Tuesday, November 18.
Dear friends and family,
Thank-you so much for your help and support.
I just felt like our lawyer was not being aggressive enough. While he knows and specializes in Immigration law, I don’t think he is conversant with the criminal side. Thanks to Mike Halper at Scharff Weisberg (Clem’s employer ) I was given the name of one of the 4 best Criminal /Immigration lawyers. Yesterday, Becky Thomas ,who graciously offered to accompany me, and I went down to Wall Street to meet with him. Within the first 2 minutes we knew he was our man….a confident, aggressive “pit bull” of a guy who was a prosecutor for 7 years, worked inside the government, and knows the system from the inside out.
I cut to the chase and asked if he could “jump the queue “. Apparently the NYC term is “push the ticket “!!! And he assured me he could. He said the charge against Clem was absolutely ridiculous. He interpreted the law differently than my previous lawyer and felt Clem ‘s case could be looked at as that of a permanent alien rather than as an arriving alien. Clem was classified as an arriving alien because he was “nabbed” at Kennedy airport upon returning from a business trip to Italy. For those of you who don’t know, in 2002 Clem was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance. This was.8 gram of marijuana, which is approximately one third of one joint. My new attorney says that the deportation law should not apply to an offense of under 30 grams. I, personally am not a smoker, so I can’t really visualize, how much pot that actually is. I know it is never the less illegal and I’m not excusing it, but surely your tax dollars could be better spent on more pressing issues.
In any case, I’ve signed on with the new attorney and just as soon as I can come up with money for his retainer, the wheels will start turning. The next step is bail and hopefully in 1 week or a bit more, Clem can be released. He can then return to work and await his trial date “on the outside “. The lawyer says he will go before one of two immigration judges. One judge is apparently a good guy and the other one is (and I quote ) “ a real bastard who makes my stomach turn. I don’t even like to say his name.” Obviously, we’ll keep our fingers crossed for Judge A as the ruling with aliens is totally up to the discretion of the judge.
This whole experience has been a real eye opener into the system . Supposedly we’re “the land of the free and the home of the brave “ but innocent aliens are considered guilty until proven innocent and are locked up accordingly. The lawyer told Becky
and I of a recent case where an innocent man, who was illegally selling “knock off designer bags “ ( a non deportable offense) was held for 4 months . Let’s hope he really can get Clem “sprung “ in a week.
For those of you who have already sent Clem books, thank-you very much. Others of you who have inquired but have not yet sent them, please hold off. If Clem is released those books will get lost in the system. Most of the prisoners don’t speak English and there is no library there. Clem says one poor inmate is from Jorje or Kazachskaja and since nobody speaks his language he is completely silent and stuck.
Thanks especially to Mike Halper, Martin and Becky Thomas, Keith Howson, Andy Buchanan , Steve Hespelt, and Ricardo Levit. You soccer mates have been great…long live “The Sparta Old Farts Football Team “