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Deportation in progress in our town

Deportation in progress in our town

Old Aug 4th 2002, 2:25 pm
  #1  
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Default Deportation in progress in our town

The State
COLUMBIA South Carolina— Hitesh Tolani is a former honors student at Irmo High School here and a rising junior at Wofford College.

He also is an illegal alien, facing sudden deportation to India, a place the 20-year-old has not seen since he was a toddler.

Tolani and his mother, Jaya Tolani, must leave the country by Aug. 25, as immigration officials step up efforts to expel illegal aliens since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

‘‘This is just unbelievable,’’ Hitesh said, dazed by the news he said has kept him from sleeping since Tuesday.

Friends from his college, the foundation that provided his scholarship and members of the Indian community are rallying to keep the mother and son here.

Tolani, who learned of his illegal status only five years ago, lost his last appeal with the Immigration and Naturalization Service this past week.

The process has intensified since Sept. 11 as a means of ‘‘housecleaning troublesome appeals,’’ said Tolani’s attorney, Allen Ladd of Spartanburg. ‘‘This is putting a human face on an absurd and unfortunate policy.’’

He will meet with family members to discuss at least three options, including a request for an extension, filing a petition for review with the 4th U.S. Circuit Appeals Court in Richmond, Va., or asking a member of the S.C. Congressional delegation to enter a private bill seeking special consideration for the Tolani family.

Wesley Denton, spokesman for Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., said Wilson’s office has been talking to the Tolani family.

‘‘We’ve been trying to help him out,’’ Denton said, adding he would not provide more details about Tolani’s case, or whether Wilson had considered filing legislation on his behalf.

Tolani came to the United States as an 18-month-old child of Indian parents, Gulab and Jaya Tolani.

Gulab, Hitesh’s father, died in October 1995, one month before the family was notified he could begin the process for citizenship, and therefore would have become eligible to sponsor his wife and son.

But when Gulab died, Jaya Tulani was left with no way to legalize her status or her son’s status.

Her second son, Ravi, 14, a U.S. citizen because he was born here, is too young to sponsor his brother’s or mother’s citizenship.

After learning of his illegal status in 1997, Hitesh decided to face the INS and request special consideration, even though others advised him to wait.

‘‘I’ve always been told to be honest; to be forthright,’’ said Hitesh, who has assumed the leadership role in his family since his father’s death and the emotional burden of their immigration status.

The INS made its initial ruling this past August, and since then the family has been involved in appeals. Attorneys did not expect a final decision until the fall.

Carol Wilson, Hitesh’s English professor at Wofford, said the Spartanburg college community is deeply concerned.

‘‘We have been terribly upset since we’ve known this has been a possibility primarily because I believe Hitesh is in a difficult circumstance not of his own making and has acted as a citizen who respects the laws of the United States,’’ Wilson said. ‘‘He would have had to deal with it at some point, but he chose not to wait for someone to come to him.’’

To further compound the family’s difficulties, Jaya Tolani was diagnosed with breast cancer the same year her husband died. She is in remission, but her medical expenses have drained any savings the family had.

They do not even have the money it will require to leave the country and return to India, Hitesh said.

The deportation decision means Hitesh and his mother must return to a country where they have no family ties or even a solid grasp of the language. It also means Ravi Tolani, the younger brother, might face being placed in foster care here.

Once deported, Hitesh and his mother would not be eligible to re-enter the country for 10 years. They do not want to keep Ravi from the life his citizenship entitles.

‘‘I don’t think I’ve actually grasped it,’’ Hitesh said. ‘‘I keep on thinking I’m just as American as all my friends. I got up every morning from kindergarten on, saying the Pledge of Allegiance.’’
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Old Aug 4th 2002, 10:20 pm
  #2  
Michael Voight
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Default Re: Deportation in progress in our town

How is this different than the millions of other people that are in the country
illegally that must face deportation if caught? There are MANY people who have had PR
sponsors die. It would not be fair for any "special legislation" that affects only
this family. If you are going to grant immunity for one such family, then grant it
for all. Otherwise, don't grant it.
 
