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A double standard? One set of rules for government rulers, another set for us serfs?

by Giovanna Dell'Orto Wednesday, Dec. 06, 2006 at 9:20 AM

Ga. state senator's wife hides over deport order. Colombia-born woman to turn self in today.

ATLANTA - State Sen. Curt Thompson has been a strong advocate of immigration rights, once speaking in Spanish from the steps of the Georgia Capitol against the adoption of some of the nation's strictest immigration controls.

Now, Thompson's Colombia-born wife is in hiding as federal immigration officials try to deport her.

Sascha Herrera, 28, has been in hiding since Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrived at her home Nov. 28 with an order to remove her from the U.S.

She was not home at the time.

Her attorney, Charles Kuck, claims that she was duped by a man handling her immigration requests. While Kuck says neither he nor her husband know where Herrera is, he said that she will turn herself in today.

"It's the right thing to do. She needs to get the law to work for her," Kuck said.

Kuck filed a petition Monday to halt her deportation order and reopen her case, arguing that a man filed an asylum petition on her behalf without her knowledge and before her husband sponsored her green-card application based on their April 2005 marriage.

The deportation order stems from Herrera's repeated failure to appear before a judge on the asylum application, which Kuck said she did not know had been filed.

The case hinges on whether Herrera received a notice to appear in court, and whether the asylum application could have been filed without her knowledge, said Victor Cerda, former general counsel for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

According to Kuck, Herrera came to the U.S., where her parents have been living, on a visitor visa in 2003.

She applied for an extension to the visa through a notario, a man who claimed he was qualified to handle legal immigration matters, but did not get it until 20 days before the extension was due to expire.
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