Immigration

Injustice: Young Student Who Has Lived Her Whole Life in U.S. Is to Be Deported to Albania

Anyone who believes Herta should be given the opportunity to stay in the U.S. should direct all of their energy towards urging DHS to allow her to stay.

My name is Herta Llusho, I am 19 years old, and I writing this because I am about to be deported.  I was born in Albania and was brought to the United States when I was 11 years old.   With the help and support of my family, I have struggled through more than seven years of legal proceedings to find a way to stay in this country legally.  Despite our best efforts, on August 19, I will be removed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from the only place I know as my home.  I will be sent back to a country that has become a foreign place to me.  I don't even speak Albanian well anymore.  My only hope of staying here is for as many people as possible to ask DHS to delay my deportation until the DREAM Act is passed.

 
The above picture was taken at a rally in support of Herta Llusho.

I don't have much time to write about Herta' story this very early morning, but I'm going to do my best to update people in preparation for the last day we can do something to stop the deportation of Herta Llusho.  If you have not yet signed this petition and taken the actions listed in support of Herta Llusho, than please do so.  You can get the latest information from this facebook group.

If you have done all of the above, than I encourage you to focus all of your energy onto calling, faxing, and emailing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as it is ultimately in their hands whether Herta is sent back to Albania or not.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a part of DHS.  The latest message I got from the facebook group suggests calling these two numbers, but things are change hourly so check back here for updates:

 

1: Call LaSal Austin, director of the local DHS in Michigan, at 313-259-8562. Demand that he take legislators' leads and take immediate action to defer the deportation of Herta Llusho.

 

2: Call Janet Napolitano, Secretary of DHS, at the comment line 202-732-3000 . Demand that she contact Mr. Austin in the local DHS office and take immediate action to defer Herta's deportation.

Stop Herta's Deportation - Facebook (17 August 2009)


SEIU also has a handy-dandy click-to-fax tool up that will send a fax directly to Vincent Clausen, the Michigan ICE Field Officer, whom I hope will do the right thing and defer Herta's deportation.

Department of Homeland Security's refusal to comment on this case has been disgraceful.  I wrote earlier about my unsuccessful attempts to get Khaalid Walls at ICE Detroit Office of Public Affairs to comment on Herta's case. 

It looks to me as if traditional media outlets have not been much more successful than I have been, as DHS has not commented for stories on Detroit Public Radio, in the Detroit Free Press, or in the Detroit News.  DHS is a government agency.  It should be accountable and transparent to the people of the United States.  Instead ICE is just as opaque as it was during the Bush administration.  This despite the fact that Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and Representative Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI) have both written letters in support of Herta, and over thirty media outlets, large and small, have written about Herta's case

Last night, Herta's community held a rally in support of her in hopes that it would encourage ICE to allow Herta to stay in the U.S., the only country she knows as her home.  The picture above is from the rally, and Channel 7 Action News ran a segment on the rally late last night.  I will embed the video below:

There is so much else that is going on, but this is the most important information as of this moment.  Anyone who believes Herta should be given the opportunity to stay in the U.S. should direct all of their energy towards urging DHS to allow her to stay through the mechanisms I outlined above. 

If you haven't read Herta's story, yet, I encourage you to do so.  I also encourage you to read my post on why Herta's story is so important to me.  

Kyle de Beausset is the founder of Citizen Orange and a co-founder of The Sanctuary.