This is bouvier's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following bouvier's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Recent Activity
JJ, I realize that immigration matters are normally exclusively dealt within the Federal courts. However, it is my understanding that Congress recognized that the state juvenile courts were often better equipped to deal with juvenile matters including custody, neglect and abuse. Thus, Congress revised the law under the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Re-authorization Protection Act of 2008 to require the Federal immigration courts to accept the juvenile court's rulings on the child's best interest. When applying for a Special Juvenile Immigrant Visa (SJIV), Rifqa must establish the following: 1.) She is a long term ward of the state and is unable to reconcile with one or both parents. Prior to Wilberforce going into effect in 2009, the courts were inconsistent in dealing with juveniles who had ongoing family reunification plans despite being in care for years. Judges would also sometimes repeat the initial juvenile court investigation which led to the child ending up in care. As I stated above, if the judge rules that reconciliation with one or both parents is not possible, the Federal court must now accept this as fact. 2.) It is not in her best interest to return to her native Sri Lanka. Again, if Judge Gill rules on Rifqa's motion, the Immigration judge must accept this ruling as fact. Of course, I think Ms. Lloyd is going to have be willing to talk about the stigma against a single woman living on her own in Sri Lanka, the large number of persecuted Christians and the death threats she is receiving from there because of her apostasy. It will be interesting to see how far she willing to take her argument. Assuming Judge Gill is willing to rule in the future that these two elements have been established, Rifqa's team will use these findings to submit her SIJV application. This must be done before her 18th birthday. The Wilberforce Act also mandates that SIJVs be process within 180 days of application. There is some ambiguity since SJIV applicants are suppose to be in foster care to receive this visa and Rifqa may age out before this can be completed. I'm praying this won't be an issue since it sounds like the immigration hearing may just be a formality. So, why is there a pre-trial hearing scheduled for April 4th? There were only 2 items that the judge didn't rule on today to my knowledge. They are Rifqa's motion to have her parents punished for harassing her in court by filing frivolous motions which include her private writings and the above elements necessary for her to file for her SJIV. I'm beginning to think the trial may be about the latter. It's going to be interesting to see how her parents and CAIR respond.
Pamela, Do you know what the pre-trial motion is for? Is this about Rifqa's immigration motion? AntiJihadist, perhaps Rifqa's parents are trying a thrid bite at the apple and applying for another form of legal immigrant status? If so, Rifqa will only be allowed to remain in country as long as she their legal dependant. I've known of children who've come in as dependants under their parents' work visas and been forced to return to their home countries upon high school gradution because they could not obtain their own individual visa. Thus, Rifqa may be facing immigration issues either way. Another possibility is that her parents are hoping for some sort of amnesty program before the democrats are thrown out of the House and senate in November. As a border resident, I have some sympathy for an amnesty program (especially for children that have been raised here) but I don't think one will pass anytime soon. There is no political advantage for the Republicans to support this and the blue dawgs democrats are too worried about re-election to support anything this controversial. I remember hearing Mike Huckabee talk about a young high school senior he'd met. She'd recently discovered she was illegal. She'd lived in the US since she was a toddler. Her dream was to become a nurse. With our national nursing crisis growing, Huckabee lamented that it was tragic that she could not qualify for a scholarship which would then obligate her to serve as a nurse in an under-served area for 5 years and have her immigration status normalized. Rather than a blanket amnesty, I wish there was a way for us to normalize the immigration status of deserving candidates such as the young woman I've described.
Truthful_One, According to Pamela's previous reports, John Stemberger is currently trying to pressure her into signing a book deal with a ghost writer. Personally, I hope she does not publish a book deal for at least a few years if at all. (If she feels the need to write one for her own healing--great! But, she should put it in a drawer and think about the implications of publishing it for a couple of years.) She needs a chance to escape and heal. Specifically, she needs to be able to attend college without the worries of being stalked by radicals so that she can pursue her dream to become a doctor (assuming this is still her goal). After she's matured for a few years, she can decide if she wants to live in the public spotlight or not and undertake all the necessary security precautions that Wafa Sultan and others have had to.