Old Aug 4th 2002, 11:20 pm
  #3  
Girard Bourque
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Default Re: Deportation in progress in our town

The thing that this story points out very well, is that the for the most part, the
only ones getting deported are those that are trying to do the right thing and stay /
get legal.

Jerry
 
Old Aug 5th 2002, 12:20 am
  #4  
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Default Re: Deportation in progress in our town

Girard Bourque wrote:
    >
    > The thing that this story points out very well, is that the for the most part, the
    > only ones getting deported are those that are trying to do the right thing and stay
    > / get legal.
    >

How does one "get legal" in this circumstance? Of course, the ones that hide are not
as likely to come face to face with INS. That doesn't make them any less deserving.
After 9/11, someone wanted to give residency to dependents of dead WTC workers who
were PRs. My point, then and now, is that either do it for ALL people who have a PR
sponsor that dies, or don't do it. The family in this case has been illegally in the
US since 1995 when the sponsor died. They are not unique in having a family member
die. Others in the same situation stay illegally, but there are also those that obey
the law and return to the country they came from.

Actually, I say PR, but I do not know what his INS status was, or the status of the
family members at the time of his death.
 
Old Aug 5th 2002, 1:20 am
  #5  
James Donovan
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Default Re: Deportation in progress in our town

While I normally have no sympathy for illegal aliens being deported, I do think that
the parents are the ones to be blamed for this obvious mess, and the ones who should
pay for it. This is another reason why ALL illegal aliens should be deported,
especially if they bring young children with them, or if they are going to have
babies in the USA. Hitesh would not be in this situation if he was still in India,
and would even have had a chance later on in life to legally immigrate to the USA.

Also, I think hitesh should just cut his losses and return to India. Fighting with
INS will only make matters worse emotionally and legally.

