Sunday, August 16, 2009

URGENT: Keep RoxRoy and Herta Where They Belong--in the U.S.

This week the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to spend our tax money deporting longtime New York resident RoxRoy Salmon and 19-year-old Michigan student Herta Llusho.

The reason is legislation that the politicians pushed through Congress in 1996 to convince their constituents that they were "tough on crime and illegal immigration."

Salmon's problem with the immigration code comes from drug charges brought against him in 1979 and 1989. Although he maintained his innocence, his legal representatives advised him to cop the pleas, a common practice among young men of color in New York City; he never served a day in prison. Llusho was brought to the United States by her family when she was 11; the family has spent the past seven years trying unsuccessfully to get legal status for her. Before 1996, immigration judges could exercise discretion in cases like these; now they have no choice but to order deportation.

It is outrageous for people to be exiled from their homes, families and communities because of Kafkaesque provisions in the immigration laws. It is doubly outrageous with people like these. RoxRoy Salmon is a mainstay of his community in Brooklyn, while Herta Llusho is an excellent student working hard to become an electrical engineer. They are just the sort of people we want to have here with us in the United States. Their communities understand this and have shown it with an outpouring of support.

Salmon and Llusho have no more legal options through the courts, but the immigration authorities can still defer their deportations and give Congress members time to act, either through private legislation or, better, by finally reforming our whole surreal immigration system. President Obama came into office promising change. So far, his administration has followed George Bush's deportation policies, even though he admits we need a better system. Ideally, the administration should declare a moratorium on deportations until new laws are passed, but at the very least, the authorities need to delay the removal of people like Salmon and Llusho.

Below are action suggestions from Salmon and Llusho's supporters. We urge you to join us in working to keep them where they belong--at home in Brooklyn and at school in Detroit.

Jane Guskin
David L. Wilson


RoxRoy Salmon is a Brooklyn father and community activist resisting deportation so that he can remain with his US citizen family. RoxRoy has been ordered to report for deportation this Tuesday morning, August 18, 2009. For the past week his family, defense team, and lawyer have been working with people of influence to delay or halt this process. Although several options are still open, we are very worried because as of today we still have no guarantee that RoxRoy will be safe when he reports.

We urgently need your help to ensure that he is neither deported nor detained on Tuesday!

Take action for RoxRoy:

(1) Participate in a one-day national fast:
For four months, RoxRoy's supporters held a rolling fast as he fought to avoid an order of deportation. Now it is time to join together for one large unison fast. Please join us from sunup to sundown on Monday for this powerful expression of solidarity. You can report your fasting on RoxRoy's blog, , and we encourage you to testify to your motives for joining this action, and your commitment and love for Roxroy and his family.

(2) Draft an emergency fax for Monday:
If we hear nothing by early afternoon on Monday, we will send urgent alert faxes to people in government that have the power to keep RoxRoy and his family together. Please draft a letter based on the template at and check at 2 PM on Monday to see whether the faxes are needed, and where they should be sent.

(3) Spread the word:
Join Roxroy's facebook page, and tell others to do so as well. This will demonstrate visible community support in this critical hour. You can reach it here: . Once you join, you can also invite your friends to join as well.

Read more about RoxRoy:

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Herta Llusho is a 19-year-old Michigan resident who is studying electrical engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy. She writes: "I was born in Albania and was brought to the United States when I was 11 years old. With the help and support of my family, I have struggled through more than seven years of legal proceedings to find a way to stay in this country legally. Despite our best efforts, on August 19, I will be removed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from the only place I know as my home. I will be sent back to a country that has become a foreign place to me. I don't even speak Albanian well anymore. My only hope of staying here is for as many people as possible to ask DHS to delay my deportation until the DREAM Act is passed."

Take Action for Herta:

1) Join the facebook group for immediate updates:

2) Sign petition, which will be hand-delivered to targets:

3) Use SEIU Click to Call Action Tool to call DHS:

4) Call Senator Carl Levin at (202) 224-6221.
Urge him to a) introduce private bill for Herta, and b) write letter to DHS asking them to stop Herta's deportation.

5) Call Senator Stabenow at (202) 224-4822.
Urge her to a) introduce private bill for Herta, and b) write letter to DHS asking them to stop Herta's deportation.

6) Call Representative Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick at (202) 225-2261.
Urge her to a) introduce private bill for Herta, and b) write letter to DHS asking them to stop Herta's deportation.

Read more about Herta and watch her video:

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