Neither Hijab Heagney nor Andrew Welsh-Huggins of the AP, mentioned Rifqa's lawyer's motions which requested that the judge sanction the parents for wasting the court's time and they requested the parents pay attorneys fees and court costs. Can Heartland Patriot or anyone else provide further insight? Was the motion discussed, dismissed or withdrawn? I would also like to hear a few more details about the judges' response to Ms. Lloyds' concerns about Rifqa's legal status. Did she make any ruling or hint that she will likely make a ruling in future that would allow Rifqa to apply for a Special Juvenile Immigrant Visa? Were any details given about the counseling the judge expects the parents to undergo? Previous reports exposed that only Rifqa was being required to attend individual counseling. The parents were apparantely not mandated to take the normal paretning classes, drug tests, anger management and indivdual therapy required of most families who end up in the system. Here's an interesting commentary from a Regent's U Fmaily Law Professor who seems to have a pretty good grasp of the case. Dr Kohm believes Rifqa is in a spiritual and legal battle for her life. She would like to see the family re-united, but believes it is only possible if the parents also are converted. She states, "Proceeding in the Bary case in such reverse fashion of what generally occurs in a family court, and what is needed and required for the best interests of a child is chilling, at best. Proceeding in this fashion does not protect parents’ rights generally either. Most disturbing, it does not foster any sort of reunification or possibility of any restoration for the Bary family, or safety for Rifqa." Finally, is there another hearing scheduled prior to Rifqa's 18th birthday, on August 18th? Thank you Pamela for keeping us informed and thank you to Heartland patriot for the pictures and I hope for more information.
AuntieMadder, Rifqa's birthday is August 10th.
Isabellathecrusader and davidp, I use to think Reader was a muslim troll with possible CAIR affiliations despite his/her claim to be a Christian. Now, I'm not so certain. Recently I was reading about some of the problems with FCCS. They are being sued for not providing services to a now 6 year-old foster child who was sexually and physically abused despite being taken into care at age 4. The grandparents were able to obtain custody, but the state parenting plan did not reflect the child's special needs and circumstances. Thus, no funding was provided for medical or psychological help for the boy. The state initially told the grandparents they were responsible for paying for this contrary to state law. Reader has been an active commenter in this case and others involving FCCS. It sounds like he/she has some experience with the system and may know some of the players involved. It would never surprise me if he/she works for FCCS. As for Reader's religious beliefs, he/she appears to be ecumenical which is incompatible with Christianity. You can't believe that all paths lead to the same place as Reader has done in several of his/her previous posts and truly be a Christian since Christianity teaches that Christ is the only way to salvation. Thus, Davidp, I would not call Reader a 'liberal Christian.' However, you are likely correct in your analysis that he/she came from a Christian background but hates the message and actively works against those who seek to spread the message of the Gospel., I'm thrilled that Rifqa's attorneys have filed this motion. Not only will it protect her physically from her family, but it can also be used as a basis for her to qualify for a Special Immigrant Juvenile Visa (SIJV), a form of visa for unaccompanied, illegal alien minors or illegal alien minors in long term foster care. Why is this motion so important? The William Wilberforce Act, signed by Pres Bush in Dec 2008, amended the rules for SIJVs to require the immigration courts to accept the state family court rulings since in Congress' view they were best qualified to deal with juvenile/family matters. Prior to this, cases like Rifqa's could be re-litigated in Federal Immigration Courts. In fact it was so bad that Professor Angela Lloyd, Rifqa's Guardian Ad Litem and an expert in immigration and dependency law published a paper entitled, "Regulating Consent: Protecting Undocumented Immigrant Children from Their (Evil) Step-Uncle Sam." The new rules established went into effect in March 2009, before Rifqa fled in July 2009. In order to for an undocumented, long term foster child to be eligible for a SIJV, the child must show the immigration courts that she is a dependent of the state and unable to reconcile with one or both parents. She must also prove that it is not in her best interest to return to her home country. A state court ruling in her favor will mean that she will not have to rely on the capriciousness of the immigration courts. A favorable state court ruling would also make it more likely that she receives her SIJV within 180 days from her initial application as required by statute. (However, based on experience with ICE, I can tell you that when it comes to paperwork, they often run way behind.) Given her up coming 18th birthday on August 10, this is a good thing since she will need the appropriate paperwork to support herself. We need to pray that FCCS will back Rifqa's latest move since this will make it more likely for the judge to rule in her favor. (This is at least the way it works in NM where I've volunteered within the system. Thus, I'm assuming the same principles will apply to FCCS.) I'm praying that since Tarazi insulted FCCS by alleging fraud and child endangerment that they will act normally by circling the wagons and defending their own. While this means admitting the family reunification plan failed, I believe this would be preferable to FCCS than allowing the parents through their CAIR affiliated attorney to disparage their names and professional reputations. I'd like to ask john jay or jewish odysseus whether or not they think she will be successful with this motion or will the court demand more family counseling?
