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Romanian’s mom appeals for aid in immigration case



Published: Fri, November 14, 2008 @ 12:09 a.m.
  The Gilea Deportation

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L-R Bianca, Minerva and Virgil sit together with a photo of their son, Virgil Ciprian "Chip" Gilea.

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Chip Gilea

By Denise Dick

ICE says the agency’s position hasn’t changed.

BOARDMAN — Virgil and Minerva Gilea came to the United States from Romania on Thanksgiving in 1990, but two weeks before the 18th anniversary of their arrival, they’re waiting to learn where their son will spend the holidays.

Virgil Ciprian “Chip” Gilea, 30, was arrested Dec. 27, 2007, by agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement while at work at Energy Development Inc., Poland Township.

“He’s stressful,” Minerva said. “He doesn’t know what’s going on.”

The problem stemmed from a missed filing deadline by an attorney formerly retained by the family. Chip, a Boardman High School and Youngstown State University graduate, was ordered to leave the country, but both he and his family contend he was unaware of the order.

The previous attorney filed a statement with the court, attesting to his error, but ICE has maintained that Chip has stayed in the U.S. longer than he was permitted and will be deported.

The family believed two weeks ago that deportation was imminent, but Chip still sits in jail in Seneca County, near Toledo.

Abraham Kay, the Cleveland lawyer now representing the family, has asked that the Bureau of Immigration Appeals reopen his case. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio asked that immigration officials give full consideration to the family’s request to reopen the case. The Romanian Embassy in Washington, D.C., also has taken an interest.

Minerva said she has received calls of support from many in the community who want to help.

She asked that people write to the chief counsel’s office, asking that her son’s case be reopened.

“The holidays are right around the corner,” Minerva said. “Why can’t they release him on bond or something, let him out?”

Thanksgiving has always been a special time for the family as it marks the couple’s arrival on U.S. soil, but they don’t know what to expect for the holiday this year, she said.

Their children, Chip, then 15, and Bianca, then 12, followed in 1994.

“How long is going to be the punishment for our family?” Minerva said.

Mike Gilhooly, an ICE spokesman, said the agency’s position hasn’t changed.

“I can’t discuss individual cases, but I can tell you that on that case, nothing has changed,” he said.

Kay has said that by rule, the Bureau of Immigration Appeals won’t entertain the motion to reopen the case unless ICE joins the motion.

That would be done through ICE’s regional chief counsel. Chip’s first motion to reopen was denied by the Immigration Court in 2003, and the appeal of the denial was dismissed by the board in 2004.

The Board of Immigration Appeals also denied a second motion to reopen last February.

Virgil’s attorneys then filed a motion to reconsider with the Board of Immigration Appeals on Feb. 14, 2008. The board then denied a motion to reconsider last April.

Chip’s attorneys at that time then filed a request last June that the chief counsel join in with a motion to reopen. The chief counsel declined. If she changes her mind before Chip is physically removed from the U.S., Kay believes BIA would grant his client’s motion to reopen.

If the chief counsel continues to refuse, Chip will be deported and faces a 10-year bar on readmittance to the U.S. despite the fact that an immigrant visa previously filed on his behalf has been approved and would be available in early December.


Comments

1ME1980(2 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Obama's aunt is able to live off the govt. money and is able to be free and fight her case but Chip who paid taxes, has his own home, has a lot of support, is educated has to be locked up in jail for 11 months now!!! Is this really fair!!! ???

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2topsailwatch(60 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

This is one of the most ridiculous waste of tax payer's money that I can think of. This young man is not a threat to our country........ he pays taxes, he is gainfully employed and his whole family is here. He was basically raised in this country. It reminds me of the great line " While Rome burns, Nero fiddles". These self rightous ICE agents should be tracking down on the millions of illegal aliens from Mexico and Central America that get paid under the table and then send the money to their homeland. Come on Senator Sherrod. Let's see you push hard for letting this man out of jail and make him a citizen. This whole episode makes me sick and not very proud of my government.

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3southhi41(10 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

WHAT AN OUTRAGE. illegals of every size, shape, color and reputation streaming across the border by the hundreds every day. Millions of illegals already here and not bashful
about demanding the same rights and benefits as our citizens, and no effort made to
apprehend them. Everyone in the community needs to call their Congressional reps. from
this area and RAISE HELL! I know from experience they WILL LISTEN AND TAKE ACTION
when their phones ring of the hook.

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4E328(15 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

I agree. This guy is in the country working hard and not asking for handouts. He graduated high school and college, and I would be willing to bet that he SPEAKS FLUENT ENGLISH. If all illegals were standup guys like this one, most Americans would feel differently about immigrants. Sadly, most people seem to come here with the attitude that they are owed something.
We have illegal aliens who commit crimes and the "system" allows them to stick around and commit crimes that are even more heinous. Search on foxnews.com for Pedro Espinoza or Edwin Ramos. Unbelieveable. I'm certain that ICE could find much better use for their agents and money.

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5Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

Why would we want to deport a productive college graduate with no criminal history whose mother,father and sister are citizens? Meanwhile in Laredo Texas and other border towns Mexican criminals cross the border at will. This case makes no sense!

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