Evan Smith, Stanton Stepfather of an Army Soldier, Slated to be Deported Anyway

smith_family.jpg
Courtesy of Francisca Smith
Smith family photo
Evan Smith returned to his Stanton home last week after an overnight shift at the DoubleTree hotel. Rather than catch some sleep, the undocumented immigrant from Belize got taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) despite having a U.S. soldier stepson. Agents arrived earlier on the morning of April 30, startling sleeping family members with a rude awakening.

"They came knocking on the door," Francisca Smith, Evan's wife, says. "We were all asleep." Her daughter-in-law answered to agents asking for the man of the house--only he wasn't there.

A quick check of the bedroom showed that Evan still hadn't returned from work. Francisca eventually spoke with the agents claiming they requested a name other than that of her husband's.

The agents left the residency stating that they'd set up a time for a check-in call without giving much explanation why. Francisca readied her children for school. As she backed out of the driveway around 7:30 a.m., her husband returned home. "I pulled all the way out of the garage, so he could get in," she says. Agents remained on-scene. "I just saw them walking towards him."

The moment didn't leave her panicked. Francisca recalls seeing a vehicle marked as Sheriff's Department, not ICE, and to her knowledge, they were looking for someone other than her husband.

She left to take her children to school. Two hours later, Francisca found out la migra detained her husband at the Santa Ana ICE field office before being transferred to San Bernardino County's Adelanto Detention Center, a facility run by The Geo Group, a controversial and lawsuit-ridden private for-profit firm.

The separation of Evan Smith from his family might otherwise be cloaked in darkness, but a network of activists came together to challenge his deportation proceedings. The grassroots group RAIZ learned of the ordeal after OCCORD Citizen Program Coordinator Luis Vega put Francisca in touch with them.

Activists quickly posted a petition on the Immigrant Youth Coalition's website calling for Evan's immediate release.

They note that la migra previously deported Evan back to Belize after imprisonment for a theft conviction. He reentered the United States years later to reunite with his family, which includes three U.S.-born children. "Ever since, he's been working full-time," says Alexis Nava Teodoro, RAIZ's deportation defense coordinator. "He's the main provider." Activists also point to his stepson, Sgt. Henry Montalvo, is an active duty soldier stationed at the Guantanamo Bay army base. They argue that Smith qualifies for relief under the November 2013 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) 'Parole in Place' policy memo.

"Mr. Smith was previously deported in 2004, based on his criminal record showing multiple felony convictions," spokeswoman Lori K. Haley countered. "He was arrested April 30 by ICE officers and his previous deportation order will be reinstated. He will remain in custody pending his removal from the United States." According to ICE, Smith's felony convictions include grand theft and forgery, but the agency passed on questions about 'Parole in Place' relief, punting it to USCIS instead.

Spokespersons from USCIS don't comment on case-specific questions, but the relief in question is outlined in the memo. "Absent a criminal conviction or other serious adverse factors, parole in place would generally be an appropriate exercise of discretion." The language doesn't signal an automatic disqualification for those with criminal records as the policy is implemented in a case-by-case manner.

In the meantime, Teodoro recently spoke with Sgt. Montalvo by phone. "He feels really sad and frustrated that he's in the armed forces of this country while his father faces deportation," the activist says. "Because he's in the military, not just Evan, but Francisca, could qualify for Parole in Place. It's more complicated with Evan because of the non-violent offense, but it doesn't make it impossible."

Since immigration authorities transferred Evan to Adelanto, Francisca hasn't been allowed to see him. She describes her husband as a loving, devoted father who graduated from the International School of Ministry with a diploma of Biblical Studies after reentering and reuniting with his family.

Francisca will be joined by two other local women with loved ones detained at Adelanto for a press conference organized by RAIZ outside the Santa Ana ICE field office at 10 a.m. In addition to Smith, they will call for the release of Samuel Sixtos-Gomez and Jose Francisco Gonzalez Garcia in demanding family reunification. See you there!

Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @dpalabraz

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30 comments
seriously
seriously

where do they deport people who were born in a country  that is at War?by the way i'm totally new at this .

meheecan-cris-doner
meheecan-cris-doner

i wonder how the conversation goes between a native american and a white person talking about illegal immigration in amerikkka.

BBAIN
BBAIN

I'm waiting for you guys at the Weekly to publish a story about an honest, hard-working illegal immigrant who has never been convicted of a crime (other than being in America illegally), who is facing deportation.  Still waiting...

Is there is such a shortage of these types of deportations that you guys have to repeatedly publish nonsense about criminals being deported?

