My (seemingly) never-ending battle with the Federal government continues, round … I don’t even know. Too many. You already know the story. David v. Goliath, Pee Wee Herman v. Hulk Hogan. Guess which one I am?
Later this month I will lose my request for a rehearing en banc at the 9th Circuit. [As soon as I receive the 9th Circuit decision denying my motions, I'll be sure to post it below this article.] How do I know? I’m not psychic. I’ve just been here too many times before. I can never get the facts of my case read because DHS insists on keeping the substantive issues of my case out of the court’s view by claiming I missed a deadline that I didn’t actually miss (largely because I was never properly notified). Even so, I am filing a new motion with the Board of Immigration Appeals based on change of law (Ledezma-Galicia v. Holder, 9th Cir. March 29, 2010) which basically states that they cannot deport me for a pre-1988 conviction. But it’s a grind. Like always. And I’ve never written one before. Like always.
If any criminal immigration attorneys are listening and are familiar with this particular change-of-law motion and would like to help, shoot me a message or email because I’m in deep guano & way over my head (as usual). I could use a template or sample motion or any kind of qualified legal help I can get. Even a little help is greatly appreciated. Don’t be shy.
Despite my 9-year battle to stay in this country. Despite a protracted legal battle and stacks of motions and petitions (all written by me) filed over the course of the last nine years. Despite that it has taken every fiber of my existence and every dime I have to keep up with it, the government’s argument is…. that I lack due diligence.
WTF? They actually have the balls to say (on the record) that I have offered no explanation as to why I didn’t receive their letter. Like how am I supposed to know what happened to the letter between their office in Virginia and my house in California? What are they talking about? That was over five years ago. They even have an official term for it … now get this… “failure to receive.” Again, WTF? I swear to God. I’m not bullshitting you! Can you imagine?
And that, in a nutshell, is how they are keeping the substantive facts of my case from being brought into evidence. Got it? Plain and simple … These guys, the DHS and in particular, the Office of Immigration Litigation (OIL) are using this strategy to have me permanently removed from the United States, with no chance ever of re-entry, and a twenty year prison sentence should I attempt to do so. And they are very happy to win with this “time tolling argument”, and keep the facts and the applicable laws out of it. Does that sound right to you? But it’s true. How fucked up is that? You can just answer silently in your head.
All I have ever asked is that the substantive facts of my case be heard and ruled on according to the law. To this date, that has never happened. The opposition will disagree, but I can prove it. I have the law on my side, but it means nothing if I can't enforce it. I need to get over this “time tolling” excuse that the government is currently using to subvert my efforts to have the facts of my case heard.
As I stare at the blank white pages, which will become my BIA motion to reopen, I can only look into that white abyss and recall the countless times I have sat at this chair staring at that same ugly, god-damned white abyss. I’m not a lawyer and this is hard. It’s especially hard when it’s your own ass you’re trying to keep out of detention and in this country. I've heard it said "you get as much justice as you can afford". I’ve come to find that’s a pretty good rule of thumb.
Let me be upfront, this Government thrashing has beaten the financial snot out of me. In other words, there’s no more green. But I’m going to keep fighting with or without (so far without) any qualified legal help. Sooo...if you’re a rich lawyer or even a semi-rich lawyer, think of me while you’re sipping Manhattans at the club, and maybe take pause to picture my pitiful ass slaving over a (probably) poorly written, ineffective yet taxingly laborious motion, only to have it fail. And ask yourself, if I gave that guy an hour of my time, would it have hurt me, would it have helped him? Cheers.