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Probe: May 7, 2002

May 07, 2002

DETAINEE UPDATE — Thank you for helping me. I have been detained for deportation for two months by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service although I am a U.S. citizen.

Until PROBE made some phone calls for me, the INS was insisting I had to find evidence of my parents' divorce when the INS had the evidence all along in my father's A-file.

I was born in Iran in 1953 but have lived in this country 35 years. My citizenship derives from my father, who was naturalized in 1971. I was under 18 at the time.

At the latest hearing the judge denied my motion to stop my deportation hearings on the grounds the INS has no jurisdiction over me.

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The judge's rationale is my father did not have "sole" legal custody over me because my parents, who had been divorced before he came to this country, remarried before my father was naturalized. At that point, according to the court, my parents had joint custody.

My father's "sole" custody dated back to Iran and was affirmed when INS allowed him to bring me and my brother to this country. INS would never allow a divorced parent to bring a child into this country if the parent did not have sole custody.

My mother has since become a citizen but INS said that doesn't count because by then I was over 18. INS keeps pulling "Catch 22" rules out of its legal knap sack.

I am appealing this decision.

Although I see the holes in INS's case, I can't defend myself adequately. I have no money. Immigrants facing deportation have no right to an attorney provided by the government. I am representing myself.

I have lived in this country 35 years. I don't know anybody in Iran. In today's political climate I don't know how safe I would be in that country after living so long in the United States. Help! — Detained, El Centro Detention Center

We've read your case file carefully and from what we can derive from the briefs submitted by INS and you, you lived an exemplary life from the time you arrived in this country until you became involved in a marital dispute two years ago.

You told us you rented a car and your angry, estranged wife canceled your credit card. The rental car agency reported to you had taken the car without authorization.

We have no access to any police rap sheets but we assume if there was more, the government attorneys would have said so.

LATER THAN YOU THINK — My sister is celebrating her golden wedding anniversary on Memorial Day weekend. I am looking for the lyrics to Guy Lombardo's "Enjoy Yourself, It's Later Than You Think!" Do you think PROBE readers can help? — Helpful Brother, Brawley

We hope so. That little ditty is buzzing in our head but we can't come up with the words. Unfortunately, Lombardo was big with the same folks now suffering from "old-timers disease."

NO DECAF, PLEASE — Women who switched to decaffeinated coffee were twice as likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, according to a study reported in the January issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism journal. The study was based on an 11-year study of 31,000 older women.

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