And I'm talking about people living in CA, not AZ or TX.  We all know California is a sanctuary state, so you have to do something pretty bad to get deported around here!

gottaknow247
gottaknow247

Hey DoubleTree Hotel, do I need to email you this story?  Aren't you concerned that a convicted thief is employed by your organization?  No? Didn't think so

sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

BTW,


the trickery doesnt work, lefty


finding the human side to a story and trying to pass it off as the norm might make you a hero with the challenged crowd


but no so much with us truth hounds

armandocdll81
armandocdll81

It's always a pleasure to see blithe law-breakers lose their smugness when the forces of justice ensnare them. Politicians, Wall Street crooks, environmental polluters, child porn traffickers, illegal aliens - all of them are law-breakers and all of them need to be held accountable for their actions. 

meheecan-cris-doner
meheecan-cris-doner

pinches pendejas or pendejos for opening the door for the pigs. anyways, if the guy turned his life around, why not let him stay. however, they flaunt the fact that their son is in the military, if anything i would be ashamed that my relative is a apart of the imperialist movement.

donwtownbrown
donwtownbrown

Multiple felony convictions?  How did that get dropped from the headline?

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

I'm all for creating a path for honest illegal immigrants but "multiple felony convictions" kind of ruins this one for me.  Forgery and theft are serious issues.

earl31
earl31

Interesting. The article comments at 2004 he was deported once already, it appears he came back into the country again illegally,now the concern why the system is arresting him and deporting him again a second time...... if I commit a crime I go to jail, this individual is doing the same thing is already been deported once he needs to be sent home again permanently...... that's the rules welcome to America

gabrielsanroman
gabrielsanroman topcommenter

@BBAIN You must have missed our trio of articles on Gurmukh Singh, pendejo!

meheecan-cris-doner
meheecan-cris-doner

hahaha! wall street? law breakers? they faced that thing called justice? ha!

armandocdll81
armandocdll81

@meheecan-cris-doner  After they are all deported they will be liberated from the tyranny of America and can frolic in the verdant prosperity of their home country. 

meheecan-cris-doner
meheecan-cris-doner

hey pendejo, just because he got convicted doesn't necessarily mean that he committed the crime. some people plea guilty because just like healthcare in corporate amerikkka the legal system is a pain in the ass and can be expensive.

rozier.karen
rozier.karen

@whateveryousay Clearly you are unfamiliar with JUSTICE FOR SALE/ PRISON FOR PROFIT. It's quite the scam they have in Los Angeles. They pick up undocumented workers who are committing no crimes. After raping the women, they threaten the men with jail unless the men agree to plead guilty to an infraction. 

If the guy pleads guilty to the infraction, the court gives him very stiff fines that he must pay or work off as county day labor.

If the guys pleads not guilty, they incarcerate him and add him to the ICE system.

Most guys plead guilty and pay the fine rather than be deported. When someone bucks the system and says, "I didn't do anything wrong", that person gets fucked by the system and is charged with every crime they can fabricate.

Google Carmen Trutanich and how his office was routinely stealing wealth from citizens and businesses threatening them with criminal prosecutions if they didn't agree to pay civil fines. They brought in Mike Feuer from Harvard Law supposedly to clean up the mess, but he quickly realized what a CASH COW he has on his hands. He quickly realized that California doesn't have an Elizabeth Warren keeping tabs on people and that the citizens don't mind stealing. The Los Angeles City Prosecutor's Office has continued its offensive practice or prosecuting for profit.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@whateveryousay  ... they're only "serious" to myopic bigots like you.


The "forgery and ID fraud" is incidental to obtaining the documents they need to WORK at an honest job to provide for themselves and their families. 







DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@earl31  ... so you'd rather pay for his incarceration, than let him work and provide for himself and his family?



armandocdll81
armandocdll81

@meheecan-cris-doner  I wrote that criminals "need to be held accountable for their actions" - not that they are. Take child sex predators - just because we can't possible catch them all doesn't mean we ought to throw our hands up in the air and say, "Sorry kids - you're on your own!" That's not how society operates. 

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @whateveryousay Bigot? That's a mighty strong word for someone to use without knowing a thing about my nationality.  You make an assumption that is what his convictions relate to.  The article does not state from what the charges came from.  Maybe it was check fraud and burglary.  

If it was ID fraud it is not just "incidental", especially if it is your identity that was taken.  

Just try and collect social security when someone else is already collecting it for you.

Jerk.

sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @earl31  


paying for someones incarceration is called being responsible 


b/c IF YOU WERE CORRECT,, then no one should be in jail


fortunately, you are not correct

meheecan-cris-doner
meheecan-cris-doner

put your cape on captain justice, ha! you might want to start with border patrol officers who channel immigrants to secluded areas where persons die from heat exposure or from freezing temperatures. fuck justice! that concept is the states and one that i don't share.

sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

@whateveryousay @DonkeyHotay  


schooled!!!


Donkey


instead of playing politics , look for the truth and start to support it

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