tara <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
    > The State COLUMBIA South Carolina— Hitesh Tolani is a former honors student at Irmo
    > High School here and a rising junior at Wofford College.
    >
    > He also is an illegal alien, facing sudden deportation to India, a place the
    > 20-year-old has not seen since he was a toddler.
    >
    > Tolani and his mother, Jaya Tolani, must leave the country by Aug. 25, as
    > immigration officials step up efforts to expel illegal aliens since the Sept. 11
    > terrorist attacks.
    >
    > ‘‘This is just unbelievable,'' Hitesh said, dazed by the news he said has kept him
    > from sleeping since Tuesday.
    >
    > Friends from his college, the foundation that provided his scholarship and members
    > of the Indian community are rallying to keep the mother and son here.
    >
    > Tolani, who learned of his illegal status only five years ago, lost his last appeal
    > with the Immigration and Naturalization Service this past week.
    >
    > The process has intensified since Sept. 11 as a means of ‘‘housecleaning
    > troublesome appeals,'' said Tolani's attorney, Allen Ladd of Spartanburg. ‘‘This is
    > putting a human face on an absurd and unfortunate policy.''
    >
    > He will meet with family members to discuss at least three options, including a
    > request for an extension, filing a petition for review with the 4th U.S.
    > Circuit Appeals Court in Richmond, Va., or asking a member of the S.C.
    > Congressional delegation to enter a private bill seeking special consideration
    > for the Tolani family.
    >
    > Wesley Denton, spokesman for Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., said Wilson's office has been
    > talking to the Tolani family.
    >
    > ‘‘We've been trying to help him out,'' Denton said, adding he would not provide
    > more details about Tolani's case, or whether Wilson had considered filing
    > legislation on his behalf.
    >
    > Tolani came to the United States as an 18-month-old child of Indian parents, Gulab
    > and Jaya Tolani.
    >
    > Gulab, Hitesh's father, died in October 1995, one month before the family was
    > notified he could begin the process for citizenship, and therefore would have
    > become eligible to sponsor his wife and son.
    >
    > But when Gulab died, Jaya Tulani was left with no way to legalize her status or her
    > son's status.
    >
    > Her second son, Ravi, 14, a U.S. citizen because he was born here, is too young to
    > sponsor his brother's or mother's citizenship.
    >
    > After learning of his illegal status in 1997, Hitesh decided to face the INS and
    > request special consideration, even though others advised him to wait.
    >
    > ‘‘I've always been told to be honest; to be forthright,'' said Hitesh, who has
    > assumed the leadership role in his family since his father's death and the
    > emotional burden of their immigration status.
    >
    > The INS made its initial ruling this past August, and since then the family has
    > been involved in appeals. Attorneys did not expect a final decision until the fall.
    >
    > Carol Wilson, Hitesh's English professor at Wofford, said the Spartanburg college
    > community is deeply concerned.
    >
    > ‘‘We have been terribly upset since we've known this has been a possibility
    > primarily because I believe Hitesh is in a difficult circumstance not of his own
    > making and has acted as a citizen who respects the laws of the United States,''
    > Wilson said. ‘‘He would have had to deal with it at some point, but he chose not to
    > wait for someone to come to him.''
    >
    > To further compound the family's difficulties, Jaya Tolani was diagnosed with
    > breast cancer the same year her husband died. She is in remission, but her medical
    > expenses have drained any savings the family had.
    >
    > They do not even have the money it will require to leave the country and return to
    > India, Hitesh said.
    >
    > The deportation decision means Hitesh and his mother must return to a country where
    > they have no family ties or even a solid grasp of the language. It also means Ravi
    > Tolani, the younger brother, might face being placed in foster care here.
    >
    > Once deported, Hitesh and his mother would not be eligible to re-enter the country
    > for 10 years. They do not want to keep Ravi from the life his citizenship entitles.
    >
    > ‘‘I don't think I've actually grasped it,'' Hitesh said. ‘‘I keep on thinking I'm
    > just as American as all my friends. I got up every morning from kindergarten on,
    > saying the Pledge of Allegiance.''
 
Old Aug 5th 2002, 1:20 am
  #6  
Girard Bourque
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Default Re: Deportation in progress in our town

I understand what you are saying agree to a point. After the WTC there was a lady
that was here with her husband. He worked in the WTC and when she asked INS what is
her standing, they said good-bye. My question here is wasn't she under enough
emotional stress at the time? What about the case they found in the warehouse? how
many of them was deported for being illegal when they were in fact following the
rules but the INS did not play by their own rules. What about the daughter that was
here legally with her mom and step-dad, but because of the slowness of the INS the
AOS did not go through before her 21st and away she went.

I agree that there must be rules, we must follow those rules, but at the same time,
they (INS) must do their part and play by the same rules. They must allow people
that are following the rules and doing their best to be legal to continue while
waiting for them to act. Or change the rules, if it is going to take 2 years to do
the AOS (just an example), then don't allow the step-child here after the 19th
birthday. And if that child was here at 18 and it takes the INS 3 years to approve
then the child stays.

What about this example, you decide to go the K-3/4 route. The spouse and step-child
comes into the country. You apply for AOS, for some reason the parents is approved
prior to the step-child's. The step-child just lost their k-4 status. Legally that
child must now go back. Can this happen, yes. The INS even warns about it in the
instructions. You submit both 130s at the same time, but the child gets returned for
some piece of paper or typo. there is now a good chance that the AOS might now be
approved at the same time.

My point is that the INS seems to be "catching" only the ones that want to do the
right thing. How many "bad guys" are they going to find with all these new rules and
procedures? I just don't think that they thought this all the way through. If in fact
the Dominican Republic has also adopted the procedure of not issuing the visa on the
date that it was approved, that has just created another hardship on the USC. In the
DR, if the USC does not show up for the K-1 or K-3 interview, instant denial. The
sponsor must be there. Now they would have to go back home and then wait for the visa
to turn around and go back to collect their partner.
 
