Tags: Judge | Boots | Afghan | Criminal

Judge Boots Afghan Criminal

Thursday, 16 May 2002 12:00 AM

Mirwais Ali, 23, a 20-year resident of the U.S., was ordered deported because he had pleaded guilty to felony drug charges in Wisconsin. Because he is not a U.S. citizen, immigration law calls for his deportation.

"This decision is not a xenophobic response to the events of Sept. 11," Judge James Fujimoto said. "Rather it is a sad story of a young man who has been arrested and convicted of numerous crimes over a period of several years. He now faces deportation as a consequence."

No date for the deportation was set. Fujimoto asked the Immigration and Naturalization Service to hold off until after the political situation in Afghanistan stabilizes.

The judge also told Ali's lawyers they should return to Wisconsin and attempt to vacate Ali's conviction or get it reduced to a misdemeanor. Ali pleaded guilty to charges of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver in 1998.

The judge indicated he would be willing to listen to a plea for clemency if the felony conviction were expunged or reduced.

Ali has no family or friends in Afghanistan and does not even speak the language. Fujimoto said, however, he did not believe Ali would face torture if he were returned to Afghanistan, a circumstance that would prevent his return under U.N. guidelines.

"The timing of this case is just very bad because everything is in limbo right now," attorney Taher Kameli said. "They will have a government. They will have a police force. But they don't right now."

Ali has been in the United States since he was three years old. He never became a naturalized citizen.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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Mirwais Ali, 23, a 20-year resident of the U.S., was ordered deported because he had pleaded guilty to felony drug charges in Wisconsin. Because he is not a U.S. citizen, immigration law calls for his deportation. This decision is not a xenophobic response to the events...
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2002-00-16
Thursday, 16 May 2002 12:00 AM
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