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U.S. Veteran Asks for Forgiveness, Battles to Return Home

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arnoldThe following is a press release from the Yale Law School Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic:

Conn. Prosecutors Do Not Oppose Pardon Application; ICE to Consider Parole

NEW HAVEN, CT— Former Sgt. Arnold Giammarco, a recently deported U.S. Army veteran, is fighting to reunite with his wife, daughter, and elderly parents in Connecticut.  Today, he is submitting a pardon application to the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles (BOPP) and an application for humanitarian parole to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A press conference will be held on this matter Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 12 PM EST in Ruttenburg Hall, Yale Law School—Room M64 133, Wall St. New Haven, CT.

“The relevant State’s Attorneys all have weighed in and have agreed that the Division of Criminal Justice does not oppose Mr. Giammarco’s pardon application,” Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Leonard Boyle wrote to Mr. Giammarco’s lawyers. “You may feel free to represent this position to the BOPP.”

Mr. Giammarco has also applied for humanitarian parole from DHS to permit him to return to Connecticut for a period of one year, so as to rejoin his family. His wife Sharon Giammarco has been forced to take three jobs to support herself and their five-year old daughter. His mother, 84 years old, suffers from a terminal heart condition and his father, 91 years old, struggles with dementia. In addition, parole would allow Mr. Giammarco to testify at any BOPP hearing and to participate actively in Giammarco v. Johnson, No. 3:13-cv-1670-VLB (D.Conn.), a separate federal lawsuit over his pending citizenship application.

“Arnold has proven that people can transform their lives and the lives of the people they love,” said Mrs. Giammarco. “My daughter and I need him home so that we may continue to grow together. He has suffered enough and I pray that this pardon will give him another chance.”

“We urge the government to permit an upstanding veteran to return to the country he served honorably, the family that needs him, and the only home he knows,” said Garry Monk, Executive Director of the National Veteran’s Council for Legal Redress.  

“ULA hopes that the government will undue the harm that deportation has done to this Connecticut family and their community,” said John Jairo Lugo of Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA). “Mr. Giammarco represents hundreds of thousands of immigrants who have no significant criminal record, yet have been needlessly separated from their families.”

“The Obama Administration has deported 2 million people, but Congress has given DHS broad authority to grant humanitarian parole to persons outside the United States,” said Erika Nyborg-Burch, a law student intern with the Jerome Frank Legal Services Organization of Yale University. “DHS should bring this veteran home.”

View photo galleries: Arnold’s life and what’s happened since he’s been gone