Old Aug 5th 2002, 2:20 am
  #7  
Dj
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Default Re: Deportation in progress in our town

This story (From KOTV Channel 6, Tulsa OK) is an interesting contrast:

http://kotv.com/pages/viewpage.asp?id=33780

DJ

"tara" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
    > The State COLUMBIA South Carolina- Hitesh Tolani is a former honors student at Irmo
    > High School here and a rising junior at Wofford College.
    >
    > He also is an illegal alien, facing sudden deportation to India, a place the
    > 20-year-old has not seen since he was a toddler.
    >
    > Tolani and his mother, Jaya Tolani, must leave the country by Aug. 25, as
    > immigration officials step up efforts to expel illegal aliens since the Sept. 11
    > terrorist attacks.
    >
    > ''This is just unbelievable,'' Hitesh said, dazed by the news he said has kept him
    > from sleeping since Tuesday.
    >
    > Friends from his college, the foundation that provided his scholarship and members
    > of the Indian community are rallying to keep the mother and son here.
    >
    > Tolani, who learned of his illegal status only five years ago, lost his last appeal
    > with the Immigration and Naturalization Service this past week.
    >
    > The process has intensified since Sept. 11 as a means of ''housecleaning
    > troublesome appeals,'' said Tolani's attorney, Allen Ladd of Spartanburg. ''This is
    > putting a human face on an absurd and unfortunate policy.''
    >
    > He will meet with family members to discuss at least three options, including a
    > request for an extension, filing a petition for review with the 4th U.S.
    > Circuit Appeals Court in Richmond, Va., or asking a member of the S.C.
    > Congressional delegation to enter a private bill seeking special consideration
    > for the Tolani family.
    >
    > Wesley Denton, spokesman for Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., said Wilson's office has been
    > talking to the Tolani family.
    >
    > ''We've been trying to help him out,'' Denton said, adding he would not provide
    > more details about Tolani's case, or whether Wilson had considered filing
    > legislation on his behalf.
    >
    > Tolani came to the United States as an 18-month-old child of Indian parents, Gulab
    > and Jaya Tolani.
    >
    > Gulab, Hitesh's father, died in October 1995, one month before the family was
    > notified he could begin the process for citizenship, and therefore would have
    > become eligible to sponsor his wife and son.
    >
    > But when Gulab died, Jaya Tulani was left with no way to legalize her status or her
    > son's status.
    >
    > Her second son, Ravi, 14, a U.S. citizen because he was born here, is too young to
    > sponsor his brother's or mother's citizenship.
    >
    > After learning of his illegal status in 1997, Hitesh decided to face the INS and
    > request special consideration, even though others advised him to wait.
    >
    > ''I've always been told to be honest; to be forthright,'' said Hitesh, who has
    > assumed the leadership role in his family since his father's death and the
    > emotional burden of their immigration status.
    >
    > The INS made its initial ruling this past August, and since then the family has
    > been involved in appeals. Attorneys did not expect a final decision until the fall.
    >
    > Carol Wilson, Hitesh's English professor at Wofford, said the Spartanburg college
    > community is deeply concerned.
    >
    > ''We have been terribly upset since we've known this has been a possibility
    > primarily because I believe Hitesh is in a difficult circumstance not of his own
    > making and has acted as a citizen who respects the laws of the United States,''
    > Wilson said. ''He would have had to deal with it at some point, but he chose not to
    > wait for someone to come to him.''
    >
    > To further compound the family's difficulties, Jaya Tolani was diagnosed with
    > breast cancer the same year her husband died. She is in remission, but her medical
    > expenses have drained any savings the family had.
    >
    > They do not even have the money it will require to leave the country and return to
    > India, Hitesh said.
    >
    > The deportation decision means Hitesh and his mother must return to a country where
    > they have no family ties or even a solid grasp of the language. It also means Ravi
    > Tolani, the younger brother, might face being placed in foster care here.
    >
    > Once deported, Hitesh and his mother would not be eligible to re-enter the country
    > for 10 years. They do not want to keep Ravi from the life his citizenship entitles.
    >
    > ''I don't think I've actually grasped it,'' Hitesh said. ''I keep on thinking I'm
    > just as American as all my friends. I got up every morning from kindergarten on,
    > saying the Pledge of Allegiance.''
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > tara
    >
    > Posted via http://britishexpats.com
 
