Friday, March 7, 2008

The system grinds on

I'm pretty sure she is not related to Judge Angelini.

Government threatens to deport nun

Sister Cristina Angelini has been called the heart and soul of Shreveport's Renzi Center, an early child development center run by the Catholic church.
But the federal government might be getting ready to tear that heart out. In a country where there are millions of illegal aliens -- and a shortage of Catholic sisters -- the feds are threatening to make her leave and return to her native Italy.

Exactly why, the government couldn't tell KTBS News today. It might be a bureaucratic mixup.
Sister Cristina got a letter from the government last week, telling her she must leave the U.S. by the end of the month.
She had applied to extend her visa and thought she was approved.

Then the letter from immigration officials arrived.
"I was very shocked and confused," Sister Cristina said today. "I don't know why this happened."

Angelini would not discuss specifics pending a conference with immigration officials later this week. But the reason for the deportation could have something to do with Hurricane Katrina and delays in processing her paperwork at immigration's New Orleans office.
But she and her lawyer are having a hard time maneuvering through the government's red tape.
Sister Cristina came to Shreveport six years ago. The Renzi Center's children and their parents have become like family.
"If it's God's will, I'm leaving, but I will carry Shreveport in my heart forever," she said.
Parents got a letter from the center this week telling them about the situation.

"I know how much she loves working with the children. I know what it means for her to be at that school," said Joey Presley, a Shreveport firefighter whose daughter attends Renzi. "I'll have to explain to her why Sister Christina isn't here."

Sister Cristina is finding out what's it's like to be a "number" in the U.S. bureaucracy.
"I still have three weeks to fight, so I'm ready to do so," she said.

A spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in New Orleans said today that two different agencies handle deportations and resident aliens. It could be that the two aren't aware of what the other is doing, he said. He said ICE will look into her case.

Parents of students at the Renzi Center are also contacting U.S. Rep. Jim McCrery of Shreveport

and U.S. Sens. David Vitter and Mary Landrieu, asking them to get involved.