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1043:Haitian loses deportation appeal (fwd)
Published Thursday, November 18, 1999, in the Miami Herald
Haitian loses deportation appeal _______ ANDRES VIGLUCCI
Ralph Richardson, a Haitian immigrant whose up-and-down battle to stave
off deportation has gone as far as the U.S. Supreme Court, lost an
important round in immigration court in Miami when a judge denied his
appeal to stay in the United States. Judge Kenneth Hurewitz refused to
lift a deportation order against Richardson, 33, ruling that a 1991 drug
conviction and his admitted past as a crack dealer outweighed the
``great suffering'' his removal would cause his U.S.-citizen wife
and his three children. Richardson's deportation is not imminent,
however. He has 30 days to appeal, and his lawyer said she has
recommended to him that he do so. ``He is extremely disappointed, but I
think he's gotten a little philosophical about it,'' said Helena
Tetzeli, who represents Richardson with her law partner, Ira
Kurzban. ``He is thinking about whether he wants to appeal.''
Since his release from prison in 1994, Richardson and friends and
family members told Hurewitz during a hearing last month, he has proven
his rehabilitation, opening several small businesses, coaching youth
sports and supporting his family. Richardson's case has become one of
the principal challenges to a tough 1996 law that mandates detention and
deportation of noncitizen criminal offenders, with virtually no outside
court review of government decisions. Richardson's lawyers have been
waging a battle on on two legal fronts simultaneously: challenging his
deportation order on one hand, and on the other fighting the
government's contention that federal courts have no say in his case.
In his most significant victory, a federal judge in Miami agreed with
Richardson that he has a right to a bond hearing to consider his release
pending resolution of the deportation case. After the 11th Circuit Court
of Appeals in Atlanta overruled the judge, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled
in Richardson's favor and ordered the appellate judges to reconsider.
The appeals court, however, ruled against him on other grounds.
Richardson has again asked the Supreme Court to review the case.
In the meantime, Richardson has spent two years at the Krome detention
center, where he was taken after being detained by immigration agents at
Miami International Airport on his way back to his home in Atlanta
following a short family visit to Haiti. The trip was his only visit to
Haiti since emigrating at age 2 with his parents.