On April 10, 2014, POLITICO Magazine’s cover story was an essay from Howard Dean Bailey, a deported US veteran, husband and father. The article described Howard’s life in the United States and his terrible experience with America’s broken immigration system.
Now there is a petition to bring him home. So sign the petition, click here: http://bit.ly/PqwcuO
The petition, to be delivered to President Barack Obama, reads as follows:
Howard is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and a hard-working father of two teenaged children. Howard Bailey came to the U.S. with his family with a green card when he was a 17. In 2012, the U.S. deported Howard to Jamaica based on a 1997 marijuana conviction. He had not been to Jamaica since he left 24 years before. His deportation devastated his family. They lost their home, business and way of life; his marriage is struggling and his kids cannot comprehend why their father is not coming back home.
Howard joined the Navy after high school and was deployed to the Persian Gulf War. In 1995, soon after returning home, Howard agreed to accept a package from an acquaintance. Federal agents had been tracking the package, which contained marijuana, and Howard was sentenced to 15 months in prison due to strict mandatory sentencing laws. Upon his release, Howard rebuilt his life, becoming a small business owner, devoting himself to his family, and mentoring returning veterans.
Ten years later, after coming to the attention of immigration officials because he applied for citizenship and disclosed his old conviction, he was handcuffed and taken by 11 armed immigration officers in an early morning raid as his wife and daughter watched on in horror. After two years in an immigration detention facility 2,000 miles from home, Howard was deported. Immigration laws tied the hands of the judge, who was unable to weigh Howard’s contributions against his 15-year-old drug conviction for which he had long ago completed his sentence. Howard and his family and friends pled with immigration officials to use discretion to stop his deportation, but they were denied.
We, his family, friends, fellow veterans, and members of the community, ask and urge you to allow Howard Bailey to return back home to the United States.
cc: Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Department of Homeland Security
Eric Holder, Attorney General, Department of Justice
Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services
Please sign the petition, and let’s reunite Howard with his family.