Deportation Delayed - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/03/08 - East Texas

Deportation Delayed

News Release:

US Rep. Louie Gohmert has helped to assure that east Texan Rrustem Neza should remain in the United States for at least one more year, deterring U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from physically drugging and shipping Mr. Neza to Albania where his fate is potential death.  The House Immigration Subcommittee, on which Rep. Gohmert is a member, considered the Congressman's private bill for Neza and requested a departmental report from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in order to further investigate Mr. Neza's situation. The Subcommittee has an agreement with DHS that Neza's deportation will be stayed until March of 2009.

The Subcommittee discussed Congressman Gohmert's private relief bill H.R. 4070 that he filed in November 2007 during the hearing and then recessed to attempt to gain additional information. However, after Homeland Security's top personnel were not helpful, the committee proceeded to request a report from DHS in order to move on with Gohmert's bill. The legislation would allow Neza to apply for and be granted lawful permanent resident status. The report request is one step closer to passing the bill through subcommittee and is a significant step toward seeing that Neza will not be forcefully separated from his home and family in a forced, drug-induced stupor anytime soon.  Due to ineffective counsel when Neza initially applied for asylum, he has not yet been allowed to present his unique case to an immigration judge, and Rep. Gohmert feels that Mr. Neza deserves this opportunity.

Rep. Gohmert stated, "This is encouraging news for Neza's family and for the community that has rallied around them during this difficult time. Neza is a productive and loved resident of Nacogdoches, evidenced by the overwhelming outcries from the local community at the news of his deportation which have made their way to my office. Sending him back to Albania is like signing a death warrant for an innocent man, which I cannot sit idly by and allow to happen. I will continue to seek legitimate asylum for Mr. Neza until he and his family can safely and peacefully carry on with their lives."

Rrustem Neza fled from Albania to Belgium and later to the United States in January 2001 after his brother witnessed the murder of a leading member of the Democratic Party of Albania who helped bring down the nation's Communist regime in the 1990's. Rrustem Neza himself made the information public which put killers on the trail of both him and his family.  Two of Neza's cousins were murdered for their knowledge of the incident. Neza's brothers were granted asylum in the United States, but his claim was denied even though it was based on the same facts as his siblings'. Congressman Gohmert has been working for several months to bring relief to the man who is now a successful restaurant owner and member of the east Texas community.

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