"the door is wide open for Mohammadans" Not quite true. The Mexicans are very suspicious of Arabs or Mexicans they believe may have converted. A long beard can get you singled out for extra security as my brother-in-law discovered on a trip back to visit his family a few years ago. He was harassed and asked all sorts of questions about his travels and associations. Just prior to his visit to see his family in Mexico, he'd traveled to London to visit my family. The Mexican authorities gave him hell. You'd have thought he went to London to tour radical mosques rather than to visit elderly relatives. Yes, he is no longer Catholic, but he is not Muslim. He is a member of a mainline protestant church in the US. Finally, he the authorities allowed him to call his father whose in law enforcement to verify his identity. He tells me that he has since learned that his experience is not uncommon for people with unusual backgrounds or long beards. I'm glad that the Mexican authorities are concerned and are on the look out for terrorists. I understand they are especially concerned that Muslim extremists might network with their cartels, hence the current actions against them. Also, remember that unlike the USA, the Mexicans have militarized their Southern border to reduce illegal immigration. They also immediately deport those caught crossing their Southern borders unless they suspect them of crimes. I'm not denying that the Mexican authorities cannot be bought. They've a long history of corruption. But, they are also proud of their cultural identity and are aware that radical Islam is a threat. Remember they are of Spanish origin and learn about the Moor invasion in their history books. So, I believe they are less likely to take a bribe from a group that has sworn to destroy their entire culture than they are from your traditional drug cartel. From the Mexican officials point of view, the cartel members are nominally Catholic and Hispanic--they share the same cultural identity and the Cartels don't advocate Sharia.
Dutchman and others wanting to wish Rifqa well, Perhaps it's time to rile CAIR's feathers and encourage Rifqa by starting an Easter card campaign? I can't imagine what it will be like for her to be allowed to openly participate in Holy Week celebrations for the first time! I bet she's never received Easter cards before. Despite being allowed more freedom, she is still under a tremendous amount of stress from her parents and according to Pamela's reports she is also being pressured to sign a book deal which I believe could negatively impact her healing process at this time. Thus, she needs to know that there are people out there that love her unconditionally. If everyone was to mail a card with in the next few weeks, FCCS will have time to review them before Easter on April 4th. Anyone care to join me in sending her a card of encouragement to the above address? I also plan on including a gift card for her. August is rapidly approaching and she is going to need funds for household/personal items. Given the excessive legal fees that have already allegedly been billed to her trust, who knows if there will be any money left in it for her personal needs? A gift card will ensure she gets the money directly.
