Tag: Immigration

Kimberly Dearman: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Kimberly Dearman. (UW-La Crosse file photo)

A University of Wisconsin-La Crosse police dispatcher is accusing the public university of firing her because she praised President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

The UW disputes that Kimberly Dearman was fired because of political speech but is now offering the dispatcher her job back after the controversy hit local media.

Dearman’s comments about Trump came after the university’s chancellor, Joe Gow, penned a campus email denouncing Trump’s travel ban. According to WIZM, the chancellor says of the controversy: “You hear this phrase thrown around, ‘fake news.’ I feel I’m really at the center of that right now.”

Dearman’s side sees it differently.

“Will the taxpayer funded University of Wisconsin protect average employee’s right to comment on the political emails sent out by the leadership of the University of Wisconsin?” a letter from Dearman’s lawyer to the UW System Board of Regents asks.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. The University Chancellor Wrote That He was ‘Shocked’ & ‘Saddened’ by Trump’s Travel Ban

Lee Fehr, Dearman’s lawyer, told Heavy in a written interview that the chancellor “sent out a campus wide email complaining about Trump” in January. On February 1, the chancellor “retracted it in campus wide email in part,” said Fehr. The email was shared on Twitter above.

According to The La Crosse Tribune “Gow’s email said he was shocked and saddened by the” Trump travel ban.

Gow’s original email opened with this paragraph: “Like so many of you, the UWL leadership team and I are shocked and saddened by President Donald Trump’s order prohibiting refugees and people from certain predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. Here at UWL we do not discriminate based on a person’s religion or country of origin, and it is very troubling to see the leader of our country doing exactly that.”

Among other things, the email stressed “we want to reaffirm our commitment to ensuring a safe and inclusive campus environment for all individuals, regardless of their national origin, citizenship/immigration status, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, ability and other significant aspects of individual and cultural identity.”

And it said, “We also want to let you know that our university will maintain the privacy of information about the citizenship/immigration status of all individuals, except where required by law or authorized by the individual. Please know that, except where required by law, UWL Police do not assist in immigration enforcement or deportation of any individual, and do not inquire about or report immigration status when performing their duties.”

The La Crosse Tribune reports that Gow then sent out a second email.

“After concerns were raised about Gow’s email about the travel ban, the chancellor sent a second, apologizing for his comments and to make sure they didn’t stifle discussion on campus, which he said is of utmost importance at a university,” the newspaper reported.

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is a public university with more than 10,000 students located in western Wisconsin.


2. Dearman’s Lawyer Says She Was Fired After Expressing Support for the Ban & Saying it Would Stop Terrorists From Getting Into the Country

Donald Trump Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump Tennessee, Donald Trump Jackson portrait

(Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

Fehr says that Dearman spoke about Trump and his travel ban in the context of Gow’s email. Here is the letter with supporting documentation that Fehr sent the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. The letter alleges in part that Dearman “was terminated for comments she made in casual conversation to a co-worker in response to the University of Wisconsin La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow’s emails.”

“My client was working with a student employee, an American of Asian background. They discussed Gow’s email,” Fehr told Heavy. “She says she supported Trump. She thought he was doing the right (sic) by keeping terrorists out. And those immigrants should go back to where they came from.”

Fehr continued, “Apparently that offended the coworker. My client was fired as you can see from the termination letter for…abusive language conduct…and conduct unbecoming of a university employee. Ms. Dearman was involved in hiring the co worker.”

In the letter, Fehr contended, “In response to UWL’s political emails, Ms. Dearman told a co-worker that she supported President Trump’s position on immigration. In summary, Ms. Dearman stated to a co-worker that she felt Trump was put in bad situation. She felt Trump was doing the correct thing by keeping terrorists out of the United States. She felt that those immigrants should go back where they came from. She was terminated because of her political speech in support of President Trump.”

Dearman’s attorney included a copy of what he said was the original complaint in a March 18 letter to the Board of Regents.

That statement says that both the student and Dearman had received the email from Gow. “Kim proceeded to laugh and say that he deserved the backlash he got from students,” the statement says The student allegedly said to Dearman, “Since you disagree with what he said originally, I assume you take the opposite stance in the political argument.”

Dearman allegedly responded “yes and then continued on to say how we should respect our president and trust that he knows best. She continued to say that people who ‘don’t belong here’ should leave and that Trump is trying to make the best of a bad situation and we as a country should support what he does.”

