(dramatic music) – We started the Post-DeportationHuman Rights Project to try to educate about an area that needed sustained, serious attention.
BC has been at the forefrontof recognizing that.
And that has allowed usto build over many years a really excellent immigrationprogram that involves not just the courses that I've been working on but the immigration clinicwhich is lead by Mary Holper.
The ninth circuit appealsclinic that's lead by Kari Hong, and anumber of other courses and interactions betweenthe School of Law and the School of Social Work.
So it's a combination of thebasic ethos of the institution but also the specific commitmentto these types of issues.
– People who've beenwrongfully deported face overwhelming obstacles.
Wilmer was deported toHonduras when he was 21 and he landed in a countrythat he barely knew.
There was political corruption, great violence, gang violence.
There was extreme poverty andhis entire family network was in the United States exceptfor a few distant relatives.
– I remember when the officeror security guard told me, Mr.
Garcia, you're going home.
I'm like, I'm going home.
Yes! Really? Wait a minute.
Home, where? Where you from? Here in New Orleans.
No, no no no.
Where were you born? In Honduras, that's where you're going.
I'm like, no, no, no, you can't do that.
No, please, please.
Nope, gotta go.
I didn't know what to do.
I barely had a coupleof bucks in my pocket.
My parents as they put it, itwas very difficult for them.
They consulted an immigration lawyer twice throughout our firstfive years and both times they told her we'll have towait until Wilmer complete 10 years of being deportedto Honduras and then you can petition for myself.
And um, but that was a big lie.
I had a family member thatcame and visited back then and he asked me, we were talkingabout everything, catch up.
So Wilmer, you speak English, you know how to use the computer, why don't you go onlineand try to search and see if you can find another way out? I mean, 10 years is 10 years.
I was like, you're right.
So that automaticallytriggered my determination to search anything.
And that's when the Lopez case come out.
And I started reading the Lopez, I'm like, wait a minute.
I started reading it.
I'm like, this guy samething that happened to him, happened to me.
And at the bottom of the article they had three telephone numberswhere it stated that if you or anybody you know hadever went through this, to call any of these three numbers.
I called the first number, no answer.
I called the second number,that's when I got in touch with Trina Realmuto.
She got me in touchwith Jessica Chicco and Mr.
Dan, Professor Dan,and that's where we rode the ball from there.
– Fortunately we had aformer student at a firm called Nixon Peabody whowas able to work with us and that firm energetically andgenerously could devote the time and the resources to helpus litigate this case.
So we had the particular expertise, they had the horses,they had the firepower, and together we created ateam that worked together on this case.
– We expressed to him from thebeginning that this was not gonna be an easy task.
But, when you have anindividual who shows the type of grit and determination that he does, and frankly courage,because he was in Honduras.
He had no counsel, he hadno access to resources.
He was literally Googlingfrom an internet cafe with spotty research andspotty internet connection, trying to find someone,anyone who would help him.
But despite all of that,he had a lot of hope and a lot of courage that an outcome could be favorable to him.
– There's no words to describeyou know the satisfaction.
And you don't have to say much.
You just hug him and give him thanks.
I'm beyond grateful toPost-Deportation Human Rights Project from Boston College, becauseif it wasn't for them, this wouldn't be possible.
– Wilmer's win is so unusualand I hope that it is an inspiration both to deportees but also to legal advocatesin this country to show that despite the odds, it ispossible to reopen a case, to bring a wrongfullydeported individual back to the United Statesand navigate the thicket of process that thatentails and to let them have their day in court and to fight the claim that they are entitled to fight.