Village Voice 05.10.2017 : Page 4

4 May 10 -May 16, 2017 IS THIS THE MAN WHO WOKE UP MENSWEAR? By Kenneth R. Rosen p.10 CRACKING THE PERFECT SWEET POTATO DESSERT By Zachary Feldman p.13 Tony Chen thought he’d paid his debt to society. Then ICE tried to deport him. for the subway. He’ll be home soon.” Tony was gone for over eight months. Tony was arrested more than a year before the President Trump executive action that could spur an era of increased deportation. But for years, ICE has been arresting green-card holders like Tony with nonviolent criminal records and warehousing them in detention facilities without bond hearings. Now the Su-preme Court is about to decide whether this practice violates due-process rights guaranteed by the Constitution. The case is Jennings v. Rodriguez , and the plaintiffs are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union. If the Court upholds a lower court’s decision and rules in favor of the ACLU, it will require the government to give de-tainees a bond hearing within six months of detention. In a bond hearing, a judge can decide that a detainee is at “low flight risk and not a danger” and grant release, allowing him to return to family and work while his case is pend-ing. If the Court rules against the ACLU, prolonged detention of immigrants will continue and, under Trump’s immigrant crackdown, likely grow to an unprece-dented level. ony and Tracy moved to New York City from Guangzhou nearly twenty years ago. At first, life un-folded as they had hoped. Tony opened a shipping store and Tracy focused on raising their three children. But as Tony’s business profits grew, he began gambling with clients in Atlantic City. One night, he gambled $500 and won $80,000 within an hour. “I felt so lucky, I started going two times a week. I couldn’t focus on my business. Every second I had money in my pocket, I wondered if I should call a cab and go to New Jersey.” In 2007, Tony quit gambling with the help of a therapist, but his problems didn’t end there. In 2010, police arrested Tony because boxes sent from China to his shipping business contained counterfeit jewelry and purses. He was also charged with welfare fraud for underreporting household income and receiving Medicaid. Tony pleaded guilty to counterfeit and fraud — both felonies — and received five years’ probation. At the height of his gambling luck and business profits, Tony was rich. By 2010, he was destitute and ashamed. Over the next five years, Tony paid fines and followed probation rules. Some nights he came home early enough to cook red-seared pork or salmon with star anise and ginger. Despite financial troubles, Tracy says “there was a lot of joy and laughter in our family.” After completing probation in April 2015, Tony traveled to Toronto for his nephew’s graduation. On his way home, airport customs officers warned him. “They said there was a problem with my green card,” Tony remembers. “I was shocked.” VILLAGE T Green-card holders with nonviolent criminal records can be held for months with no hearing, and without legal help some opt to leave the country rather than wait BY SARAH GIBSON • PHOTOGRAPHS BY CELESTE SLOMAN t 6 a.m. on a Saturday in August of 2015, Tony and Tracy Chen woke up to knocks on the front door of their Brooklyn apartment. Tony fumbled down the stairs to find three ICE offi-cers. “Are you Mr. Chen?” one asked. “Get DEPORTATION BY DETENTION dressed and come with us. We need you to sign some papers at immigration court.” Tony, 46, was a lawful permanent resi-dent, which means he has a green card; his wife, Tracy, and their three children are U.S. citizens. As Tony changed out of A his pajamas in a corner of the living room, Tracy pleaded with the officers. “What did he do wrong? Where are you taking him?” “Don’t worry,” an officer said as he handcuffed her husband. “Give him $20

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