Another Border Jumpers “Cry Me A River” Piss Poor Story!

by

Beth Macy | 981-3435

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The marigolds, planted in homage of his native  Mexico and clumped wildly next to the front porch of their southeast  Roanoke home, made her cry. So did the tomatoes she discovered he’d  planted — three plump, red surprises — directly behind the flowers.

Just about everything made April Urrea cry. It had  been almost a month since her husband, Leo, was deported to rural  Mexico. He hadn’t set foot in his home country in two decades, ever  since he scrambled unlawfully across the border into Texas at the age of  14, with the help of a paid smuggler, or coyote.

The return journey to Mexico on Sept. 24, in  handcuffs and shackles, had been equally arduous. After Homeland  Security officials dropped him off in the border town of Matamoros, Leo  said it took him five days to find his way back to his family’s small  cattle farm in La Puchimita, in southwestern Guerrero, a semilawless  state rife with drug cartels and citizen militias.

It took him four nights of sleeping in bus stations  and endless hours of trying to conceal his Americanized accent — so  people wouldn’t prey on him, thinking he had loads of cash to spare.

“People I don’t even recognize are asking me for  money,” he said by phone last week. “But I am most afraid for April,”  his 41-year-old disabled American wife. She’s being treated for a host  of ailments, including post-traumatic stress disorder related to his  incarceration and deportation, according to her doctor.

Leo’s been her sole support since they met in 1999  after IHOP transferred him from Brownsville, Texas, to Roanoke, where he  worked for a decade as the head cook — and where the current general  manager said she wants desperately to hire him back.

The Urreas made several serious legal mistakes in  their quest to change his immigration status. In 12 years, they’ve spent  about $5,000 filing petitions and waivers, but missed deadlines and  failed to heed judicial orders, including a critical voluntary  deportation order in 2007 — which ultimately resulted in his forced  deportation last month. April thought she’d successfully appealed the  2007 order, but the couple said they couldn’t afford the attorney fees  to follow up.

“It was lack of education,” said her Arlington-based  pro bono lawyer, Orlando Gamarra, who is now arguing the case to get  Leo permanent residency. “She wasted money filing many things but  usually without the advice of counsel.” Leo has a sixth-grade education  from Mexico, and April dropped out of Roanoke’s old School for Pregnant  Teens in the early ’90s, though she eventually earned her GED.

To prove Leo’s absence creates an “extreme hardship”  for his American-citizen wife should be possible, given that she now  has the medical and financial documentation in spades, Gamarra said.

But whether April and the neighbors who have come to  rely on the slight 35-year-old they call “Leo the Lion” can stand  having him gone for the minimum six months the legal process takes is  another question entirely.

*     *     *

They met in 1999 through April’s sister, Karen  Barnette, who was working as a waitress at the IHOP where Leo worked.  “She was a single mom then with three little kids, and he took that re- sponsibility on,” Barnette recalled.

He took care of several disabled neighbors and  retirees, too, mowing their grass and running errands for them, and was a  volunteer who helped build the southeast community garden for the  Roanoke Community Garden Association.

They married in the post-9/11 environment of 2002,  when immigration enforcement kicked into high gear. A temporary “fiance  visa” was approved in 2004, according to Department of Homeland Security  documents, and Leo also was issued a taxpayer identification number and  temporary work permit. The couple mistakenly thought that was enough  and admittedly then allowed several deadlines to pass that could have  finalized his legal status.

A new manager at IHOP fired Leo after learning his  work permit had expired in 2010. For the next three years Leo picked up  construction and landscaping work, most of it under the table. Money was  so tight that for eight months last year, the couple went without water  and electricity.

Bill Epperly let him run a hose and an extension  cord from his house next door, providing water and electricity for a  lamp and space heater. “I’ve had heart attacks, back surgeries, knees  replaced, and Leo does all my mowing, snow shoveling and heavy lifting,”  Epperly said. “He only lets me pay him about half the time.”

When Epperly’s 24-year-old daughter, Karissa, was  killed in 2009 by a hit-and-run driver, it was Leo who helped him erect a  memorial at the Roanoke County crash site, affixing solar lights and a  cross to a tree, then mowing and weed-eating a path near the site every  three months.

“He carried my groceries for me, emptied the kitty  litter,” Epperly added. “He was a little skinny runt, but he was strong  as a bull.”

There are people in the neighborhood who cause  problems, said community gardening activist Mark Powell, who lives  across the street from the Urreas. But Leo, whose court record contains  only a handful of minor traffic offenses, wasn’t one of them. “He was an  asset to the community,” Powell said.

Leo helped Matt Henry deliver fliers for the  Starview Heights Neighborhood Watch and volunteered his muscle for  landscaping jobs, Henry said. Neighbors regularly spotted him walking to  work — at the Valley View IHOP — and occasionally gave him rides. They  recall him fawning over April’s 3-year-old granddaughter, Hanna, too.

“They were big family people, but they didn’t seem to have much of a grasp on money,” Henry said.

*     *     *

With the power intermittently out, Powell knew  there’d been financial stress in the household and wasn’t surprised when  he heard Leo and April had gotten into an argument Aug. 17 that led to a  mild shoving match, an account verified by Leo and April, who said they  were moving their refrigerator and arguing about where it should go. A  neighbor who no longer lives in the area heard April crying and called  police, who charged Leo with assaulting a family member.