CalifGirlInMaine, Ms. Lloyd is still Rifqa's guardian ad litem. Her parents are attempting to remove Ms. Lloyd as her guardian ad litem as part of their latest harrassment campaign. They are upset that she mailed Blake Lorenz a birthday card on Rifqa's behalf in November before they agreed at her December 22nd hearing that her counselor would be responsible for choosing whom she was allowed to contact and that her mail would be screened. Ms. Lloyd accidentally sent this card to the Global Revolution Church's PO Box which Brian Smith controls. He then allegedly opened the letter and forwarded it to her parent's attorney in violation of Federal law. A copy was also given to FCCS. Thus, Mr. Tarazi and the parents were aware of this communication before they made the dependency agreement. They are now trying to renege on their deal because the counselor approved communication with the Lorenzes and has also allowed Rifqa to attend church. Before the dependency deal, she was a prisoner. She wasn't allowed outside contact with friends, etc. Reports say her parents were pressuring her to have regular visits with an Imam in attempts to return her to Islam. The state of Ohio essentially was enforcing Sharia law. As Ms. Lloyd is an expert on immigration and dependency, I hope she is able to retain her position as Rifqa's guardian ad litem. This may also be another reason why Rifqa's parents wish to remove her as Rifqa's counsel. If Rifqa is successful with her petition for a Special Juvenile Immigration Visa, due to the rules and regulations it will be very difficult for her parents to remain in the US legally. Unlike other green card holders, SJIV holders cannot sponsor family members.
Sarastro, I'm not a lawyer either. I've just worked with a number of them. I will however try and answer your questions. Legal eagles, please correct me if I err. Yes, Brian Williams and Rifqa want the same thing-Rifqa's continued good health and freedom. When I referred to "conflict," I meant their legal options/best choices may be contrary to the others best legal interests. This is why co-defendants are usually given the right to separate counsel. Jewish O explains it rather nicely in the comments section under the previous story about Mr. Williams' case. I encourage you to review it. If a lawyer violates their professional code of honor as laid out by their respective Bar Associations and/or State Supreme Court (depending on the state), a client can file an ethics complaint which asks the State Bar to investigate the alleged violation. Advising a client when you've a conflict of interest is possible ethics violation. Rifqa is no longer under house arrest. This is part of the reason her parents are so angry and have tried to reneg on the dependency agreement. Based on their filings, it sounds as if they followed her church on her first Sunday after gaining her freedom. She is allowed supervised phone calls to the Lorenzes at her counselor's recommendation. (The counselor recommended unsupervised calls, but he judge said they had to be monitored at least until March 2 when the issue will be litigated.) I'm sure she has library access. She was going to school online. Court papers revealed she was taking 5 AP classes. So, I'm sure she's busy. As for her Bible, she's had it with her in court. I'm sure she still has it. I agree with you, more people need to stand up for Rifqa and others like her. In the interim, I urge you to act by sending her a note of encouragement. I hear she greatly appreciated her Christmas cards. Let's all let her know we've not forgotten her and will be praying for her.
Jewish O, thank you for your answers about the average costs of for a dependency trial. I'm appreciate your detailed explanation about the dependency process. I asked my questions because I've some concerns about the trust and how it's being used. While I realize lawyers make an average of $300/hour billed in 6 min increments, the $14,000 statement that Pamela referenced above seemed excessive given your previous quote/estimate to Mr. Williams for his misdemeanor defence combined with your recent explanation. I've been trying to figure out approximately how much Rifqa's entire defence should cost. I've seen several figures discussed elsewhere. Someone estimated that she would need over $50,000 for legal fees alone. This seemed excessive. I admit that I've had some concerns with her defence strategy. But, I've been most distressed about her trust since I asked for information about its purpose last November after she returned to Ohio. I never received answers. I would like to see some sort of disclosure as to the type of expenses the trust is responsible for and would like some sort of assurance that they've a plan to reserve some of the money for Rifqa for when she's 18. She is going to need some funds to live on. Yes, I understand the trust has a duty to protect her privacy, but I'm fairly certain she would be willing for the trust to provide a general explanation as to how the funds can and are being used rather than just "legal fees" for an attorney who claims to be working pro bono as alleged above. I would specifically like to know if she is being given access to trust funds to pay for her educational needs like college admission applications, college entrance exam fees, Advanced Placement or CLEP examination fees, etc. While I understand she is eligible to apply for a Special Juvenile Immigrant Status Visa, the process will not be completed in time for her to be eligible to apply for Federal Financial Aid by the March 1 deadline for the fall semester. Thus, she is going to need this trust or some other private financial assistance in order to attend college this fall and likely in the Spring.
