RESOLUTION OPPOSING ATTEMPTS TO DEPORT OMAR LEZAMA de la ROSA
WHEREAS, Omar Lezama de la Rosa is a native Mexican who has been living legally in the United States since 1997;
WHEREAS, on or about July 19, 2005, Mr. Lezama de la Rosa was arrested and charged with a rape alleged to have occurred in the Chinatown section of Philadelphia;
WHEREAS, Mr. Lezama de la Rosa learned that he was a suspect from media reports, and promptly turned himself into authorities;
WHEREAS, within just a few days the Philadelphia Police Department concluded that Mr. Lezama de la Rosa had nothing to do with the crime for which he had mistakenly been arrested;
WHEREAS, the District Attorney of Philadelphia has formally withdrawn all charges against Mr. Lezama de la Rosa;
WHEREAS, notwithstanding that Mr. Lezama de la Rosa has been formally cleared of any wrongdoing in connection with the crime for which he was mistakenly arrested, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement office has apparently decided to initiate deportation proceedings arising from a criminal conviction for assault which occurred in 1999;
WHEREAS, the victim in that criminal trial, a Police Officer, testified on Mr. Lezama de la Rosas behalf at trial and recommended that he not be sent to jail;
WHEREAS, the Assistant District Attorney who prosecuted the case also recommended a significant downward departure from both the standard and mitigated sentencing guidelines; and the Court, which tried the case without a jury, accordingly sentenced Mr. Lezama de la Rosa to just 3 months of house arrest followed by probation, and noted that he was convinced that the incident was an aberrational act by the defendant not likely to be repeated again;
WHEREAS, Mr. Lezama de la Rosa fulfilled all the obligations of his sentence uneventfully, and has not engaged in any misconduct since 1999;
WHEREAS, Mr. Lezama de la Rosa has been a contributing member of society for the past six years in Philadelphia, in the restaurant business, is now a homeowner and is the father of a 16 month old son;
WHEREAS, in the year 2000, Federal authorities determined that Mr. Lezama de la Rosas conviction was not a basis for deportation;
WHEREAS, Mr. Lezama de la Rosas background and conduct since then have been beyond reproach;
WHEREAS, no principal basis exists upon which to now deport a law-abiding and responsible legal resident of our country.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association urges the Unites States Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, and other pertinent Federal Authorities, to withdraw and/or desist from any further efforts to deport Lezama de la Rosa from the United States.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Chancellor or his designee is authorized to communicate the position of the Philadelphia Bar Association to all appropriate governmental authorities.
PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION BOARD OF GOVERNORS ADOPTED: JULY 28, 2005