Loretta Schloerb's one-woman crusade against the federal immigration bureaucracy for failing to deport the convicted criminal alien resident who molested her daughter is gaining momentum, thanks to VDARE.com and possibly the behind-the-scenes help of Congressman Tom Tancredo.
As I previously reported, Loretta's complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) against the courtroom conduct of Newark immigration judge William K. Strasser was rejected by Assistant Chief Immigration Judge Gail Padgett on March 15, 2004.
But now Loretta reports that the EOIR's brush-off of her complaint has been overruled. She was recently notified that an official complaint is now under investigation by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
The change in the official position may have been a result of my humble efforts here at VDARE.com. Who knows?
In any event, an OIG investigation is serious business. And due to privacy considerations, the outcome probably never will be known publicly.
But, just for good measure, Loretta also wrote to H. Marshall Jarrett, the DOJ's Counsel at the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) about immigration judge Strasser and her unpleasant experience in his EOIR courtroom.
Strasser conducted the Immigration Court hearings in 2003 where Loretta and her daughter testified against her daughter's molester, an uncle through marriage. Strasser made the discretionary decision to allow Jose Barrios Castilla to remain in the country, but the Colombian national remains in immigration detention pending the Department of Homeland Security's appeal of the case.
Congressman Tom Tancredo may have had a hand in the DOJ's change of heart on Loretta's complaint. On May 30, she wrote to Tancredo:
"I have read and heard about your involvement with such cases on VDARE.com and from other sources. Columnist Juan Mann from VDARE wrote about our hearing in his column on February 23, 2004 and then again on March 29, 2004."
"I pray that our appeal, which has been sent to the [Board of Immigration Appeals] BIA, will reverse Judge William Strasser's decision to grant this convicted child molester relief from deportation but deep in my heart I feel he may get away with it . . .
"I used to believe that these arrests were good and these pedophiles were finally taken off the streets so they couldn't hurt any other children again. But now I know better—they are thrown back into our society by judges like William Strasser never to be seen again— until their next victim. "
Now that the EOIR is feeling the heat, the bureaucrats at the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division are taking notice of Loretta too.
She received an unsolicited letter from William B. Odencrantz, Director of Field Legal Operations at the ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor. ICE attorneys are appealing the EOIR Immigration Court's decision to the EOIR's appellate body, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).
"We believe the present result is unjust and we hope our appeal changes that decision."
"I'm writing this letter to personally express my sorrow for the difficulties you encountered; difficulties beyond what anyone should suffer and certainly beyond what we expected when we presented you and your daughters for testimony. We would win a lot fewer cases if it weren't for people such as you who willing testify and persist in coming to court in spite of how emotionally difficult it is to you. In that event, the bad guys would win and remain here with the potential to do harm to other young children. Thank you for doing this on behalf of the children we all desire to protect!"
Loretta's saga represents a scathing indictment of ICE's very highly publicized efforts against sex offenders, known as "Operation Predator." With so few ICE special agents available nationwide for interior immigration enforcement, someone in the ICE leadership apparently decided that devoting resources to and publicizing the arrests of child molesters could be a way to get some positive press for ICE.
Nor is there even any guarantee that the aliens will remain in immigration custody.
Loretta's nightmare is proof that the EOIR is the weakest link in the federal immigration enforcement chain.
The EOIR's appellate body, the BIA, just might get around to making a decision on the DHS' appeal sometime soon. Immigration judge Strasser made his decision in the case almost seven months ago, on December 5, 2003.