Sarastro, The Thomas More Law Center cannot represent Rifqa and Brian WIlliams because they have conflicting interests. This would be an ethics violation which is a breech of the legal code of conduct and can lead to public censure or disbarment. In fact, if Gotterdam has pressured Mr. Williams to plea out as alleged in the previous story about Mr. Williams' impending arrest, he can be reported to his state bar for this violation I'm glad to see her lawyers finally taking these attacks seriously. I hope the counselor will also consider the legal harassment abuse and deal with it in the counseling process. I'm still appalled that according to reports the parents have not been ordered to take parenting classes or anger management which tend to be standard requirements for parents caught up in the system. I'm also disgusted that they aren't also undergoing counseling. Rifqa appears to be the only one expected to change! C Max, Ohio law may allow for fees to be collected for the reasonable value of services rendered. I know this is how the ACLU makes a lot of its money. But, the problem is Stemberger has been raising funds constantly for her "legal fees" while claiming to be pro-bono. Which is it? Pro-bono or not? He needs to be honest with the public who've contributed to Rifqa's defence. I understand that due to privacy reasons her trust cannot give a specific public accounting. But, people have raised some valid questions about its purpose and how much money has been raised and where it's going. Surely Rifqa would be happy for her supporters to know that she needs funds for her expert testimony, PI, college entrance exams, etc. rather than just "legal fees" for pro bono attorneys. I wonder if Rifqa even knows how her trust is being used or if she is allowed to ask for funds for her AP exam fees, etc.? I'd be interested to hear from Jewish O or John Jay how much they would normally charge for a dependency case like this. I'm wondering what the normal retainer agreement would be, etc.
Jewish Odysseus and jj and others, Both of you have commented that a trial is likely to take place after Rifqa is 18. It depends on when Mr. Williams is charged and if he invokes his right to a speedy trial. Both of the alleged charges are misdemeanors in the first degree in Ohio. As such, they each carry a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and $1,000 fine. Speedy trial rules in Ohio require that defendants in misdemeanor in the first degree cases be brought to trial within 90 days of the charges being filed. Assuming that charges are brought soon and this case goes to trial before Rifqa is 18, how would Rifqa's dependent status impact Mr. Williams' ability to call her as a witness for his defence? Could her guardian prevent her from testifying on his behalf? Is her guardian required to be with her when she gives her deposition? Is Rifqa's testimony needed by the prosecution to establish that Mr. Williams drove her to the bus station as a basis for the charges or will her unruly plea suffice? Thanks for the information and your insight in to possible legal strategies. I pray Mr. Williams is able to successfully win his case.
