uc san diego grad student facing deportation

I recently learned about the plight of Mark Farrales, a UC San Diego graduate student who grew up in the United States, but is now facing imminent deportation to the Philippines, and needs the community's help: UC San Diego grad student scrambling to avoid deportation.

Farrales was brought to the U.S. by his parents when he was ten. Seeking political asylum, his father repeatedly applied and was denied legal status, before dying in 2006. Meanwhile, Mark built an impressive, promising life for himself. Now 31-years-old, deportation threatens to take it all away:
Farrales arrived abruptly in the United States as a 10-year-old in 1990, just days after two alleged hit men shot his father twice in the head outside their home in Quezon City in the Philippines, he said in a telephone interview from the Mira Loma Detention Center in Lancaster.

His father, Jaime, who survived the attack, was a prominent lawyer who often spoke out against government corruption and had just announced a bid for congress.

Fearing for their lives, the family escaped to Los Angeles using visitor visas and sought political asylum. Jaime Farrales argued that the politicians he'd rallied against had tried to have him killed. "I never got to see my house again after that night," Mark Farrales said. "I was completely uprooted from my life there."

As their father repeatedly applied, was denied and appealed for legal status in the U.S., Farrales and his three sisters assimilated and thrived.
Farrales was valedictorian at his high school, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard with a degree in government, earned a master's degree at UC San Diego, and was pursuing a doctorate there. But none of that matters when immigration agents come knocking on your door.

Mark's friends are coordinating a campaign on his behalf, and are asking folks to sign a petition, write letters of support, and spread the word about Mark's story. Here's some more information on what you can do to help:

The best way to coordinate this is for people to write letters addressed to the attorney. There are two kinds of letters to be written: personal letters for those who know Mark and general letters of support for those who did not know Mark personally. Letters should be mailed to Mark's attorney but in the 'To' line of the letter should be addressed to a general audience like 'To whom it may concern' or include Senators Boxer and Feinstein, as well as Representatives Brad Sherman and Bob Filner.

Date: Letters need to be in the mail by tomorrow, Wednesday Dec. 22nd at the latest, and should be written immediately in order to give the most time possible to help Mark.

Please mail it to:

5670 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 1730, 17th Floor
Los Angeles, California 90036

Other contact details are:

Telephone: (323) 692-1446
Facsimile: (323) 692-1449
Email: info@hazanylaw.com
Website: www.HazanyLaw.com


A description of what kind of letter will help the most (from Mark's lawyer):

"The best letters will also state in detail who the author is and how they know Mark...I am trying to get Senator Boxer or Feinstein or Congressman Brad Sherman to introduce a private bill on his behalf. I am also trying to have US Immigration and Customs Enforcement exercise favorable discretion to join in reopening his case or to agree to deferred action. Letters from friends and professors could help.

The best letters would be very personal, would give details examples of Mark's character, and would explain what is truly exceptionable about Mark. Everyone knows about Mark's academic accomplishments so the best letters will talk about his character and positive impact on his friends, professors, classmates and students. The letters could be made out to each individual listed above and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or they could be made out to me or made to a generic to whom it may concern."


A general letter is still helpful.
To sign the online petition in support of Mark Farrales, go here: Grant Mark Farrales Asylum. Stop his Deportation. He didn't have a lot of choice when he was brought to the United States as a kid. But he made the best of his new life, and thrived. Then ICE comes along and simply says hell no to it all. It sucks. More here: UCSD Graduate Student Facing Deportation.

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