November 16, 2008 by  
Filed under News

Sunday, November 16. This letter was sent out to family & close friends informing them of the terrible news.

To All Those Interested And Concerned:

I’m not sure what my mom has sent to you or said, but I thought it was best to send an email to keep everyone updated and to say hello. On Wednesday, November 12, my dad went to JFK Airport to meet in front of the US Customs & Border Patrol for his immigration hearing with his lawyer. Several hours after they had arrived, my mom found out, much to her surprise and dismay, that my dad was being handcuffed and taken to jail. Previously, my dad’s case had been considered more of a “slam dunk” and the chance of being detained seemed slim. Sadly, the grimmest of realities has come to our doorstep. After being processed on Varick Street in Manhattan, my dad was taken to Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold, NJ. Right now, he is being held as an entering alien which means he is not eligible for parole and bail can’t be posted to get him out. He is under the jurisdiction of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and without citizenship in this country, he has different rights than a citizen of this country. Until the case comes before a judge, he will remain in prison. My dad seems to think from his experience there thus far that he may be there around a month or so.

Here at our end, the phone has been ringing off the hook from concerned callers, lawyers, and the like. My mom has been fighting things from all ends the best she can and we have scouted out some potentially good connections to hopefully affect change. Thank you for your concern and support, it really does mean a lot. I know my mom is worn down though. So should you have any questions that aren’t pressing feel free to drop an email her way or to email me, rather than call, to get updates and ask anything you want to know.

I spoke with Dad yesterday on the phone and unfortunately, he does not seem to be in good spirits, understandably so. For me, it’s quite a shock because I never hear my dad with a waiver in his voice or a lack of confidence. It shows me how truly worried and saddened he is by the circumstances. Mom went down to see him today with one of Dad’s good mates and were only permitted 20 minutes with him. Unfortunately, I can never go because no visitors under the age of 18 are permitted. Rules at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution are strict and all the same rules pertain to everyone regardless of the severity of their case. Therefore, nothing can be brought into him when people have visited, not even a pencil, a stamp, or a piece of paper. Money has to be wired or sent via money order. Even for things such as underwear, my dad has to buy them from a commissary stand at the facility. Dad said the food is bad and he has already used some of the money to buy snacks from the stand too. As far as mail material goes, he may receive books from amazon.com and Amazon only. I was thinking of finding some used books on there and putting in an order as soon as possible. He doesn’t have much to fill the time and would like reading material. He sleeps in a small cell and the lights are on 24 hours a day. I feel that already, he is wearing down and his spirits are low. I know that everyone has rallied around us and showed great support, but I ask that you write to my dad and keep him company in this time of need. My mom and I will manage as we are, but my dad is the one who needs us.

I’ve tried to ascertain whether or not we can enclose paper, stamps, or other things in the letters, but so far I have had no luck. The website I have found for Monmouth County Correctional Institution does not work and when I called their number, none of the menu options seemed to be the one I was looking for. My mom couldn’t seem to find too much out either. Tomorrow I’m going to send a letter to him and another one that also has blank paper in it for him to use and see what happens. Sometimes I find it hard to be positive about the situation, but everyone is fighting for him and we’re doing the absolute best we can. Thank you, again, for all your support.

Best wishes.

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