Old Aug 5th 2002, 1:20 pm
  #8  
Betastar
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Default Re: Deportation in progress in our town

On 4 Aug 2002 18:11:56 -0700, [email protected] (James Donovan) wrote:

    >Also, I think hitesh should just cut his losses and return to India.

I think you should move to Uganda.

How does that make you feel? Do you panic at the thought because you've never
lived there before, don't know anyone there, don't speak the language, don't know
the customs?

That's the situation Hitesh was placed in by his parents.

It's not as easy as "cutting his losses" - he's likely a 20-year-old-kid trying to
make things right, and instead will be sent at the age to 20 to a country he doesn't
know, has never been to, doesn't speak the language, has no ties to etc. and told he
has to live there now.

For myself, I've got the deepest sympathy for the guy. Let him stay, but still deport
the mother for doing this to the family.

(Especially for keeping the whole thing secret!)

Betastar
 
Old Aug 5th 2002, 2:48 pm
  #9  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 112
ralph is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Deportation in progress in our town

This case is uniquely different and special to the poster because the family being deported is also another Indian. - One of her own kind.


Ralph

Originally posted by Michael Voight
How is this different than the millions of other people that are in the country illegally that must face deportation if caught? There are MANY people who have had PR sponsors die. It would not be fair for any "special legislation" that affects only this family. If you are going to grant immunity for one such family, then grant it
for all. Otherwise, don't grant it.
ralph is offline  
Old Aug 5th 2002, 4:20 pm
  #10  
Texandie
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Default Re: Deportation in progress in our town

I agree with you 100%, Betastar....I think the government is VERY wrong on this one.
He must be scared to death, as must be his younger brother.

Yes, the government SHOULD "bend the rules" for people in situations such as this.

Andria

On Mon, 05 Aug 2002 12:39:54 GMT, Betastar <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On 4 Aug 2002 18:11:56 -0700, [email protected] (James Donovan) wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Also, I think hitesh should just cut his losses and return to India.
    >
    >I think you should move to Uganda.
    >
    >How does that make you feel? Do you panic at the thought because you've never
    >lived there before, don't know anyone there, don't speak the language, don't know
    >the customs?
    >
    >That's the situation Hitesh was placed in by his parents.
    >
    >It's not as easy as "cutting his losses" - he's likely a 20-year-old-kid trying to
    >make things right, and instead will be sent at the age to 20 to a country he doesn't
    >know, has never been to, doesn't speak the language, has no ties to etc. and told he
    >has to live there now.
    >
    >For myself, I've got the deepest sympathy for the guy. Let him stay, but still
    >deport the mother for doing this to the family.
    >
    >(Especially for keeping the whole thing secret!)
    >
    >Betastar
 
Old Aug 5th 2002, 6:20 pm
  #11  
Mrtravel
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Default Re: Deportation in progress in our town

TexAndie wrote:
    >
    > I agree with you 100%, Betastar....I think the government is VERY wrong on this
    > one. He must be scared to death, as must be his younger brother.
    >
    > Yes, the government SHOULD "bend the rules" for people in situations such as this.

No.. They should treat ALL US living dependents of deceased green card holders the
same way. At this point, I don't even know if he was a green card holder.

