Coping with deportation

Coping with deportation

Yaamini Venkataraman

Senior Gadi Dubiner offers aid to girlfriend whose family faces deportation

On Nov. 29, senior Gadi Dubiner spoke in front of English teacher Matt Brashears’ fourth period Mythology and Folklore class in an effort to encourage a letter writing campaign to Senator Diane Feinstein. This was part of an ongoing attempt to lift the mandatory deportation order given by the Board of Immigration Appeals that would send girlfriend and De Anza College freshman Ana Cordoba’s family back to Veracruz, Mexico.

“I stayed up night after night trying to look up legal loopholes to extend their stay here,” Dubiner said. “I talked to lawyers through emails, I asked my family for help after a while, and besides that, I helped her make an awareness video.”

The family  received the deportation order on Nov. 1, 2010. The initial deportation  date was set for Dec. 17, 2010, but the date was extended to Jan. 16.  Photo illustration by Yaamini Venkataraman and Laura YangDespite his efforts, Ana’s parents were deported back to Mexico on Jan. 16. Ana accompanied them, though she returned to the U.S. on Feb. 18.

Being an American citizen, Ana opted to stay with the Dubiner family while continuing her education at De Anza College. Her parents, Maria Isabel Viveros de Cordoba and Ramon Adolfo Cordoba came to the country in May 1990 and June 1991 respectively on tourist visas, allowing them to travel back-and-forth between the U.S. and Mexico indefinitely. They applied and received work visas in 2001, issued by the Immigration Court. However, that same year, her parents’ work visas were revoked.

“In order to stay here, we decided to apply for residency,” Ana said. “So we started going through court hearings. In our first court hearing [on Aug. 30, 2002], we actually won. A month later, they revoked it with almost no reason.”

The family filed for an appeal immediately to the Board of Immigration Appeals. The case was sent and denied for a lack of evidence in 2003, according to a court document filed with the Board of Immigration Appeals. Again, the family filed for an immediate second appeal to the BIA. The court system responded in 2004.

“We were hoping that [the BIA] would be clogged long enough until I turned 21 because of the family unification visa,” Ana said. “But no.”

On Aug. 17, 2004, the BIA reversed the immigration judge’s decision and issued a voluntary departure which came with removal orders if they failed to leave. After receiving the BIA’s decision, the family appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which transferred the case to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California for further investigation, which remanded the case to the BIA, according to a court document filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


“Money and violence are the problems—there’s drug violence running rampant through [Veracruz],” Ana said. “My uncle was just recently murdered by [drug gangs]. My family has been getting death threats. They haven’t acted on it yet, but we don’t know.”



The family had another court hearing with the judge June 16, 2005, and the BIA remanded the case to the Immigration Judge for a new decision. On Feb. 9, 2006, an application was filed stating that the 2002 court hearing was binding to the Immigration Court, especially with new evidence relating to health problems of Ana’s father. The Immigration Judge acknowledged the application in a hearing Feb. 24, 2006, but said that this evidence was irrelevant. Unless the “qualifying relative” that would be taking care of Ana had health problems that would prevent them from taking care of Ana would the appeal be considered. The Immigration Judge gave the family a time period in which they could voluntarily leave the country, according to a court document filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. If they hadn’t left by this time, they would be subjected to mandatory deportation. The family appealed yet again to the BIA.

On May 4, 2007, the BIA dismissed the appeal.

After yet another failed appeal, the family received the deportation order on Nov. 1, 2010. The initial deportation date was set for Dec. 17, 2010, but the date was extended to Jan. 16.

While her parents were preparing for imminent deportation the past several months, Ana deliberated whether to go back to Mexico with her family or to stay in California. As an 18-year-old and an American citizen, Ana could legally stay in California and continue to take classes at De Anza College. Going to Mexico would provide a different set of circumstances.

“Money and violence are the problems—there’s drug violence running rampant through [Veracruz],” Ana said. “My uncle was just recently murdered by [drug gangs]. My family has been getting death threats. They haven’t acted on it yet, but we don’t know.”

Ultimately, Ana has decided to stay in the U.S. She stayed with the Dubiner family for two weeks after helping her parents settle in. Ramon Adolfo Cordoba and Maria Isabel Viveros de Cordoba were unavailable to comment. Edith and Moshe Dubiner declined to comment.

“[My parents Edith and Moshe] were trying to be supportive of me,” Gadi said. “They noticed I was going through a hard time. They met her before and they like her, so she [moved] in with me for two weeks to get on her feet.”

Cordoba is working part-time to save money and will be attending classes at De Anza College next quarter. She is currently staying in Redwood City with her roommate who prefers to remain anonymous.