ICE Holding U.S. Citizen for Deportation
Monday, December 14, 2020
NEW YORK -- A Queens man held in immigration detention for more than five months is being threatened with deportation but his lawyer said there's a big problem: He's a U.S. citizen.
Pascal Shakoure Charpentier was 18 when he was charged with felony murder for being associated with a robbery in which a man was killed on a New York City subway platform.
He served 24 1/2 years in prison, earning two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree, before being granted early release in 2015.
Then last July, he was arrested by ICE agents and now faces deportation to Haiti under a sweeping executive order signed by President Donald Trump during his first week in office.
Julie Goldberg, Charpentier's attorney, said ICE previously determined Charpentier is a U.S. citizen.
"Both of his parents were citizens when he was born on a U.S. military base where his father was serving," Goldberg explained. "And they're just refusing to cooperate and turn over the evidence that would make this case very simple."
She noted documents indicate ICE determined Charpentier is a citizen twice before but began re-evaluating his citizenship status in 2018.
Nathalie Sicard, Charpentier's fiancé, pointed out his exemplary record while incarcerated led to his early release, and since then he has started his own production company and works with young people who are at risk.
"He has a nonprofit organization for youths to help them not fall into a situation where they'll be incarcerated," Sicard emphasized. "He's a positive person and he's an asset to the community. He doesn't understand why is that happening to him."
Today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is receiving a petition signed by more than 15,000 people calling on the governor to grant Charpentier a pardon, ending the deportation threat.
Except for his birth on a U.S. Air Force base in Germany, Charpentier has lived his entire life in the United States. He has never even been to Haiti. But Goldberg cautioned the fight to stop the government from sending him there is far from over.
"He could be detained for years and he could spend a lot of time in the court system, especially in the Federal District Court with regard to documents that the government is refusing to turn over," Goldberg remarked.
She added the immigration judge hearing the case so far has refused to order the government to release the documents that would prove Charpentier's citizenship.
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