[More by Juan Mann on Loretta Schloerb's case:
Last week, I received this heartening e-mail:
"My name is Sarah Schloerb and I would like to thank you for all that you have done for me, my mother Loretta, and our fight. Through this entire ordeal I have remained silent, letting my mother be my voice. These past few years have been an emotional rollercoaster for all of us, and you really brought our small little case into the light.
"All that I ever hoped through this is that maybe no victim would ever have to go through this EVER AGAIN. Now that the case is over I would love to be heard.
"Everyone should know YOU CAN WIN.
"Thank you again. You will never know what you have done for me. You listened. You heard."
The cause of Sarah's email: It's finally official. The criminal alien predator who victimized the Schloerb family was officially removed from the United States to Colombia on July 1, via New Orleans, Louisiana.
Jose Barrios Castilla, the permanent resident alien who molested Loretta Schloerb's daughter Sarah when she was a child—he was also Sarah's uncle, through marriage—has been actually physically deported.
The confirmation came from attorneys at the highest levels of the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division this past week, via e-mail to Loretta.
For Loretta and Sarah, the word comes as the final chapter in a story that could have ended very differently, were it not for their perseverance over the past year and a half in battling the federal immigration bureaucracy of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)—the behind-closed-doors immigration hearing system within the U.S. Department of Justice.
In December, 2003, Loretta and Sarah testified against Barrios in his removal proceedings before EOIR immigration judge William K. Strasser in Newark, New Jersey.
But despite hearing the live testimony from the victim in a child molestation case—an extremely rare occurrence in EOIR Immigration Court—Strasser disregarded the Schloerbs and decided to allow Barrios to remain in the United States.
Barrios was convicted in 1995 for endangering the welfare of a child through sexual conduct, making him inadmissible to the United States. He was apprehended by chance during an airport immigration inspection while attempting to reenter the U.S. sometime in April, 2003. In December 2003, Strasser granted Barrios a waiver under Immigration Act Section 212(c) to allow Barrios to reenter the U.S. and maintain his permanent resident status. But the Schloerbs would not let the outrage stand.
They remained in contact with prosecutors from the DHS' ICE division, who appealed the case to the EOIR's appellate body, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). They also rattled the cages of the EOIR with a formal complaint against Strasser.
And eventually on May 12, 2005, the Schloerbs received word that the EOIR's appellate body, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) had reversed Strasser's decision.
I'm relieved that BIA member Neil P. Miller did the right thing in overturning the immigration judge's decision.
But if Strasser's decision was any less outrageous—granting a Section 212(c) relief to a child molester with the victim sitting right there in court—it probably would never have been overturned by the BIA's rubber-stamp-like operation in Falls Church, Virginia.
It's also not every day that the DHS/ICE goes up against the EOIR and actually appeals a discretionary Section 212(c) waiver case to the EOIR's BIA.
If the Schloerbs had not been so actively involved, by (first of all) somehow finding out where the EOIR Immigration Court hearings were taking place in the case, actually testifying for the DHS, and remaining in contact to see the BIA appeal through, the outcome would never have been the same.
Were it not for the Schloerbs, Barrios would have passed through the EOIR process right back to the streets again...like countless other criminal aliens who waltz through EOIR Immigration Court proceedings to remain in the United States without their crime victims ever knowing the first thing about such a travesty.
Thanks to the Schloerbs' active involvement, we can score one for the good guys!
And when it comes to deporting illegal aliens and criminal alien residents, we sure can use good news anywhere we can get it.
I'm honored by Sarah's kind words.
And I think there is a moral to the Schloerb family's story:
It's not over yet, America.
You can fight the federal immigration bureaucracy. You can fight the Treason Lobby, the Open Borders zombies in the media, the convicted criminal aliens and their bottom-feeding attorney mouthpieces all right there on their own turf.And, in Sarah Schloerb's words, "YOU CAN WIN."