LETTER: U.S. government’s apathy presents largest hurdle in fight against man’s deportation
By LOUIE GOHMERT
Lufkin Daily News
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The situation with Rrustem Neza has been both intolerable and frustrating for more than eight months now as we have fought to assist him with our own unfeeling and, thus far, unyielding government. Our own federal laws regarding privacy have prevented me from coming forward with our efforts thus far, but Rrustem’s family has encouraged me to respond and has approved this statement so that we do not say anything inappropriate.
Nonetheless, for me to be aware of the vast failures of the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in their widespread allowance of illegal immigration only to have them remain relentless in the Nezas’ case has only added to the frustration. The Executive Branch through the Department of Homeland Security, CIS, and ICE has authority to take the actions they are taking, but they should not have the right. Through our efforts on Rrustem’s behalf, the best we got from CIS was that they would continue to consider our admonitions and pleas on the family’s behalf and that IF there were to be a deportation, they would certainly let me know ahead of time. Imagine my absolute anger when we had to read about the outrageous attempt to deport Rrustem unsuccessfully, and they now want to sedate him in order to send him to what may well be his death.
As most people know, I am a strong believer in following the laws regarding Immigration. However, we have laws to allow people to remain here based on asylum and the need to protect their lives. Yes, as the CIS keeps pointing out, Rrustem apparently came in on an Italian passport which was not appropriate. However, when people came by subterfuge from Communist Cold War countries, we did not condemn them and send them back. We accepted them in a humanitarian spirit to save their lives. Rrustem was also not aware that the attorney they had hired had listed that he was a citizen in the application for a liquor license for their restaurant, but that is the other issue that CIS, ICE, and Homeland Security keep hurling back at us.
My office and I have and will continue to personally work with Xhemal Neza, Rrustem Neza’s brother, to attempt to stop this travesty of justice. We are told that if we can find an alternative country that will take him, our government will attempt to accommodate that request. However, they have more ability to help find such a country than anyone else and yet they have not been helpful in that effort so far.
When I found out about the effort to get an order for sedation, I immediately sent letters in the nature of Amicus Curiae submissions to U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings who presides over the effort of our Executive Branch to have Mr. Neza sedated while being sent back. I personally approached Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice face to face and have attempted to contact Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff who has had an assistant contacting me instead. So far, those efforts have not been fruitful, but the deportation order needs to be changed.
I have notified them more recently that if Rrustem is returned to Albania to meet his untimely death, as a Congressman I will not stop the hounding of those in our own government until they are out by using the actual names of those bureaucrats complicitous in his murder by their apathy and callousness. This would not be out of revenge, but out of my fervent desire for better people in our United States government. Hopefully, the thought of being held to ridicule indefinitely will give the bureaucrats cause for pause that the possible murder of Mr. Neza, unfortunately, has not.