The student complaint says the student allegedly responded that “most people were upset with the policy passed because Trump was saying that it was to keep terrorists out when in reality the countries that were banned weren’t places that terrorists were known to come from and the places where terrorists did come from weren’t banned.”

Dearman then allegedly “went on for about 5 minutes about how immigrants don’t belong and then turned to look at me and said, ‘but no offense to you.’ She then went on to say how she believe (sic) she wasn’t a racist, but she believed that all immigrants deserved to go back to where they were from,” the student alleged in the complaint, according to Fehr’s letter.


3. UW Disputes That Dearman Was Fired for Political Speech

In an interview with The La Crosse Tribune, Gow denied that Dearman was fired for political speech.

“I want to be very clear,” Gow told the Wisconsin newspaper. “We would never let someone go based on their political beliefs. We always follow due process and policy if anyone is let go.”

Gow also said, according to The La Crosse Tribune: “I am proud of my emails. The issue is the racially charged statements and the fact she was not concerned by that at all.”

The Tribune reports that a letter to Dearman from the university Human Resources Director says “Dearman was investigated after a complaint from a coworker and found to have violated university employee policies against unbecoming conduct and threatening or abusive language.”

According to WIZM radio, “The firing decision, Gow said was about racist — not political — speech and consisted of violating employee policies with threatening or abusive language and behavior that was unbecoming of a university employee.”

The La Crosse Tribune put it this way: “According to Gow, officials received a complaint that Dearman had told a student of Asian descent that the student’s people should go back to where they came from.”


4. Dearman Has Now Been Offered Her Job Back

Initially, Dearman was asked by the university to quit or be terminated, reported Fox 6 Milwaukee.

According to Fehr, “the University admitted it failed to conduct proper due process and offered reinstatement” of Dearman’s job on March 15. The reinstatement revolved around whether the university’s due process requirements were followed.

The Associated Press reports that Gow told the wire service “UW System attorneys said Kimberly Dearman should be rehired because she didn’t get a hearing.”

Gow now wants all firing decisions to come to his office first for review.

Heavy has reached out to UW-La Crosse PR and Gow for comment and will update this story if it’s received.

Gow has been UW-La Crosse chancellor since 2007. According to a university biography, before coming to UWLC, Gow “served as both the Interim President (2006) and Provost (2004-2006) of Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln. And earlier in his career Chancellor Gow was the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Minnesota’s Winona State University (2001-2004), as well as both the Associate Dean of Liberal Arts & Sciences (1996-2001) and the Director of the Communication Studies Program (1990-2001) at Alfred University in Upstate New York.”

He has a journalism degree, the bio says.

A conservative media site criticized Gow in 2013 for writing an email inviting people to view a September 11 memorial on campus and pointing out “the memorial’s cross shape, adding a reminder the state-funded public university doesn’t endorse a specific religion.”


5. A State Lawmaker Wants Further Review of the Situation

On March 14, Fehr said, he “sent the (UW System) Board of Regents a letter requesting answers regarding what the standards are regarding responding to political emails sent out by the Chancellor. If political speech, then when can we expect the resignation of Chancellor Gow?”

A Republican state lawmaker has expressed concern about the entire matter.

State Sen. Duey Stroebl wrote, in part: “In a time when campuses have become bastions for hypersensitivity, Chancellor Gow has perpetrated an environment where a mere complaint could cost a person her job. This does not foster discussion or debate – which many academics claim is the purpose of higher education.”

He added: “UW System should immediately review what happened in this case. There is no excuse for a taxpayer funded institution skipping due process procedures when terminating an employee over free speech.”

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Jose Montano & Henry Sanchez Milian: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

A student who has an ICE detainer against him is accused along with his friend of raping a 14-year-old girl during school hours in a Rockville High School bathroom stall.

Henry E. Sanchez Milian, 18, and Jose O. Montano, 17, both 9th graders at the Maryland school despite their ages, were ordered held without bond, The Washington Post reported. (The photo above is of Sanchez Milian.)

The men had each been in the U.S. for less than a year, and ICE has a detain hold on Sanchez for, according to the Washington Post, a “pending alien removal case.”

The case has been thrust into the national immigration debate when Donald Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer mentioned it during a press briefing as an example of why the president wants to tighten immigration policies.

