An offer from the Cooke County D.A.

As you know, our attorney filed a writ of habeus corpus with Cooke County since Naz was not adequately informed about how his plea bargain in 2007 would definitely affect his immigration status. The hearing on Oct 21 to open this case was postponed. Instead of having a hearing, we’ve been extended an offer by the Cooke County DA.

I know MANY of you took off of work for Oct. 21 and missed out on pay, and also spent money on gas when your budgets are already tight. I paid $350 for my attorney’s flight– down the drain. I also missed out on an incredible opportunity to speak at a conference in Ohio about the separation of family due to our broken immigration system. Cedarville University was out $350 for my flight ticket as well, when in actuality, I could’ve been there otherwise.

Anyhow, moving on.

Monica (one of the attorneys at the firm who’s been working our case) got in touch with the DA at Cooke County, Mrs. Janice Warder. She explained to Janice how much of an injustice it was to have Naz plea guilty to an aggravated felony without even telling him the explicit details of what that means. (MANDATORY detention AND deportation, federal charge of an AGGRAVATED felony, not connecting him with an immigration attorney, etc) Janice said that she thought ALL drug possession charges were Aggravated felonies. Monica said “no, only the one with the wording of ‘intent to deliver’ or ‘distribute” or manufacturing. (I wonder if the previous DA in Naz’s case didn’t know this either?)
Janice then went on to say that they’re “not just going to drop the case” and Monica told her that that’s not what we’re asking for. If Naz had plead to a simple felony possession charge, with all the progress he’s made and his complete rehabilitation, he would almost surely be granted “withholding of removal” by DHS for all the positive changes and his new life. (She read me the list of all the positive equities they consider when granting withholding- Naz literally has 19/20, so it’s “in the bag.”)
Janice extended an offer but there’s a huge problem with it.

I cannot include details right now since this is still an open immigration case.
Note: If he doesn’t take this offer, it’s Singapore for life. we’d love to spend some time there voluntarily- but not be forced there and banished indefinitely from the US where our entire life is.

WHY IS THIS OUR ONLY OPTION?? The DA/Judge/Naz’s previous attorney is at fault for not consulting with an Immigration attorney and referring Naz to one also before he plead to the charge.  Padilla vs Kentucky says specific things have to be said/done when dealing with a non-citizen, and they weren’t! That is THEIR mistake! Naz has a family and a future and SO much is tied to that now. It’s an entire community affected, a family torn, and a wife mourning the not-so-temporary loss of her new groom.
I don’t understand this “offer” at all. He’s already paid all fines and restitution. Has already paid thousands in probation fees thus far. Has completed 4 flawless years of probation.

We’re going to fight this just like every other injustice we’ve faced. I’ll be posting the address to write to Janice Warder so we can attest to Naz’s character and his effect on our lives, and shout that we ALL think this is outrageous and that Naz needs to come home. Enough is enough.

Once again, I apologize for the ambiguity. Just be in prayer. :)

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5 Responses to An offer from the Cooke County D.A.

  1. Hope Mustakim says:

    Even if he’s gone for even just another year, all these things are impacted:
    My education- 1 year left of Baylor and I am struggling to pass my classes. I need to finish soon b/c it’s a hefty hefty tuition and I cannot afford to go into loan repayment if I take off school. If I do take off, will I ever go back?
    Family- Naz is 32. We want to start a family as soon as I graduate (December 2012). If he does time, this adds several more years of waiting, and it’s already on our minds constantly. He’s not getting any younger (neither am I!!) and he already has a few health concerns. If I start having children at 28, I don’t know if we’ll be able to have the 6 children that Naz wants. :)
    Our house- If I continue being a student with this little of income, I will have to sell our house. If I take off of school and work full time I could keep it, but then that affects everything else. Do I really want to waste the past 3 years of college and have nearly $50k in student debt with nothing to show?
    Being apart- this is KILLING US. Slowly it just tears and gnaws at you. Granted, he may have contact visits in state prison (not sure?) but I will still be spending hundreds of dollars each month on phone calls and travel expenses. I will be traveling twice a month to visit him who knows how many hours away. It’s hard. My life is at a constant standstill. I feel like I live from weekend to weekend. My bag never is fully unpacked.
    Finances- basically, all the things above influence our financial situation. It’s such a confusing web of decisions. They affect SO much. School, the house, the costs of visits and calls, regular bills- leaves the question, do I finish school or not? If I do, I have no idea how I’ll keep the house for the next year while I’m taking 14 hours of classes AND interning at Waco ISD. More student loans I guess. :-/

    But if he doesn’t take the offer we will most likely spend the rest of our lives across the world. I will visit family ALONE, and it will be expensive. Our holidays will always be either alone or divided. None of our close family and friends will be there when our kids are born. We will miss everyone deeply. I don’t know how I’d finish my last year of school. He will never be allowed back in the US.

  2. Barbara says:

    I am so sorry, I feel for you, this is a terrible decision to have to make,
    I am thinking of you both.

  3. Carmen Llanes says:

    Hope, please let us know how we can be of support, writing to the DA, praying, all of it. We are here in whatever way we can be. This is another slew of reasons that we must END MANDATORY DETENTION.

    I’m praying for a miracle for you two and all your family. I’ve seen it, before.

    All the best to you.
    Carmen Llanes, Austin, TX

  4. Audrey says:

    Oh, Hope. I’m so sorry.

    Please talk to Monica and make sure that he’d not be taken into custody by ICE once paroled out. After all, ICE would have no reason not to immediately detain him again, and if they take him into custody, there’s no way he’d be able to meet his parole requirements (which generally involve regular visits to / with an officer). It would be awful if he were released from prison only to walk right back into ICE’s hands.

    Don’t give up. Naz sounds like an extraordinary soul. We’re all rooting for you.

  5. Jana says:

    I’ve been so out of touch lately…I just read up on what’s going on. I’m so sorry Hope!! I can’t believe this is happening!!! Nothing bothers me more than when “justice” is totally unjust. I will be praying. Headed over to the other posts to see what I can do to help.

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