Despite the many unproduced documents and unanswered questions regarding his citizenship, Shakoure was issued an order of deportation to Haiti on August 9, 2022 by Immigration Judge Conroy. IJ Conroy treated Shakoure’s birth on a US military base to a US military family as irrelevant. He also ignored evidence that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had told New York’s parole board that Shakoure was a naturalized citizen of the United States. IJ Conroy has put Shakoure in an impossible position: requiring him to prove his citizenship with documents that the government possesses but has refused to release. The order of deportation is now on appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Shakoure’s case has gathered widespread attention since ICE agents arrested him at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in July 2020 in his home in Queens. His family and friends have mounted a spirited campaign for his freedom. The campaign included over 30,000 petition signatures calling for his release, several on-line rallies, and a support letter signed by 66 groups including religious organizations, and those that work on issues of immigration, justice, Black rights and prisoners’ rights.
With a deportation order looming over Shakoure’s head, he and his supporters are happy to announce that New York University Law School’s Immigrant Rights Clinic has decided to take up his case. The Clinic will represent him throughout his appeal and present all of the ways in which he was wrongfully ordered deported.
“Having this legal team working with me and my supporters gives me hope to be able to stay in the United States, the only country I’ve ever known. My family and I never had reason to believe I was anything other than an American citizen. It wasn’t until the Trump administration expanded their deportation machine that I was rousted from my home and held in a county jail for over seven months. I still have an electronic monitor on my ankle even though I’m fighting deportation to stay here.”
The judge’s order deporting Shakoure to Haiti is a travesty. Haiti is a place in crisis with water, food, and fuel shortages, as well as a new wave of cholera impacting people who thought they had finally beaten the disease which was brought from outside after the 2010 earthquake. Because of continued economic and political disruption after disputed elections and the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, armed men, and gangs, control the streets. Kidnappings for ransom are now common. In a New York Times article, Gang Violence Hinders Haiti’s Battle Against Cholera, Nov. 20, 2022, the paper recently described “extraordinary depths of chaos and despair.” Because the situation is so chaotic, the Biden Administration is now discussing organizing an international force for a military occupation so as to avoid a mass exodus of people fleeing the country.
With your help, this ridiculous overreach by ICE can come to an end. Please join our Call for ICE to Cancel this Case and end this threat to deport our beloved brother.
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WHO IS SHAKOURE?