No.islam, Rifqa Bary's birthday is August 10th. There is a counter on
Jewish Odysseus, You stated <<1st, I am stunned that Rifqa Bary's attorneys may actually be encouraging a non-client (Brian Williams) to plead guilty in a criminal case. That is extremely unethical, and a legal conflict of interest. If this is true, then I humbly retract all of the good things I said about them here in the past. Shrewd legal maneuvering must never sink to unethical practice.>> I can't comment as to the veracity of a plea deal, but I can state that in response to Brian's February 10, 2010 facebook post entitled, "22.22. God Speaks through numbers, Ps. The cops are after me" John Stemberger replied, "Powerful. Regarding your PS we are working on it." This bothered me since it sounded like a conflict of interest. Your comments have left me with more concerns. I hope Brian hires a lawyer PDQ to advise him. I'm sure that many of us would gladly contribute to a legal defence fund if necessary. Jewish Odysseus, you and I have disagreed with each other about her legal defence strategy. I believe Jamal had a point when he criticized her defence for making deals with the enemy. I know you believe they are just trying to keep her safe through clever legal maneuvering. Personally, I don't trust the system; nor do I trust deals made with known liars. I have worked with my church's ministry to single parents in crisis which provides counseling and a support structure to parents and children in the system. I've seen innocent parents raked over the coals by the system. I've also seen incompetent parents get their children back. I've never seen a case like this where the child's abuse allegations are substantiated by the parent (the computer used as a threatening weapon) and the state decides to believe the parent's claims of innocence. In fact, it appears that all benefit of the doubt is given to the parents. From all accounts, only Rifqa is being told she needs to modify her behavior. Why isn't the father being subject to the normal anger management programs and both parents required to take parenting classes? My understanding is that these are normally required whenever Child Services is involved. I'm extremely concerned that all behavior modification appears to be on Rifqa's side, not both sides. I believe Jamal and others see a trial as a way to stop the reunification plans made by FCCS which they see as contrary to Rifqa's best interests. By pushing for a dependency agreement, they believe Rifqa's defence let her down by not protecting her from her parents' continued manipulations. However, given the idealism and lack of common sense of many social workers, I am sure they would still want to seek reunification even if the abuse allegations were proven true. We leave too many children lingering in care for year upon years moving from foster home to foster home in hopes of family reunification when we should be terminating the parents' rights and allowing the children to be adopted into loving homes. I do not pretend to have all the answers to Rifqa's case, but I can appreciate Jamal's position that her defence ought to be based on the truth and that the back room deals have not served her well thus far. I wish it was possible to convince social services of the dangers Rifqa is facing without jeopardizing her safety. Unfortunately, it is probably going to take more honour killings before we finally wake up to the dangers and risk factors. I just pray Rifqa won't have to be one of the victims. Egghead, I don't think Rifqa is likely to voluntarily return to her parents to "save" Brian Williams. She is certainly aware of the threats against her and knows she is being stalked as evidenced by her parents' motion citing her church attendance and phone calls since the agreement was made. She has kept the faith this long under great pressure. While I'm sure she is concerned about Brian, she knows his sacrifice would be pointless if she voluntarily returns home. I would encourage everyone to send her a note of encouragement along with your prayers.
I would love to see you challenge Eve Ensler to take a stand against honour violence in addition to your defence of Sarah Palin. I hope you get the opportunity! And if a few Atlas viewers tune in, Behar will probably get higher ratings than normal! But will she wise up and present middle America's view point in a possitive light? Somehow I doubt it.
I believe until we change our primary system to a closed primary, in all 50 states, it will be difficult to nominate conservative candidates. Part of the reason that John McCain won the last time around was not only due to the lack-luster conservative options, but also because the early voting states allow Dems and Independents to vote in the Republican primaries and vice versa. True dems are unlikely to vote in a Republican primary unless the democratic primary is settled and they're trying to stir up trouble. Since the democratic primary was hotly contested, this wasn't really a problem. Thus, it was mainly the independents who greatly influenced our choice of candidate. I doubt Hillary Clinton has relinquished her presidential ambitions. Given Obama's dismal performance in the White House, I believe the dems are likely to have a hotly contested primary again in 2012. Thus, they are unlikely to influence the outcome of the Republican primary. But, we will again be faced with a large influx of independent voters who are able to cast their vote for one of our candidates without committing to the party. Thus, how can we be sure that they have the party's and the country's best interest at heart when they select whichever one of our candidates that they choose to support? As for Palin's support of Lindsay Graham, it's my