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NY Cab Driver’s Asylum Case Reopened March 14, 2007

Posted by publicpolitics in Uncategorized.
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 Illegal immigrant Mamadou Soumare will travel to Mali to bury his family and then be able to return to the United States , courtesy of a humane decision on the part of U.S. immigration officials. A taxi driver in New York and technically an illegal alien, Soumare’s visa situation drew national and international attention when Soumare’s wife and four children died in a Bronx fire last week.

In a humanitarian gesture, federal immigration officials are considering Soumare’s asylum application pending, even though he skipped a hearing in 1992 and would not normally be allowed back into America.

Now his three surviving sons are also hoping for visas that will let them join their dad when he returns to his adopted home – and help two of them visit American doctors for their serious heart problems.

Source: nydailynews.com

Senator Chuck Shumer (D-NY) and Jose Serrano (D-Bronx) helped the case along. Whether or not the sons will be able to obtain humanitarian visas on the same grounds remains to be seen.

The case has sparked debate on how far federal immigration officials should go in making exemptions to immigration rules. Clearly, the suddenness and devastating nature of this tragedy is a compelling argument for a humanitarian bending of the rules, but there are certainly many immigrants out there with equally compelling family stories of illness, death, and missed appointments. Would that we had the capacity to listen with the heart to them all, rather than resorting to the dry and often cruel mass processing and blind justice that the size of the problems seems to demand.This case illustrates the need to treat each immigration case as an individual one, for it is only with compassion and and a keen eye for the exceptional that we can begin to approximate true justice in our repatriation policies. The system can be just and compassionate, and we need to ensure that it is so regularly.

Tags: Soumare | Mamadou | Visa | SONS | return | plea | kids | IMMIGRATED | alone | ADULT | Politics | Mali | Bamako | American | Africa

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