Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sorry, not interested in helping

ABC News has a piece on their website that seems to be all about generating some sympathy for an 11-year-old Polish girl named Ewelina Bledniak, whom the story reports the U.S. government is "heartlessly" going to rip away from her parents and ship back to her home country, ostensibly due to an immigration lawyer's screwup back in 2001.

Reading further into the story, though, one discovers some interesting facts that make this tale a tad less tear-worthy.

You see, little Ewelina's father, a permanent resident since 1992 and a citizen since 2006, brought his wife and daughter into the country illegally in 2000, using Mexico as a conduit. The pair applied for legal status once they were here, but apparently only the mother's was approved, a circumstance the family claims was due to an error by their previous immigration attorney. Once the father applied for citizenship a few years ago, a background check triggered by that process eventually turned up the fact that Ewelina was still here illegally. Since the period for applying for legal status for Ewelina had passed, an immigration judge apparently has no other option but to order the girl sent back to Poland.

Of course, her parents are free to accompany her back to Poland, but it seems they like the good life here a little bit more than they like their daughter. Ewelina's mom, Agnus, selfishly doesn't want to go back because it might (horrors!) jeopardize her own citzenship track:

"Bledniak is worried that her own legal status, won three years ago, would delay her quest for U.S. citizenship"

God forbid that her precious daughter get in the way of that goal.

Dear ol' dad Hubert is also declining to go back with his kid, citing his tile business.

(We're astounded, by the way, that the act of smuggling two people into the country illegally doesn't seem to knock a person's citizenship application off kilter in the least. Why isn't this kind of lawbreaking an instant disqualification factor?)

There's some parents of the year, eh? They are completely responsible for their minor child's awful legal predicament, yet are unwilling to sacrifice their own cushy lifestyle in order to do the right thing and return to Poland with their daughter to await the proper paperwork, which the story estimates could take up to a year to process.

Forget the stupid lawyer argument; the family was already here illegally when the attorney was retained, and whether they did their job properly or not doesn't change that fact. There are plenty of avenues to pursue sanctions against their legal representative if they were indeed lazy or negligent.

(By the way, what possible basis did the family have for applying for any kind of "oh, we're already here, so sorry" relief, anyway? Poland is a very fine country with a stable government and has absolutely no track record of terrible human rights abuses or any other kind of political or religious discrimination, factors that people can rightly claim asylum from when they arrive here from truly rotten and oppressive countries.)

The probable outcome seems to be that Ewelina will have to stay in Poland with her grandmother for up to a year while the legal stuff is ironed out.

Forgive us for not rushing out to contact our Congressman over this.

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