understand that he was a great support to her and her family during the Presidential campaign. Yes, Senator Graham has a mixed record. But, I can see things in him that Palin would admire including his continued military service to our country. Remember this is something that she emphasizes when talking about John McCain. Also, Graham has been critical of Washington's reckless spending including the Stimulus Package, the health care proposals, earmarks and the ever increasing budget deficit. Graham has also been vocally opposed to trying terrorists in NYC v. military tribunals. Could South Carolina find a more conservative candidate? Probably yes. But, compared to some "Republicans" and the democrats, I'm happy with many of his positions. As for McCain in AZ, I hope he wins his primary. JD Hayworth previously lost his Congressional seat, partially because he alienated the Hispanic vote over illegal immigration. I am not sure he can win in the general election. As a New Mexican, I can tell you that a large portion of the Hispanic population is in favor of strong border enforcement, guest worker programs, etc. Many border residents are opposed to attempting to deport all 12 million illegals, but we also don't favor an amnesty program. The problem is that politicians need to be sensitive and careful with their language when discussing the problem. Hayworth was not as diplomatic as he could have been during his Congressional terms/campaign and he came across as anti-immigrant (legal and illegal) as opposed to pro-enforcement and pro-legal immigration. With the election tide turned against Republicans, Hayworth was unable to win re-election. I hope that Republicans in the Southwest will learn from this experience. They must express their views on immigration enforcement in a positive manner by focusing on things like national security threats and keeping the drug cartel war from spreading to this side of the border rather than appearing to demonize the poor immigrant for trying to seek out a better life here in America, something most Americans can understand and would probably try if the shoe was on the other foot. In addition to the much needed guest worker program, maybe Republican politicians should suggest scrapping the diversity visa program which allows uneducated people from Yemen, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc. to immigrate to the US and create a new lottery to allow more immigrants from friendly countries like Mexico to come here instead.
Toggle Commented Feb 8, 2010 on Palin is America at Atlas Shrugs
jewishodysseus, gunjam and others, I believe you are missing Jamal's point. He is objecting to the lies. I understand that it is common for child protective services to push for re-unification. However, Rifqa has no desire to live with her family again and I believe we are all agreed that this is reasonable under the circumstances. Therefore, this plan is based on a falsehood. As a Christian, Jamal cannot condone making a deal with the enemy based on lies and obfuscations. Stemberger also claims to be a believer. So, why is he willing to compromise the truth and encourage a new believer to also sin by lying? Even Rifqa's guilty plea was a lie used to cover up the state's failure to see any abuse due to fear of offending the local Muslim population and her parents desire to have their honour salvaged. It may also be part of a long term strategy to discredit her. She is not an "unruly" child! I would even argue that endorsing this plan is contrary to scripture. Malachi 2:16 says, "'I hate divorce,' says the Lord God of Israel, 'and I hate a man's covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,' says the Lord Almighty." This verse is often used by Pastors and Counselors to justify divorce in domestic violence cases. Many argue this verse actually mandates divorce. I would argue that the principle applies to children too. We must ensure that children who may be subject to violence be removed from the home permanently. It is also especially foolish to attempt to negotiate in good faith with an enemy that has consistently shown their willingness to lie and manipulate the system. Jamal is rightly concerned about the undue pressure that may be put upon her to reconcile with her family. Even Phyllis Chesler, Stemberger's chosen witness on honour violence, has expressed public concern about the family counseling plan and its chances of success in her Jan 20th Pajamas' Media article. (Yes, I know she got some of her facts wrong.) She is right that many victims are lured home with false promises only to be murdered shortly thereafter. Yes, Rifqa is being allowed contact with some of her Christian friends. But, they will not be allowed to encourage her to stay strong and to resist any false promises from the home front. If they do, I'm sure social services will not allow them to continue to contact her because they will be seen as obstructionists to the family's re-unification. Jamal has been extremely guarded with his tongue. Last month when Pamela was openly criticizing her legal strategy, he declined to voice his personal opinion. He stated that we all want Rifqa to be protected. He has only spoken out now after he privately discussed his concerns with her legal team and attempted to understand their reasoning and logic. As her friend and spiritual advisor he is obligated by scripture to speak out after attempting to settle the dispute privately. Stemberger and the world may view his agreement as a win, but wins must also be in compliance with our Judeau-Christian principles. Otherwise, what's the difference between us and the Muslims in our use of lies to ultimately promote our cause? How can we deplore these tactics and then use them ourselves?
