I Wish I Were In Paris

From war to peace and politics to gossip, if we have an opinion on something we'll share it here.

Monday, June 25, 2007

U.S. Double Standards At Its Finest!!

Last week I blogged several times about the wife of an American soldier being threatened with deportation, and then being allowed to stay and seek residency. This week, the double standard is rearing its ugly head.

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- All of her life, Zoila Meyer believed she was an American. She even won election to the City Council of Adelanto.

But now she is facing a threat of deportation for illegally voting, because she never became a citizen after being brought to this country from Cuba when she was 1 year old.

"To be honest with you, I'm scared. How can they just pluck me out of my family, my kids?" the 40-year-old mother of four said in a telephone interview Friday.

"If they can do this to me, they can do it to anybody," she said.

After Meyer was elected to the council in Adelanto in 2004, someone told officials that she was born in Cuba, prompting an investigation.

Eventually, "the police came to me and said, 'Zoila, you're not a citizen. You're a legal resident but you're not a citizen,"' said Meyer, who now lives in the San Bernardino County desert town of Apple Valley, near Adelanto.

She resigned after 10 weeks in office in Adelanto, a town of about 23,000.

Meyer, whose story was first reported in the Victorville Daily Press, applied to become a naturalized citizen and continued with her life: raising her children and attending two local colleges to earn degrees toward her goal of working in the justice system as a forensic nurse.

However, because she was not a citizen, Meyer faced a felony charge of illegally voting in the 2004 election.

In April 2006, she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of fraudulent voting and was placed on probation, fined and ordered to pay restitution.

What Meyer didn't realize is that fraudulently voting is a deportable offense.

On June 18, Meyer said, immigration officials showed up at her home and told her to appear at their San Bernardino office.

Her husband drove her to the office on Tuesday, "and they handcuffed me," Meyer said. "They put me in jail and they frisked me and processed me."

"I said 'You're doing this because I voted?"'

The case is unusual but immigration officials were just doing their job when they arrested Meyer, said Lori Haley, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"People are arrested on immigration charges from all walks of life," she said. "She can plead her case before an immigration judge, if she feels that she has reason to seek release for removal. ... Everybody has due process when they're arrested."

Meyer was released pending a July 18 appearance before an immigration judge who will determine whether she will be deported to Canada, the last point of entry into the U.S. recorded in her immigration record.

Meyer said she and her parents had visited Canada and she had gone many times to Mexico without anyone ever asking her to prove her citizenship.

Meyer said she does not support illegal immigration but she thinks immigration procedures should be changed to prevent misunderstandings.

"It makes me feel like we're all just numbers," she said of her case. "I see people writing 'this is my country.' It really isn't. It belongs to the government and they decide who stays and who goes ... you think you're free; you're really not."

On the one hand you have a woman who knowingly came to this country ILLEGALLY. She's being allowed to stay in the United States and seek residency simply because her husband is in the military and is missing in Iraq. On the other hand, you have a woman who came here LEGALLY, and is being threatened with deportation and will likely be deported simply because she thought she was a citizen and dared to vote. To make matters worse for her, if she is deported she will be deported to Canada. She's not from Canada. But she will deported to Canada because that was the last place recorded on her immigration record when she was a child. So, she will be deported to Canada and will most likely be faced with yet another deportation back to Cuba.

Double standards? Nah!!!!! Not quite!! This is absolute BULLSHIT. It just goes to show that the military gets special treatment. They and their spouses appear to be above the law. And people like Zoila Meyer will be deported, families will be torn apart, and lives will be ruined. ISN'T AMERICA GREAT????????????????????

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  • At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Let me get this straight...

    In the military story you mentioned, the womans husband is MIA in Iraq, and you think she should go. I haven't read that post, but if he's alive my understanding is the wife would legally be allowed to stay (She was here somehow, right?) How are they favoring her by waiting until they have a definitive answer on her husbands mortality? Any one who's spouse's whereabouts were unknown could use the same arguement, military or not.

    With the other story, NOWHERE in the story you pasted in did it say she came here legally. I feel for her in that she probably truly thought she was a citizen, but immigration is just doing their job.

    Lastly, I can assure you that most people in the military and their spouses DO NOT feel they are above the law. In fact, they are held to higher standards than normal citizens in several regards. (DUIs and committing adultery come to mind, serious consequences for both within the military...in addition to consequences in civilian court) The benefits given to those in the military and their families are done so because these soldiers/sailors risk their lives to serve their country.

  • At 4:25 PM, Blogger ParisL0ve2 said…

    The woman's husband is MIA. You have that right. However, she's being allowed to stay in the United States and apply for residency. They're dropping all immigration proceedings. She's not just being allowed to stay until they find out his status. There's a difference!! She came here illegally in 2001, long before she knew her husband. It wasn't until after they got married in 2004 when he tried to apply for a greencard and attempt to make her LEGAL that anyone in the government caught on that she's ILLEGAL. She was here somehow because she came here illegally from the Dominican Republic. He didn't bring her here!!

    With the other woman, she did come here legally from Cuba when she was 1. It wasn't until after she voted that someone said something to her. She was told that she was a legal resident, but since she wasn't a citizen and voted she would face a felony and deportation.

    So, as you can see, there is a double standard. You have one woman who knowingly and willingly came here ILLEGALLY but is being allowed to stay because everyone made such an uproar because her husband is in the military and is missing. You have another woman who was here LEGALLY, and is being threatened with deportation because she thought she was a citizen and voted when it turns out she was just a legal resident.

  • At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Cuban lady "probably" was a legal immigrant just because the US decided PRIVILEGE status to anybody landing from Cuba. The lady whose husband is fighting UNDER THE ORDERS of the US Government, like a huge percentage of Latinos (legal and with the promised of a green-card), landed from another place very close to Cuba but unlucky for her Santo Domingo is not run by Castro. So, alas! Double standard in favor of: Those coming from Cuba.

  • At 3:14 PM, Blogger ParisL0ve2 said…

    Nobody is disputing the double standards for Cubans, and let's not make this a Cuban issue!!

    I don't understand why people are so blind to the special treatment that this woman is receiving. It's so blatantly obvious that even a blind person can see it!!

    What the hell are you talking about with the military and green cards? Her husband doesn't need a green card. He's an American citizen. She's the ILLEGAL!! Just because her husband is in the military doesn't mean that she gets a green card if that's what you're getting at!!


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