It is easy for those born here to forget what a privilege it is to live in this country. But the story that ran in this paper last week serves as a reminder that for many throughout the world, America remains the land of opportunity. It is also a sad reminder of the snares and pitfalls that lie in wait for even the most earnest newcomer.
The Lees, an immigrant family from South Korea, thought they had done everything right in their quest to become permanent residents and eventually American citizens. They paid $16,000 to a “broker” to help them navigate the bureaucracy at Immigration Services.
The expensive broker hired by the Lee family apparently failed to file the essential paperwork. Now half the family is facing deportation. From what we know about this family, they deserve special consideration.
The father, who obtained a green card separately, is a manager at a food plant in Rockland County.
The couple’s youngest son, Jason, 5, was born in the States and cannot be deported.
The family moved here to seek medical treatment for their 15-year-old daughter, who suffers from a form of epilepsy. Her condition makes air travel impossible.
The oldest daughter, Joanne Lee, is an honors student at Townsend Harris High School. Deportation would divide the family on two sides of the globe.
We hope Immigration and Customs Enforcement will deal fairly with this family. If the “broker” they hired misled them, ICE should go after the broker, not the family.
There is no shortage of illegal immigrants in the city who commit crimes. Until ICE has deported all the thugs, gang members and drug dealers who came into this country illegally, it should hold off on taking action against families like the Lees.
©2009 Community News Group
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