I was just reviewing my comments and I realized that the last sentence should read: Maybe I'm being too picky in asking that Stemberger provide a further break down other than "legal fees" for us, but given the irregularities with the monies already given (Yes, I realize Stemberger isn't responsible for Smith's alleged redistribution of monies donated to GRC on Rifqa's behalf.), I think it is entirely reasonable for the public to want accountability and a more detailed explanation., by speaking out against their strategy, Jamal has made himself persona non grata with her legal team. Therefore, I would not be surprised if he his access to Rifqa continues to remain restricted. I wish Stemberger could/would explain why her legal fees are so high. I thought he was serving pro-bono. Are Lloyd and Gatterdam charging for their services? Surely, Rifqa would allow him to disclose this information since he is actively fund-raising for her defence. People like to know what their money is being used for. I am sure I'm not the only one who doesn't understand why she has large legal fees for pro-bono services. I can understand the need to pay court costs and investigative services, but his email says "legal fees" not "court costs" and "private investigative services." Maybe I'm being to picky in wanting a further break down, but given the irregularities with the monies already given (No, I'm not blaming him for these problems), I think it's reasonable for the public to want some accountability and explanation.
John Jay, I neglected to ask you how Rifqa's parents' most recent legal maneuvers will effect her immigration status? I know that as a ward of the state, she is eligible to seek legal residency. Will this move stop this process until a trial is complete? How would Angela Lloyd's removal (if successful) impact this? Again, I look forward to your insights. Danielle
John Jay, Can you please give your opinion as to the chances of a trial? I seem to recall that the card to Blake Lorenz was mentioned by the state in an earlier hearing. My understanding is that it was also allegedly stolen by Brian Smith and given to Mr. Tarazi. This information was all known to him prior to the settlement agreement. How can he now use it to reneg? Attempting to remove Rifqa's council and guardians seems to be standard practice for CAIR. How do you believe the court will view this motion? How will Rifqa's unruly plea effect a dependency trial? Could this have been part of Tarazi's strategy to weaken her case? Also, why is it unreasonable for Rifqa to be allowed to attend a local church now that she's a ward of the state? And, how do they know? It sounds as if she is been followed. I'm extremely concerned for her safety. Why do her parents have any input in this? They agreed to the arrangements. Finally, is it ethical for an attorney to make a book deal about his high profile case? I'm concerned that he's attempting to sell his story when he should be working to defend his client. Thank you for your insights. I hope you will comment soon. Danielle
Richard, Yes, she could go to university online. But, a small Christian college might also be an option. Much to my parents' disappointment, I decided against going to my Dad's alma mater a number of years ago because it was 1/3 of the size of my high school. This sort of environment could be good for Rifqa because everyone knows everyone and a stranger wishing to do her harm would stand out like a sore thumb. The community as a whole would work to protect her. And maybe, the college of her choice will be willing to provide actual security for her. I'm not sure how she can pay for school given her current immigration status. My brother is in grad school. He tells me that most Financial Aid paperwork is due by early February. I believe she has to be a legal resident before she can qualify for Federal financial aid. I am also not sure if she will have to provide copies of her parents' tax returns. Normally, she would. But, I don't know the rules for foster care children. I do believe that it would be awful if she had to miss a semester or a year because of this. Socially, it's difficult to enter a new university in January since most everyone has established their relationships in the autumn. Does anyone have ideas on what we can do to help? Danielle
Pamela, Do we know what the trust pays for? Is it limited to legal expenses? If you look at the posts under you "CAIR Accomplices" article you'll find a discussion thread about her education needs. This seems to me to be her next big financial hurdle unless she ends up in the Emancipation program instead of a foster home and has to pay for an apartment. Thanks for the information. Danielle