The details of the offense are contained in disturbing court documents. Beware that the details are graphic.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. The Court Documents Describe a Graphic Rape by Both Male Teenagers in the Bathroom

Court documents said that, on March 16, an officer began an investigation into an allegation of rape of a minor. The victim is called Victim A in the disturbing report.

The report says Victim A is a 14-year-old female who attends Rockville High school in Rockville, Maryland.

“Victim A told school staff that she was sexually assaulted by two boys in the school bathroom,” the report says.

“She was in the school hallway when she met with the two other students later identified as Jose Montano and Henry Sanchez Milian. She knew Montano as a friend and did not know Sanchez,” the court documents say.

They say Montano and the victim engaged in conversation and then he allegedly asked the victim for a hug. They passed the bathroom, and Montano is accused of asking her for sex, but she refused. He asked again “more persistently and pushed victim A into the boys’ bathroom,” the court documents allege.

In the bathroom, the two suspects are accused of pushing the girl into a bathroom stall and raping her multiple times and ways, including sodomizing her, while speaking to each other in Spanish. At one point she “cried out in pain” and was told to calm down, the records allege.

Blood was recovered from the bathroom, the report says.


2. Sanchez Has a Pending ‘Alien Removal’ Case Against Him & Was Stopped by Border Patrol Seven Months Ago

According to The Washington Post, Sanchez is “a native of Guatemala who arrived in the United States about seven months ago” and has a “pending ‘alien removal’ case against him.”

According to Fox News, “a Border Patrol agent stopped Sanchez-Milian in August 2016 in Rio Valley Grande, Texas, and determined he’d entered the country illegally from Mexico. Sanchez-Milian was ordered to appear before an immigration judge, but the hearing had not yet been scheduled.”

Fox 5 DC reported, “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has now lodged an immigration detainer on Sanchez.”

Montano came to the United States eight months ago, the Post reported. Because he’s a minor, ICE won’t reveal details of his immigration status, but Sanchez is a citizen of Guatemala, according to WTOP.

The suspects were charged with “first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sexual offense in the violent assault of the female student,” reported WTOP, which said the older suspect is charged as an adult.


3. The Teenagers Were Arrested at the School, Which Sent a Letter Home to Parents & the Superintendent Wants to ‘Change the Conversation’ From Immigration

According to WTOP, Sanchez and Montano were arrested at the school. Fox 5 DC said the sexual assault was announced on a school loudspeaker and surveillance video in the hall captured the men.

The television station reported that the school sent a letter home to parents.

“Ensuring a safe, secure and welcoming learning environment for all of our students is our top priority,” the letter said, according to WTOP. “Our staff remains vigilant in the monitoring of our school each and every day. Please remind your child that if they believe they are a victim of an assault or see something inappropriate, they should immediately tell a staff member.”

According to the Baltimore Sun, Jack Smith, superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools, said, “Some try to make this into an issue of immigration. We would like to change the conversation.” Smith said, “We serve every student who walks in the door. It is not only the right thing to do, it is the law,” according to the newspaper.


4. The Charges Carry the Possibility of Life in Prison & Both Spicer & the Governor Expressed Outrage

The President’s press secretary, Spicer, brought the case up in a press briefing on March 20, saying, “I think part of the reason that the president has made illegal immigration and crackdown such a big deal is because of tragedies like this.”

The state’s governor expressed outrage on Facebook, writing, “The State of Maryland is calling on Montgomery County to immediately and fully cooperate with all federal authorities during the investigation of this heinous crime. The public has a right to know how something this tragic and unacceptable was allowed to transpire in a public school.”

NBC News quoted Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office spokesman Ramon Korionoff as saying, “These are very serious allegations carrying a life sentence. The potential of life in prison would be available as we prosecute these individuals.”

The attorney representing Montano wants the younger suspect moved to a juvenile facility, according to NBC. Police have not released a mugshot for Montano because he’s underage.


5. The Judge Deemed Both Suspects Flight Risks

In denying the suspects bond, a judge “said they were dangerous and flight risks due to the fact they have only been in this country for a couple of months. Montano came to the U.S. from El Salvador,” reported WUSA9.

According to Fox 5 DC, “Although the two suspects are 17 and 18 years old, they were enrolled as freshmen because they both arrived in the United States only a few months ago and were taking English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.”

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