Trump immigration policy breaks up a military family, yet again

Casey Michel

Casey Michel Reporter, Think Progress

Demetry Furman is probably not who the Trump administration had in mind when it sold the notion of “secure borders” to voters.

Furman, a former Canadian army captain, served in Afghanistan alongside American troops, and says he even achieved “top-level security clearance,” according to the Guardian. The 47-year-old’s work included stints alongside the CIA and the DEA. For good measure, his wife, Cynthia Furman, even worked as an officer in the U.S. Air Force.

But as the Globe and Mail detailed last week, none of that mattered to the current administration, or to those working at Immigration, Customs and Enforcement (ICE). ICE held the former artillery captain for months, due to a decades-old marijuana conviction — a conviction that had already been pardoned by the Canadian government.

Even with Furman’s background, and the fact that he’s married to an American citizen, ICE agents seized Furman after he tried to register a truck in Ohio. Finally, after increased media scrutiny, American authorities released the Canadian citizen, driving him to Windsor, Ontario, where he met his wife for the first time in almost three months.

Furman’s difficulties were compounded by the fact that Canadian officials in Detroit reportedly did not answer Furman’s numerous phone calls. According to the Globe and Mail:

Global Affairs Canada said in an e-mail on Tuesday that Canada cannot intervene on behalf of Canadians citizens who do not meet the entry or exit requirements of the United States or any other country, and that a pardon for an offence issued by Canada is not recognized by the United States. 

Furman’s conviction stemmed from a failed attempt in 1992 to sell marijuana to an undercover police officer. Canada, which legalized marijuana earlier this month, eventually pardoned Furman — a pardon that apparently did little to dissuade ICE from believing Furman to be some type of criminal who deserved to be held for months behind bars. To ICE, which made sure Furman was held in a maximum security prison, Furman was a drug dealer.

The incarceration is the latest travesty behind the Trump administration’s immigration policy. From breaking up military families to child separation to threats of military intervention, the administration’s zero tolerance policies have already caught numerous innocent immigrants in its dragnet.

Furman is the latest victim of such a policy — but he likely won’t be the last. “I feel betrayed. It’s a slap in the face because when I was in Afghanistan no one cared what flag was on my shoulder,” Furman told the Guardian.
Reposted from Think Progress
Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work