Maybe this is one of those situations that NM Governor Bill Richardson could help. This will show if he is really behind what he says.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
RHS senior deported; parents concerned
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Angry parents gather outside Roswell High School Friday to protest the deportation of Karina Acosta, a pregnant 18-year-old, to Mexico by U.S. immigration officials Thursday. (Daily Record/Mark Wilson)
U.S. immigration officials deported a pregnant Roswell High School senior after she was pulled from class Wednesday by a local police officer regarding a traffic ticket issued days before.
According to Roswell Police Chief John Balderston, Karina Acosta, 18, was given several days to provide proper identification after being cited for a parking violation and driving without a license on Nov. 29 but failed to do so.
RHS Student Resource Officer Charlie Corn, a 10-year RPD veteran, removed Acosta from class Dec. 5 regarding the traffic violation and detained her at the school before notifying U.S. immigration officials of her illegal status, according to Balderston.
Acosta, who is five months pregnant, was transported to the Chaves County Detention Center, put on hold by the INS and later deported to Mexico, according to Balderston.
"In the course of an investigation, if we determine that someone is not here legally, we will contact INS and tell them what their status is," he said.
Worried about the deportation of the girl and the future security of other illegal immigrant students at RHS, Acosta's mother and nearly 50 members of the Hispanic community gathered at the RHS Little Theater, and later the Roswell Police Department, to voice their concerns.
"The kids are scared now because this thing happened, so we need your help," said Maria Rodriguez to Balderston during a meeting in an RPD conference room Friday afternoon.
At the meeting, Balderston listened to complaints about Corn, including allegations he targets Hispanics. Balderston agreed to meet further with representatives from the Hispanic community and Corn in an effort to ease relations and eliminate any problems or misconceptions that might exist.
"If you don't trust us then we need to do some more work here," said Balderston, who will retire Jan. 4.
Roswell Independent School District Assistant Superintendent Mike Kakuska said the RISD has officially protested Acosta's arrest with the INS and the Mexican Consulate.
"We are very, very concerned as a public school as to what happened the other day," said Kakuska, addressing a group of about 50 parents who gathered at RHS Friday morning. "The police officer, without our knowledge, had this young lady brought into his office here at school and the detain orders were issued through him, not the Roswell schools."
In the lengthy open meeting that lasted more than one hour, Kakuska and other school officials, including RHS Principal Brian Shea, answered questions and notified those in attendance that Corn has been removed as an SRO.
"The Roswell Independent School system did not support the decision of this officer to have this young lady arrested," said Kakuska.
In a joint decision by the RPD and RISD, all SROs have been removed from RISD schools. Both Balderston and Kakuska maintain that despite the incident, no contention exists between the RISD and the RPD.
"We're going to work through this and I wish I can say that it's not going to happen again, but I can't. The officers are going to enforce the law," said Balderston.
School officials said Acosta was on course to graduate in the spring.