After Jack Helsell’s sawyer, Benjamin Nunez, was detained at the Border Patrol checkpoint in Anacortes, Helsell contacted senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell as well as his congressman, Rick Larsen, in the hopes that those representatives could help keep Nunez on Orcas Island. He didn’t hear anything back from Cantwell or Larsen, but received this letter from Murray: (Helsell, who doesn’t have a fax machine or Internet access, dictated it over the phone.)
Dear Mr. Helsell:
A member of my staff contacted U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and received this response: His immigration hearing is scheduled for July 18, 2008 at the Seattle Immigration Court. He is charged with illegally entering the United States. Accordingly, he cannot adjust status or change status. He will most likely be deported on this date. He may be granted voluntary departure with a departure order to take effect if he fails to depart the United States. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to help with your case at this point as it is in legal proceedings. If you need assistance with obtaining an attorney, I recommend that you contact the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project (NWIRP). NWIRP is a non-profit that assists immigrants and refugees with their immigration cases. I am enclosing information about NWIRP for you with this letter. I am sorry that I do not have better news for you at this time.
Sen. Patty Murray