The charge was nolle prossed in Roanoke Juvenile and  Domestic Relations District Court last week, which means it was dropped  but technically can be reinstated at a later date. “They were arguing  over furniture,” said Leo’s attorney, Brad Thompson. “It sounds like an  argument any of us might have, but it escalated.”

The charge wasn’t what propelled Leo into  deportation proceedings. The fact that he missed a court date related to  it the following Monday — he was working a construction job and thought  the hearing was the next day, April said — was what landed him for four  days and three nights in the Roanoke City Jail, where he was kept in  holding while April tried frantically to bond him out.

At the beginning of his jail stay, his name popped  up on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement roster as having an  outstanding deportation order — the one from 2007.

Part of a program called Secure Communities adopted  nationwide in 2010, the routine ICE checks were designed to deport  immigrants who are in the country illegally, with emphasis on felons and  repeat offenders. Typically, the offense that lands them in jail is not  immigration-related: driving without a license, or DUI, for instance.

April and Leo say he was not permitted to shower  during his entire four days in holding, nor was he given a blanket or  allowed family visitors. When he appeared before a judge for his  arraignment wearing the same dirty clothes, “I could smell him from the  other side of the courtroom,” April said. “That ain’t right.”

“He’s a human being!” chimed in Barnette, his sister-in-law.

Roanoke Sheriff’s Office Maj. David Bell would only  confirm Leo’s presence in the jail, saying the standard procedure for  inmates is to be offered a shower every 48 hours. He referred further  questions to Salem ICE officials, who didn’t respond to an interview  request.

Without notice to his family, ICE transferred Leo to  a detention facility in Farmville on Sept. 13. April rented a car to  visit him three times during his 10-day Farmville stay, and she wasn’t  notified before he was flown to Mexico via Washington — with only $150  in cash and the white T-shirt and jeans he’d worn in jail. (They had  thankfully been washed by that time, he said.)

According to 2012 ICE statistics, more than 409,000  people were deported, more than half of whom were convicted criminals.  Nonviolent immigration violators such as Leo represented 21 percent of  the 2012 deportations.

*     *     *

“He’s such an awesome worker, we’d love to have him  back,” said Chamisa Edmonds, the general manager at the IHOP at Valley  View, during a recent visit with April and his sister. “Sometimes I’d  leave my shift and return the next day, and he’d still be there from the  day before; he hadn’t left.”

April had just dropped off paperwork to Gamarra for  Leo’s upcoming interview at the U.S. Embassy in Ciudad Juarez on Oct.  31, and tearfully she told Edmonds that it would be a minimum of six  months before Leo can return to Virginia — and to work. Gamarra will  file documentation ahead of the interview, a waiver to forgive his  unlawful presence as the spouse of an American citizen, and another to  forgive his failure to voluntarily leave in 2007.

“Six months isn’t so bad,” Edmonds said, cheerfully.  “Girl, hold on! At least he does get to come back. At least help is on  the way.”

The next day, April spent $85 at Staples faxing her  husband documents in Mexico — letters for his visa, power of attorney  forms she needed signed (so she can pay their bills), and an email from  Gamarra’s office assuring Leo that he would not be arrested in Juarez,  contrary to the fears of his Mexican relatives, who advise him not to  leave the house at night.

She included a handwritten note in the fax: “I love you. Keep this letter with you, so I’ll always be in your heart.”

“You spent $4 on a note to tell me you love me?” Leo said, touched but miffed by the superfluous expense.

“Yes,” April said, her tears finally beginning to dry. “I did.”

Staff writer Jordan Fifer contributed to this report.

Comment:

Well they’re you have it folks.. Right on the damn front page – as if the Roanoke Times couldn’t find ANYTHING better to write about! Who really cares that another JOB STEALING illegal is kicked the hell outta here. This ever loving, RACE-TRAITOR, piece of trash of a White woman should be CHARGED for HARBORING an ILLEGAL and any EMPLOYERS should also be CHARGED for EMPLOYING an ILLEGAL. – What the hell is wrong with this country, that doesn’t understand the word ILLEGAL! – Perhaps we should make it OKAY if we all STOLE our daily bread, if we STOLE to make a living – because that’s what is going on here – they are STEALING our JOBS. Yeah well, the way I look at this that’s one down, 11 million more to go! But if we don’t do something NOW – he will be back in the country by the end of the month along with his entire family. Think it’s bad now, just wait. Wake the hell up America and take YOUR country BACK! Join the American Nazi Party were fighting for the White working class and nobody else is!

AJ 88/14

About AJ's Blog

I am an 35 year old White-National Socialist activist from America. I created this blog in support of our late Commander Rockwell's and the only real National Socialist political party/ organization in the United States known as the American Nazi Party. I am not a skinhead, fantasy Nazi or gang member that the media put's us out to be. I am just a normal White person from the once proud land called America, that goes to work everyday. I do support the many efforts of the American Nazi Party and I tend to act on my own initiative and encourage others to get involved. As a National Socialist, I oppose the Progressives, Marxist/ Communism, DIVERSITY and the never ending Juedo-Capitalist attack on our country by members of Congress & the current White House Administration. I hope you will enjoy this blog and feel free to post your comments, even if you oppose what I write about, I would be willing to comment back as long as it's kept clean. Rude, antifa and incoherent comments/ remarks will be ignored. For White Worker Power! - www.americannaziparty.com - AJ 88/14
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