Deported former gang counselor’s bond request is turned down as his son prepares to ship out to Egypt with the Marines
By Kevin Uhrich 07/02/2013
In a straightforward but nonetheless emotionally charged hearing last week, a federal immigration judge denied bond for a Pasadena man who was deported shortly after being released from state prison, where he had served a nearly 9-year sentence.
Speaking via a two-way video hookup between the Adelanto Detention Facility in Victorville and the US Immigration Court at Sixth and Olive streets in downtown Los Angeles, Immigration Judge Anna Ho said she had no choice but to deny bond for 53-year-old Andres Romero, a former Pasadena gang counselor who was given an 11-year prison sentence for burglary in 2004.
“I am ruling you are a danger to the community. The government has met its burden” of proving Romero was a danger to the community and a potential flight risk if released on bond, Ho said from the bench in LA.
“The government has proved nothing,” a clearly incensed Romero shot back.
“I have ruled they have,” Ho said finally as she turned down the volume on Romero’s claims that his due process rights had been violated by the judge.
Two weeks prior to the bond hearing, Ho’s other order deporting Romero to Mexico was handed down. Romero, who was born in Mexico and came to the United States with his mother at age 2, never became a naturalized citizen. His mother became a citizen, and all eight of his younger siblings were born in the United States, as were all of his children. Romero does not speak Spanish and claims to have been attacked by police officers on two occasions that he briefly visited Mexico. But while Ho said Romero’s claim was credible, he did not prove he would be tortured or killed by government forces if he were sent to live in that country. As Ho wrote in her deportation ruling, Romero’s sentence for the burglary far exceeded the 5-year sentence limit imposed by immigration law for consideration of admission.
Romero has already appealed the deportation to the Board of Immigration Appeals in Virginia. He has until July 26 to appeal the bond denial.
Romero’s wife of 33 years, Cheryl, who was born in the US, and one of their four grown children, Andres III, attended the June 26 hearing downtown.
“I expected it, but I don’t expect her to be so heartless and cold like that,” Cheryl Romero said of Ho. Another of the couple’s sons, Phillip, will be shipping out to Egypt in August with the US Marines, she said.
“I think she already had her mind made up,” Cheryl said of Judge Ho. “I think he was at least entitled to have a chance to be with his son.”