What about H1B holders? Should the death of the H1B holder permit the rest of the
family to become permanent residents. I also believe there are some errors with the
news story. One of which is the information saying the father died "one month the
family was notified he could begin the process for citizenship".. What does that
mean? Did INS send him a letter a month later indicating he was now eligible to
apply? INS doesn't do that. I can't even tell from the story if the father was a PR
or was in some kind of visa status.
 
Old Aug 7th 2002, 12:24 pm
  #12  
Joe
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Default Re: Deportation in progress in our town

I think every 14 years, Congress had provided amensity to all the illegal
aliens.....it happened in 1972 and 1986 (the later inacted by Regan in mid 90s). So I
am thinking the father got his PR via the 1986 amensity clause (if you can prove you
have resided in the US continously since or before November 1986, you can apply for a
permanent resident visa). Of course, once you obtain your PR visa, another 5 years of
continous residence will get you your US citizenship.


mrtravel <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
    > TexAndie wrote:
    > >

    > I can't even tell from the story if the father was a PR or was in some kind of
    > visa status.
 
Old Aug 7th 2002, 2:02 pm
  #13  
George Charpied
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Default Deportation in progress in our town

This is a multi-part message in MIME format. --------------923C0D72B5A03F140892E7FB
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

Tara,

It is shocking what ill we do to one another because of our politics. In this
case, the mother was unable or unwilling to pursue the proper avenue open to
her after her husbands death. Her politics set the family on its present
course. Her college student son, whose life is now being uprooted, and her
14 year old citizen son, who may go to a foster home as a consequence, have
their lives unalterably shaken.

I don't agree that deporting all illegal aliens will solve any problems the
INS is having. Or, for that matter, will it solve any problems the US is
having with its global neighbors. On simple humanitarian grounds, common
sense dictates a better solution than what the news story posted informs us.
It is necessary to, first, realize media is somebody's propaganda. Second, I
contend, that holding children responsible for the sins of the parents
fosters endless cycles of retribution and personal horror we find daily in
our media. I seriously doubt Tolani, or any one in his family, would want to
return to the US in 10 years, or 100 years, after what may be shabby
treatment reported in the news story. But I don't know? The desire for
advancement is large and, as the past recedes, so do the fires of resentment.

The US is an attractive country for immigrants. But so is Italy, France,
Holland, England, Canada, and the small kingdom of Fresno, California. People
move around because of a desire for advancement. One need only read a weeks
worth of postings in this 'ALT' site to gather that idea. Americans do this,
and, in fact, have been doing it since the country's inception. We change
jobs, homes, cities, states and countires with facility. Maybe what is
needed is an 'EU' of immigration where the expectation is that one comes with
cash in their pocket, the promise of support by family or sponsor and a
horizon on their stay, if unsuccessful. Make it entrepreneurial?

What I want in immigrants is not simply those who make it here legally. But
motivated, productive and honest people. Afterall, isn't the fear of
unrestrained immigration that they will become a burden on the state.
People like Hitesh Tolani are certainly not. People like immigrants of the
late 1800s, who filled schools and jobs, and stocked research laboratories,
and added intellectual and manufacturing might that gave the US its present
ersatz imperial status, were certainly not. A country with compassion ought
to understand the human condition. Why is this generation of imigrant sons
and daughters so uncomprehending? For me, a lack of understanding leads to
injustice. A country without justice can always expect 911s. In the main,
I believe, we are heading in the wrong direction in our public policy. What
we are seeing in the world as a whole, and the US specifically, is a cycle
of horrible events, legislative repression, horror, repression, ad nauseum.
It is an unnerving precedent. It is too easy, dangerous and intellectually
bankrupt to divide the world into us and them. Imperial Britain did that
and now aboriginal Tasmanians are extinct. We have, already, a world of
haves and have nots. Isn't that sufficient to understand why people want to
come here?

