Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Traffic stop may lead to deportation for former ASU student (ABC15.com)

Traffic stop may lead to deportation for former ASU student
Posted: 3/29/2011
By: Rudabeh Shahbazi

PHOENIX - The immigration debate is heating up again, as a model student -- and illegal immigrant -- is caught without documentation during a traffic stop.

Nallely Farmen sobbed as friends embraced her when she got out of jail Tuesday, after spending four days behind bars. Farmen now faces deportation, after she was pulled over for making a wide right turn.

Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson told ABC15 Wednesday that Farmen had a misdemeanor traffic warrant, and that is why she was taken into custody.

“I strongly feel that the law should be followed, of course, that’s how society runs,” said Farmen. “But I think that sometimes the law makes not a mistake, but a left turn somewhere where it shouldn’t.”

Tears streamed down her face as she sat behind her computer and saw messages of support from across the nation asking for her release.

The question now is, where is home?

The 21-year-old former Arizona State University honor student and community volunteer was brought to the United States from Mexico when she was 6 years old.

Michelle Dallacroce, who is the president of the organization Mothers Against Illegal Amnesty, doesn’t think authorities should prioritize illegal immigrants who are dangerous offenders, and says children understand if they are illegal aliens and should not be given amnesty just because they were brought to the country when they were young.

“That’s something they can take up with their parents,” said Dallacroce. “But the reality is, we need to find out where her parents live, and all of them need to be deported back to where they came from.”

Dallacroce says it doesn’t matter how much Farmen has volunteered or how she has served her community, if she doesn’t have the paperwork to prove she is in the country legally.

“She should not have been released, she is illegally in the United States,” said Dallacroce. “She didn’t have a driver’s license. She’s driving down our streets. She could have killed somebody.”

Farmen was one of the top ten students in her high school class, and would be graduating from ASU this May with an International Management degree, but her scholarship money ran out.

Now she cleans homes with her mother, which will give her time to think about rebuilding her life in a place she knows little about.

“I feel proud, I feel that I am American,” said Farmen. “I don’t know anything about Mexico. I’ve been here my whole life, first through university. I want to impact America. I want this country to be more beautiful than it already is.”

Farmen’s father, who was an accountant in Mexico and now works as a butcher in Phoenix, has been trying to go through the process of citizenship for 16 years.

According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Vincent Picard, records show Farmen's last legal entry into the U.S. occurred in June 2007 when she used a visitor's visa issued in conjunction with her Mexican passport. Records show Farmen returned to Mexico in late Dec. 2007. She has reportedly acknowledged to ICE officers she re-entered the U.S. illegally two days later.

Farmen was released from jail on her own recognizance and will be making appearances at ICE, while she waits for her court date to plead with an immigration judge.

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