systematic plan to criminalize the immigrant communities and the people expounding it understand that full well.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Deporting Veterans

    Deployed to Iraq in 2009, he served as a driver of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (M-Rap) vehicle. On one mission, he helped save an Iraqi national whose vehicle was on fire, according to an army member’s testimony.

    After being honorably discharged in 2010, Kim lived with severe drug addiction and eventually became homeless, sometimes shoplifting food, he recalled. In 2013, he was convicted of first-degree burglary after he was caught trying to steal groceries. He was subsequently detained by Ice and threatened with deportation, but ultimately released.

    He did not, however, get the help he needed. One day in February 2016, Kim said, he was high and bored and filled an empty beer bottle with gasoline, lit it on fire and threw it at a brick wall behind a store. He said he thought no one was watching, but someone called police and he was charged with felony arson.

    “I was not in the right state of mind,” he recalled.

    His attorneys argued that the act was in effect a careless prank and that he had no intention of hurting anyone. There were no injuries and only minor damage. Kim pleaded guilty to attempted arson and was sentenced to treatment. He entered a residential substance abuse program run by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) last August and successfully completed it in January, records show.
    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW
    Dudes waving the vet card hard in this case.

    Felons are just the sort of non-US citizens that should be sent packing
    Wow... just... wow.

    Deja Moo: The feeling that you have heard this bull before.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Deporting Veterans

    Being heartless is one thing, being proud of it is gobsmacking.
    “What, Me Worry?". -. A. E. Newman

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Deporting Veterans

    Sometimes it seems that a felon is someone who didn't have the money to hire a competent lawyer.
    “What, Me Worry?". -. A. E. Newman

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Deporting Veterans

    Les Miserables
    Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. John Fn Kennedy. (D)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Deporting Veterans

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post
    Being heartless is one thing, being proud of it is gobsmacking.
    Thass whah we cawls 'em 'ratfreakers', podnah.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Deporting Veterans

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post
    Being heartless is one thing, being proud of it is gobsmacking.
    Thing of it as taking self-reliance to the next level. Screw everybody . . . that's equality; and freedom.
    He's a Mexican. -- Donald Trump.
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    It wasn't racism, it was an attack on Christianity. -- Fox News
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Deporting Veterans

    It seems that yor ICE has similarities with our Border Force (no, that's the name alright, sounds like a TV show). Nasty lot all round and their boss is likely the nastiest of all. Of course he's just the minister, and the whole parliamentary sewer is responsible.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Deporting Veterans

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    Dudes waving the vet card hard in this case.

    Felons are just the sort of non-US citizens that should be sent packing, and detaining one during the due process of law, such as scheduled meetings, makes sense.
    So a veteran that commits a felony should be denied benefits?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Deporting Veterans

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Smith porter maine View Post
    So a veteran that commits a felony should be denied benefits?
    What veteran benefits is he receiving, and which ones can he not receive overseas?


    Should veterans receive special consideration over non-veterans?
    "Simple minds discuss people, Average minds discuss things, and Great minds discuss ideas".

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Deporting Veterans

    Overall I think it's a bad deal for Kim. Especially if he has been diagnosed with PTSD due to his service.

    I just don't automatically default to the veterans get special treatment theory. When I see an article about someone who is not a US citizen, and is a felon, spending a large amount of its length highlighting that individual's military service, it raises warning flags.

    One way to support veterans is to dissuade the government from sending them to war, another is to make sure the veteran label is not abused by those with problems not service related.
    "Simple minds discuss people, Average minds discuss things, and Great minds discuss ideas".

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Deporting Veterans

    PTSD , shoplifting food, addicted and homeless.

    ''After being honorably discharged in 2010, Kim lived with severe drug addiction and eventually became homeless, sometimes shoplifting food, he recalled. In 2013, he was convicted of first-degree burglary after he was caught trying to steal groceries. He was subsequently detained by Ice and threatened with deportation, but ultimately released.''
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Deporting Veterans

    I am of two minds on this. If a non-citizen, whether initially unlawfully present or not, honorably serves in our armed forces, I believe citizenship should be conferred on such veteran, on the completion of the service term (if not before), or postumously, as may be beneficial for the servicemember's family and dependents. OTOH, unlawfully present convicted felons should be deported forthwith, in accordance with the law.

    The injustice here, then, is the servicemember's lack of immigration status on account of his service, not his deportation.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Deporting Veterans

    The injustice here, then, is the service member's lack of immigration status on account of his service, not his deportation.
    The deportation is not unjust, its Immoral.

    You've just taken two opposing approaches to the problem, which is the luxury of a hypothetical (or the prerogative of the untouchable). Unfortunately we can only live a consistent life if we choose one.

    The moral stand;
    a person who has given, or sacrificed, for the country should be treated with the respect earned. This is about fairness, this is about recognising the circumstances of the persons life, how they have contributed as citizens, and saying we have a debt.
    It considers the fact that the society in which a person is brought up forms that person, informs their beliefs and values, gives them their customs and creates their social norms. it recognises in this case that the person, for whatever reason, is in essence American.
    in light of the second sentence, it recognises the nature of the deportation, it is recognised as punishment. As such the moral approach weighs the effect of that punishment against the contributions and life facts of the deportee.

    The Utilitarian stand;
    All criminals are bad and we must get rid of them, either into jail, or if possible - overseas. Whatever is more permanent, cheap or expeditious. We must take no responsibility for forming this person, everyone is their own agent. Getting rid of criminals is good for society, harming some is fine as long as most people benefit.

    The question then is - what kind of society do i want to live in? where the good of all depends on respecting the individual in all their complexity, or, where the individual doesn't matter when the good of the majority could be furthered.
    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge” - Charles Darwin (1809–1882)

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Deporting Veterans

    The same ting has been happening to foreign born adults who were adopted by US citizens as infants and small children.

    In 2000, Congress passed a law that made such children automatically US citizens, but did not make it retroactive. Before 2000, the adoptive parents had to file paperwork and pay a fee of several hundred dollars to get a citizenship certificate for their adopted children, otherwise they were not legally citizens. Our two boys, arriving in 1998 and 2001, actually bridged that period. Had we not done the paperwork, one would have been a citizen and the other not, even thought they came from the same country and were raised in the same home, etc.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/02/w...=fb-share&_r=0

    Congress can easily fix this, if they can find the will.

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