George

tara wrote:
    > The State COLUMBIA South Carolina— Hitesh Tolani is a former honors student at Irmo
    > High School here and a rising junior at Wofford College.
    > He also is an illegal alien, facing sudden deportation to India, a place the
    > 20-year-old has not seen since he was a toddler.
    > Tolani and his mother, Jaya Tolani, must leave the country by Aug. 25, as
    > immigration officials step up efforts to expel illegal aliens since the Sept. 11
    > terrorist attacks.
    > ‘‘This is just unbelievable,’’ Hitesh said, dazed by the news he said has kept him
    > from sleeping since Tuesday.
    > Friends from his college, the foundation that provided his scholarship and members
    > of the Indian community are rallying to keep the mother and son here.
    > Tolani, who learned of his illegal status only five years ago, lost his last appeal
    > with the Immigration and Naturalization Service this past week.
    > The process has intensified since Sept. 11 as a means of ‘‘housecleaning
    > troublesome appeals,’’ said Tolani’s attorney, Allen Ladd of Spartanburg. ‘‘This is
    > putting a human face on an absurd and unfortunate policy.’’
    > He will meet with family members to discuss at least three options, including a
    > request for an extension, filing a petition for review with the 4th U.S.
    > Circuit Appeals Court in Richmond, Va., or asking a member of the S.C.
    > Congressional delegation to enter a private bill seeking special consideration
    > for the Tolani family.
    > Wesley Denton, spokesman for Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., said Wilson’s office has been
    > talking to the Tolani family.
    > ‘‘We’ve been trying to help him out,’’ Denton said, adding he would not provide
    > more details about Tolani’s case, or whether Wilson had considered filing
    > legislation on his behalf.
    > Tolani came to the United States as an 18-month-old child of Indian parents, Gulab
    > and Jaya Tolani.
    > Gulab, Hitesh’s father, died in October 1995, one month before the family was
    > notified he could begin the process for citizenship, and therefore would have
    > become eligible to sponsor his wife and son.
    > But when Gulab died, Jaya Tulani was left with no way to legalize her status or her
    > son’s status.
    > Her second son, Ravi, 14, a U.S. citizen because he was born here, is too young to
    > sponsor his brother’s or mother’s citizenship.
    > After learning of his illegal status in 1997, Hitesh decided to face the INS and
    > request special consideration, even though others advised him to wait.
    > ‘‘I’ve always been told to be honest; to be forthright,’’ said Hitesh, who has
    > assumed the leadership role in his family since his father’s death and the
    > emotional burden of their immigration status.
    > The INS made its initial ruling this past August, and since then the family has
    > been involved in appeals. Attorneys did not expect a final decision until the fall.
    > Carol Wilson, Hitesh’s English professor at Wofford, said the Spartanburg college
    > community is deeply concerned.
    > ‘‘We have been terribly upset since we’ve known this has been a possibility
    > primarily because I believe Hitesh is in a difficult circumstance not of his own
    > making and has acted as a citizen who respects the laws of the United States,’’
    > Wilson said. ‘‘He would have had to deal with it at some point, but he chose not to
    > wait for someone to come to him.’’
    > To further compound the family’s difficulties, Jaya Tolani was diagnosed with
    > breast cancer the same year her husband died. She is in remission, but her medical
    > expenses have drained any savings the family had.
    > They do not even have the money it will require to leave the country and return to
    > India, Hitesh said.
    > The deportation decision means Hitesh and his mother must return to a country where
    > they have no family ties or even a solid grasp of the language. It also means Ravi
    > Tolani, the younger brother, might face being placed in foster care here.
    > Once deported, Hitesh and his mother would not be eligible to re-enter the country
    > for 10 years. They do not want to keep Ravi from the life his citizenship entitles.
    > ‘‘I don’t think I’ve actually grasped it,’’ Hitesh said. ‘‘I keep on thinking I’m
    > just as American as all my friends. I got up every morning from kindergarten on,
    > saying the Pledge of Allegiance.’’
    > --
    > tara
    > Posted via http://britishexpats.com
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