The latest story of ICE Dysfunction?
SCIOTA — Of all the pizza joints in all the towns in all the country, the immigration service walks into his.
Now Zekri “Zack” Paputchi, owner of The Old Mill Run Pizzeria in Sciota, is frantically fighting to stop the federal immigration officials from deporting his wife, Rukie, who, like Zack, is a native Bulgarian.
After nearly 16 years in this country, including 11 in Monroe County, she’s under arrest, lodged in Pike County Jail and facing deportation.
An emergency petition has been filed to stop Rukie’s deportation.
Why does immigration want to deport this woman?
Zack and Rukie married in Bulgaria in 1988. Their American saga began when Zack arrived on a tourist visa in 1990, ostensibly visiting a cousin in Nazareth but intending to stay in the country to escape persecution. Before his visa expired, he filed for political asylum.
Paputchi testified that the communist regime in Bulgaria routinely persecuted and discriminated against him and many other ethnic Turkish Muslims. Once, he was threatened at gunpoint to change his name to a Bulgarian one. He did so, reluctantly taking the Bulgarian name Krassimir Simov Bakalov — a name he kept until after he fled the country.
Immigration officials later found the claims of adversity to conform with documented and widespread ethnic persecution occurring during the 1980s in Bulgaria. The immigration paper trail also notes that Krassimir Simov Bakalov legally changed his name to Zekri Hasim Paputchi, the name his parents gave him, after entering the United States.Then it appears Zack had grounds for asylum and Rukie is his wife. You think they would both be protected or deported together.
Official documents show that U.S. immigration officials deemed Rukie’s allegations of persecution, like her husband’s, plausible, but ruled that she had not demonstrated future persecution likely, as the political situation in Bulgaria has changed. Ethnic Turks now have their own political party and are playing a key role in supporting the governing coalition in Bulgaria.
The Paputchis’ lawyers appealed the ruling, and continued playing what had become an 18-year waiting game until Rukie’s unannounced arrest Monday at Old Mill.
Yes the cold war is over. The political climate is much different now in much of Eastern Europe. As much as I dislike Vladimir Putin, I don’t think the Russians have sent anyone of late to the gulag. They did arrest Gary Kasparov however.
Back to Rukie’s story-
Ironically, an official Assessment/Referral Memo from 1995 that relates a lengthy summary of Zack Paputchi’s immigration history contains the following statement, in italics:
“It is noted that the applicant submitted his application for asylum on Nov. 17, 1990, and that should his claim have been adjudicated at that time, the applicant wuold have easily prevailed.”
Instead, Paputchi has plodded along year after year waiting for that adjudication and hoping that, viewed under the original time frame, Rukie — as a political refugee, as his wife and the mother of two American-born children — would be approved along with him. Now she is behind bars, and could be an ocean away within hours.
“We want to be citizens,” Zack Paputchi said. “We speak English. We have good behavior. We entered the country legally. We pay taxes. We have our own business. We have our own insurance, health insurance, life insurance.
Fighting Rukie’s deportation is liable to leave this family with little or nothing left unless some attorney represents the mother pro bono. In winning this family stands a good chance for losing.
Getting rulings or most anything done by Immigration, is as well documented, a long and often painful costly process. In Florida a few years ago there was the story of US citizen mother who had been fighting immigration for several years to bring her son who was born in the Philippines to the US. Immigration wrongly denying the child entry, when they finally fixed their years of mistakes, the family had to ask for help to pay for the child’s trip here to this country. The immigration ordeal the family went through had flattened the family financially.
That I’m afraid is going to happen to this family, and what for. At the time of their entry they if faced persecution, their claim for asylum would have won approval, and only the turtle like immigration process kept this from being settled long ago. Do any of you out there think Rukie’s deportation is just? I don’t think it is, but that’s my opinion.
A US citizien by birth gets deported, widows of US citizens facing deportation, US citizen mothers kept from their children. and families being punished who tried to legally gain the right to live here but were thwarted because of the long drawn out process it took. If these are all a side effect of the need to empty this country of the illegal aliens here, I say forget about it. For losing our humanity in the process isn’t worth it, so far as I’m concerned . We’re talking human lives here. ICE and our warped immigration system, are destroying lives and families and sometimes just because of wrongly done, or delayed paperwork. We need to get the immigration bureaucracy in some kind of order first, before seeking out the illegals or we’ll have more Christian DeGrows, Bryan Harley Heards, and Pedro Guzmans.
God help you if ICE or law enforcement ever comes knocking for you or your family and any of you look ‘foreign’. (Ask Alicia Rodruiguez) If so, you better have a big bank account.
Note- If you’re going to question some of my claims, follow the links I left first. I put them in there for a reason.