Before you Judge Me

IMG 0508It was a dull yellow, square envelope that looked as if it housed an invitation. In a way, it did.
“Hope you and every other member of the FAKE media die soon so real Christian Patriots can once again live in this country. Fat ass,” it said.
Thus, my latest vague threat showed up in the mail Friday. No return address, no name and of course no direct threat.


MS-13 and a parade

handcuffed manGang violence isn’t new in Montgomery County. It isn’t new anywhere in the country.
It is dangerous and serious, but the federal government has never been particularly good about dealing with the problem and the Trump administration is particularly inept in its ability to deal with one particular gang - MS-13.
The gang has been active for at least a decade and a half in Montgomery County and has been responsible for some horrible crimes, particularly in the immigrant community.
John Cronan, an assistant attorney general said Tuesday the Trump administration will not protect immigrants who come forward to testify against MS-13 members - particularly otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants who fear deportation.


Salvadorans plead their case

  • Published in Local

Ever since the Trump Administration announced an 18-month timeline for ending the Temporary Protected Status of millions of Salvadorans who’d fled their country for the United States due to wars and natural disasters, Takoma Park immigration attorney Christina Wilkes’ office has become flooded with calls from many frightened people. 

“There is a lot of fear. There is a lot of misinformation. A lot of folks are calling here to ask what to do,” said Wilkes. “A lot don’t have another avenue available to them [to enable them to remain legally in this country].”

Wilkes said she is advising those on TPS to renew their legal status so that they can remain here legally for the next 18 months. She also is telling them to remain calm, that “come next year, it’s not like immigration will deport them that day.”


CASA sues Trump administration over DACA repeal

  • Published in Local

The immigrant advocacy organization CASA de Maryland along with eight other groups and more than a dozen individuals announced on the afternoon of Oct. 5 they are suing the federal government over the elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has given work status to undocumented immigrants who came to the Unitized States as minors, known as "dreamers."

Named in the lawsuit are President Donald Trump, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and four government agencies — U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection — and their department heads.

A legal team that includes Arnold & Porter LLP, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, and the Civil Rights Clinic of the Howard University School of Law is joining them in the legal action.


Local woman celebrates her 104th birthday

  • Published in Local

Gloria EisenbergGloria Eisenberg plays the tambourine at her 104th birthday party, held at the Jewish Council for the Aging's Misler Center in Rockville. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAK  Gloria Eisenberg has packed a lot into her 104 years, which began in Russia where she spent much of her childhood in an orphanage. Through it all, she continues to be upbeat and currently enjoys spending time with family, playing the piano and dancing.

“She’s very lively, very social, definitely part of the group,” said Adele Winters, who chairs the Adult Day Committee of the Jewish Council for the Aging. For the past year, Eisenberg has been attending the JCA’s Misler Adult Day Center in Rockville two days a week where she participates in games, goes on field trips, mingles and eats lunch with her fellow participants who have physical, cognitive or emotional challenges.

“She loves to dance,” Winters said.


Local communities prepare response to Trump’s immigration measures

  • Published in Local

Akieal Williams, an immigrant from Trinidad and Tobago who lives in Long Branch, is concerned that President Donald J. Trump’s stance on immigration could harm the community he lives in and enjoys.

Recently laid off and on the search for a job and a solution to gang activity, Williams was shocked to learn at a meeting of Our Voices Matter that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status programs could potentially end soon.

Several Republican politicians wrote to Trump this summer calling for him to end DACA by Sept. 5, inspiring anxiety in local immigrant communities.

“They don’t know where to go. They’re scared,” said John Angel, a Long Branch business owner. “What are we going to do?” he said about what people have been asking.


Family and friends reflect on two deported brothers

  • Published in Local

Two brothers deported 2 20626272 10155283193379473 4533424118588186121 oJonathan Claros, 29, is flanked by brothers Lizandro,19, (left) and Diego,22, (right) who were deported to El Salvador Wednesday. COURTESY PHOTO  Members of a local family said they feel a combination of sadness, concern and hope in the wake of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detaining and deporting two brothers to their home country.

Jonathan Claros, 29, his sister Fatima Claros, 25, along with their parents are making efforts to assist the two youngest children, Diego Claros-Saravia and Lizandro Claros-Saravia, ages 19 and 22, in their adjustment to life back in El Salvador.


Local soccer players deported to El Salvador though high school graduates

  • Published in Local

Two brothers deported 2 20626272 10155283193379473 4533424118588186121 oJonathan Claros, 29, is flanked by brothers Lizandro,19, (left) and Diego,22, (right) who were deported to El Salvador Wednesday. COURTESY PHOTO  A local man said his two brothers were deported to El Salvador Wednesday.

The man, Jonathan Claros, said his brothers Lizandro and Diego Claros were deported and he and his family members are trying to figure out what to do. He said he is concerned for his brothers.

“The only thing we’re feeling was get them picked up from the airport and get them home safe,” Jonathan Claros said. “The situation in my country that is happening right now is not the best thing for them right now,” Jonathan said Wednesday.


Area Resident Remembers Homeland Through Art

  • Published in Local

This is part of an ongoing series devoted to the stories of Montgomery County’s immigrant population

GAITHERSBURG – In 1977, Farid Bozorgmehr left his native Iran to pursue his love of theater in the United States.

He enrolled in American University’s master’s program in Theatre, having completed his undergraduate studies in Iran.

Two years after his arrival, the government of the Shah, which had been supported by the United States, was overthrown in the Iranian Revolution.

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