The USA is determined to address what it sees as possible criminal or terrorist potential by temporary workers. It’s doing this by deporting people, who have committed an offence, back to their country of origin. This seems quite reasonable, except that they are doing this regardless of the time they’ve spent in the US, or the length of time since the offence.
In the case of 35 years old Welsh born Zak Ashenhurst, 35, his offence was firing a gun into an empty swimming pool and was committed some 20 years ago. Ok a silly offence, possibly dangerous at the time, but done when he was a child! Not only was he a child, but was recovering from Osteomyelitis which he had feared would kill him and was a little ‘stressed’ at the time to say the least! He fronted the courts at the time, was fined, and pulled himself back into line. He went on to create a good life.
He married an American girl and had two children Zaky, 12, and Nicki, five. And has worked ever since.
Over the years the Green Card residents use to maintain their right to work in the US expired and was renewed without incident… until a few weeks ago when officials unearthed his old conviction and, using laws unused for decades, decided he was a risk to national security and threw him in prison.
He was there for a month until he was removed from the country and deported back to the UK yesterday.
This ridiculous and unfair decision has left Zak in what is now almost a foreign country, and unsure whether his family, all American citizens, will be allowed to join him!
Nobody is underestimating the dangers of terrorist activity but surely the lunacy of deporting a solid citizen for something he did as a youngster should be obvious even to a faceless bureaucrat? The *most* that should have been done was to use Zak as a role model for the thousands of kids that are running wild in US schools! The example of someone who make a mistake and turned his life around should be a positive message used to help otehrs who might be heading down the wrong path! It should not be a cause for further punishment!
The situation is entirely ridiculous and the UK foreign office should be doing all it can to ensure that his family is allowed to join him… if the want to! After all, these are American citizens effectively being told they must choose between living as a single parent family in their homeland or joining their father in a foreign country and facing an uncertain economic future.
The utter unfairness of it just can’t be over stated – though I doubt the US administration would be concerned about this one small family unit, no matter how abysmally it’s treated them.
Having trawled around looking for more information I turned up this gem. According to The Star News, this sort of treatment is nothing new. Back in 2004 an 83 year old guy, nominally a ‘Frenchman’ who had committed a long forgotten minor offence, was deported back to Paris despite having lived in the US for 52 years! He was kept in prison for 7 months before being sent back to a country he knew little about and despite him having nowhere in France to go!
Home of the free? Think again!! Right now in the USA Xenophobia rules.