ICE Detaining Ukrainian Woman Willing and Paying to Leave the United States

This one should outrage every American taxpayer.

She served jail time for a conspiracy to commit marriage fraud. She had a detainer placed on her by ICE, so after she was done serving this time, ICE came to the jail and took her to Fairfax, VA to fill out paper-work on September 18, 2008.  She insisted that she wanted to leave as soon as possible and ICE happily agreed to expedite her paperwork to make sure she would be home by her birthday on November 15. They released her with an ankle monitoring bracelet and all was well. Or so they thought …

Her husband reports:

Almost immediately (the next Monday), we hand-delivered my wife’s passport to ICE, as they told us the lack of this document is the only thing that could prevent her from leaving quickly. And then we waited.  After a couple weeks we became a little worried that we’re still here, and so I started calling ICE.  Every day, I called and left messages and even started begging for someone to please do something, as we want to leave.  And we did want to leave.  I had quit my job, and we were coasting on whatever money I saved up for our new life.  The longer we wait, the less money we had. But wait we did.  And then we waited some more.

Why all the waiting? Oops, looks like ICE changed its mind and wanted her back in jail. Why? Well, she certainly was not a flight risk anywhere but back to Europe. They came to get her and put her in detention, not that they knew what they were doing.

None of the ICE people that came to my house really knew what was going on, they didn’t know why they were taking her, nor did they really know who she or me were but they knew they were there to take her.  We knew that she was finally flying to Europe, with me right behind her.

Next day she called me up from River Road jail.  She said they told her nothing.  The day after that she calls me again.  They told her nothing.  Same thing the next day, and the day following.  But eventually, ICE came and took her again to Hampton Roads Regional Jail.  Again, they told her nothing.  Next day, nothing, and eventually the next week: nothing.  Through this whole time, I was calling ICE every day and the only information I could get was “we’re getting her flight together”.  When I asked why they took her to jail, I was calmly explained to that it doesn’t really matter, because she is supposed to be in jail anyway.

Interesting evasion of the questions. Why release her into his custody when she is supposed to be in jail? So her husband buys and delivers an actual airline ticket on December 1, 2008 to the Fairfax, Virginia office and the real truth comes out.

The flight was for Nataliya Chorna, on Dec 18.  I also asked to speak to her case officer.  He wasn’t there, but “he’ll call you”.  They also took the ticket and said “it should be fine”.

Two silent days went by and so I drove to the ICE office again, and asked them what’s going on.  They checked the computers, and told me that on Dec.1, they sent the application for my wife’s travel documents to her jail.  “Why does she need travel documents?  You have her passport…”

“It says here it was misplaced.”

Misplaced seems to be an euphemism for lost when it comes to ICE, as the husband later realized. Still, he worked hard and got the Ukrainian consulate to provide travel documents granted that ICE sent in the application. What happened next?

The ICE officer could not deliver them on time and went on vacation. Really? On vacation at taxpayer’s expense while leaving someone in jail again, to taxpayer’s expense?

But wait, ICE delivered right on time for her to make the Dec 18 flight!! Finally, things were looking good for the couple, they could not wait to get out of the United States. But oh wait, there was something everyone overlooked, especially ICE:

ICE called me up to confirm that she will fly.  I came back to the ICE office, they confirmed that she will fly.  A few days later I called, they confirmed that she will fly. Sure enough on the day of her flight, instead of a call from the airport, the ICE office, or even Ukraine I got a call “from Hampton Roads Regional Jail”.  She was still there.

Again, big blur after that, but the jist of it is that I can’t buy her a ticket.  She doesn’t have “voluntary departure”.  But, she will fly between Christmas and New Year’s.  They can’t tell me exactly when.

Alright, so the couple could NOT pay for their own flight home. Our taxpayer’s money would instead be used to get her a ticket and keep her in jail for a few more days, weeks, months?

I am calling a New Year’s bet that ICE doesn’t let her fly by Jan 1, 2009. I hope I lose for the sake of this couple.

Over the past year, we’ve heard about the unreasonable border laptop searches, making criminals out of jet skiers that just happen to land in the United States through error, the documenting of ‘illegal immigrants’ on their way out of the United States, the illegal entries and raids, the erroneous detention of legal permanent residents and U.S. citizens, the use of sedatives and drugs to curtail deportees, Homeland Gitmo and the immigrant detention goldmine … the list is seemingly endless.

Where do we draw the line in our attempt to ‘police the borders’ and ‘secure the United States?’

Next: More details, including actual names of ICE officers and numbers.

Here is the DHS ‘leadership’ blog. I wonder why they don’t blog about their reckless disregard for our taxpayer money, human rights, and the LAW of the land. Here is your new badge –

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