DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Stop The Deportation Of Qing Hong Wu [UPDATE]

February 26th, 2010 | 6 comments | Posted by Jen

The bootstraps tale of Qing Wu, 29 (pictured), is, by nearly all accounts, a success story. As the NY Times reported last week, his family legally immigrates from China when Qing is five, settling in New York’s Chinatown. His mother finds work in a garment factory, his father cooks in Chinese restaurants out of state, but they can still barely make ends meet. As a result, they have little time to look after Qing, who starts getting into trouble as a teen, despite being a gifted student and scoring in the 98th percentile in math (of course). At 15, Qing commits a series of muggings with his delinquent friends and gets sent to juvey.

photo by Todd Heisler/NY Times

It is then that Qing begins to turn his life around. He gets out after 3 years for being a model inmate, receives his GED, works his way up from data entry clerk to corporate vice president of IT operations at a national firm, supports his mother with his earnings, gets engaged, and at age 29, decides to apply for U.S. citizenship. Future’s so bright, you gotta wear shades, right?

Wrong.

By applying for citizenship, Qing comes to the attention of immigration authorities. His record makes him not only ineligible for citizenship but marked for mandatory deportation back to China. Since November, he’s been locked up as a “criminal alien.” Due to tough immigration laws enacted in 1996 that do not allow for case-by-case judgment, the system is treating him like a felon, a foreigner, and somebody else’s problem.

Judge Michael Corriero, who sentenced Qing in 1996, is going to bat for him by supporting a petition to New York Gov. Paterson to grant Qing a pardon. Qing’s fiancee, Anna Ng, his sisters, and his mother, who are all citizens, as well his past and present employers, are working to get the Manhattan D.A.’s office to retroactively grant Qing “youthful offender” status, which would wipe his record clean.

You can help, too. Here’s how:

1. Sign the petition.

2. Contact the Manhattan D.A.’s office (DA Vance) at 212-335-9000 to grant Qing Wu retroactive youthful offender status.

3. Write letters of support to Governor Paterson’s office with a carbon copy to Peter Kiernan, Office of the Counsel to the Governor.

The addresses are as follow:

Governor Paterson
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Peter Kiernan, Esq
Office of the Counsel to the Governor
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

[NY Times: Judge Keeps His Word to Immigrant Who Kept His]
[Free Qing Wu!]
[Public Petition to Support Qing Wu]

[UPDATE: Governor Paterson issues a pardon to Qing Wu and stops his deportation. JUSTICE SERVED.]

Thanks, Yvette!
Thanks, Simon!

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6 Responses to “DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Stop The Deportation Of Qing Hong Wu [UPDATE]”

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by akira_h: RT @disgrasian: Pls RT DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Stop The Deportation Of Qing Hong Wu http://bit.ly/cpVJ0p

  2. JoodeeVoo says:

    This is not an uncommon thing at all, unfortunately. And as much as I want this guy to win this battle, I don’t see it happening just because the system is so inflexible and many people have been deported before in the same situation. This is a very common problem in Seattle, where i live, esp among Cambodian-American men who have also made some bad choices in their lives. They’ll serve out their full sentences and come out changed into decent and admirable human beings with families. Then when they apply for citizenship, they get locked up again and deported back to Cambodia – doesn’t matter that they’ve served they’ve paid the price for their mistakes already, doesn’t matter they’ve cleaned themselves up and established a good life in the US, doesn’t matter that Cambodia is not a country they identify with as home because they came here as babies during the horrible Khmer Rouge era. The US just ships them off because that’s what the law says.

    Prayers to Qing Hong Wu and hopes that the governor actually does intervene, since that appears to be the only solution to this any success coming out of this. I’m sad that it’s too late for some Khmer-American on this side of the country though.

  3. farleyk says:

    Today Governor Paterson announced he is abandoning his bid to retain his office. If this matter moves quickly, the governor will be able to act without the usual political concerns. This could mean “doing what is right” rather than what is politically expedient or advantageous – good news for Qing Wu.

  4. dalianmoon says:

    It is wrong to take a man from the country that he has called home for most of his life because of things in his distant past. I have a feeling he would feel very out of place living in China at this point. It makes me sick.

  5. Jen says:

    Thanks for the update, Simon! I got teary.

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