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June 22, 2010 / J. Shaw

Man arrested,shackled after wife writes to Obama asking for help

Not everyone expects a response when they write a letter to the president of the United States. But Caroline Jamieson got much more than she expected when her husband ended up in jail and afraid he would be deported.

Jamieson, vice president of marketing at a new-media advertising company, wrote President Barack Obama in January because her husband, Hervé Fonkou Takoulo, was facing deportation to his native Cameroon. Takoulo failed in a bid before political asylum almost a decade ago, and a judge issued a deportation order after they were married.

After he and Jamieson married on 2005, Takoulo applied for a green card based on his marriage to a U.S. citizen. But immigration law requires that the deportation order be lifted before the couple can appear before immigration officials to argue their case that the marriage is legitimate and not a ploy to legalize Takoulo’s presence in the United States.

“We want to be given the chance to interview and prove that we are a married couple, so Hervé can get a green card, and that has proven extremely difficult to do,” Jamieson told CNN.

They never received a direct response to the letter. But they did get two Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers waiting outside their East Village, Manhattan apartment on June 3 when Takoulo was leaving the apartment to go to the gym.

Jamieson told CNN that the officers cornered her husband and asked him if he had written a letter to the president. “He said ‘No, but my wife did.’ And they explained that with that letter — when it was brought to their attention — that the Obama administration wanted them to resolve this quickly,'” Jamieson said.

Her husband was held at ICE headquarters for six hours, alone in a room, until he was chained at the wrists, around his stomach and his ankles and taken to the Hudson County Correctional Center in New Jersey, she said.

For the next two weeks, a frantic Jamieson wrote letters to politicians and anyone else who might be able to help. She got responses, she said, but none seemed to lead anywhere. Takoulo was allowed to call his wife once a day at designated times but he knew little about his situation. He spent his days with repeat sex offenders and men accused of felonies, fearing imminent deportation

From Article by Cassie Spodak, Man Arrested after wife writes to Obama for help



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