Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Do you feel safer now? DHS deportations…

with 5 comments

This is terrible—and it’s being done in our name.

Selinsgrove, PA — Dr. Pedro Servano and his wife, Salvacion, “are America … a family to parade across the world’s stage as an example of our nation’s best and brightest.”

That’s Homeland Security Department counterterrorism operative Bill Schweigart’s assessment of the Selinsgrove couple, who came to the U.S. from the Philippines more than 20 years ago.

Pedro Servano serves about 2,000 patients through his family practice at the Geisinger Medical Group near Selinsgrove. Salvacion Servano operates a small business in Sunbury. Two of their four children are Temple University graduates. The younger ones are 15 and 13.

U.S. immigration officials intend to deport the doctor and his wife.

The Servanos received a letter Oct. 25, ordering them to report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials Friday at Allenwood Federal Prison. A 17-year battle might be near an end.

The Servanos’ offense? They entered the United States in the early 1980s on visas that did not reflect the couple had married since their mothers had completed the pair’s visa applications.

Immigration officials say that’s a misrepresentation and grounds for deportation.

The couple won’t be taken away next week, only processed, said Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Michael Gilhooly. But they’ve had their due process and ultimately must go, he said.

The children can stay. All were born in this country, so they’re American citizens. That creates difficult choices, though.

Shappine and Steven Servano are Temple graduates. Shappine, 24, works in Philadelphia, and Steven, 22, plans to attend law school.

But Peter Servano is a 10th-grader at Selinsgrove High School, and Phoebe Servano is in eighth grade at the middle school. They probably will stay in Philadelphia with family if their parents must go.

The children have never been to the Philippines, and their parents are concerned they might be kidnap victims if they went along. Criminals might think their father has a lot of money because he is a doctor.

That is not the case, Pedro Servano said, noting his older children have nearly $150,000 combined in student loans to be paid.

The couple’s attorneys, Gregg Cotler in Philadelphia and Gregory B. Craig in Washington, say support for their clients is growing.

An example is the letter quoted earlier from Schweigart, writing on his own and not speaking for the Department of Homeland Security — of which Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a part.

Schweigart wrote, “I cannot fathom how deporting the Servanos fulfills any portion of the ICE mission.”

He noted they did not sneak into the country, have broken no laws, have not been a burden to the economy and pose no threat.

The Servanos were sweethearts in the Philippines. After he graduated from medical school in 1979, Pedro Servano went often into remote areas to see patients, and Salvacion, a nurse, sometimes accompanied him.

While they were waiting to receive visas to the U.S., her father told them people were talking about their trips together, so the two eloped and married in 1980.

Salvacion came to the U.S. in 1982, and Pedro followed two years later. He practiced medicine in Philadelphia, and she continued nursing. They had a formal marriage ceremony in 1987.

They moved to California to be close to Salvacion’s family, and in 1990 they applied for U.S. citizenship. During the process, an immigration official accused them of having misrepresented their marital status.

The Servanos were told they would be deported. An immigration law judge, an appeals board and, in 2002, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to overturn that decision.

The couple returned to Pennsylvania 15 years ago when he joined the Geisinger Health System. She operates Sermart, a small bakery and Oriental store on Market Street in Sunbury.

Federal lawmakers have been made aware of the Servanos’ plight, Cotler said.

The couple have done nothing wrong except that their visa applications wrongly stated they were single, which was true when the applications were submitted, Cotler said.

“I think it’s horrendous,’’ said Ted Williams, who lives near the Servanos in Penn Twp. “It is beyond belief they would take them to Allenwood and deport them. They’re really nice people.”

Geisinger spokesman Dave Jolley said, “We are hopeful that issues surrounding [Servano’s] and his wife’s application for citizenship will be resolved soon and a ruling will be made in their favor.”

Pedro Servano said his family is grateful for the support they are receiving.

“Most of them are strangers,” he said. “They can relate to the suffering that likely will happen to the family.”

Written by Leisureguy

19 November 2007 at 5:49 pm

5 Responses

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  1. This is in my hometown. Dr. Servano is my personal physician. In support of he and his wife. This is ripping his family apart. Young, in love, wanting to get back together after 2 yrs apart. A taxpaying citizen, active in the community, and business owners, how can one say deport them?????????

    This is a very rural area of Pennsylvania, where they cannot keep good physicians, this is absurd. Everyone makes mistakes in their lives and nobody can say honestly they haven’t, not even myself……please understand he and the family have not hidden in anyway from this. Unlike many in our area and move from area to area to keep ahead of the Immigration Office.

    It would be nice that people care about outstanding citizens that come to America to fulfill a DREAM…..just as the Servano’s have. If you do care please help by signing the online petition, DONATION NOT REQUIRED!!!!!

    All please go to this site to show your support for the Servano’s:

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/servanofamily

    Like

    K Maiolo

    20 November 2007 at 9:10 am

  2. I hope the Servano’s get to stay in this country. I came to this country over 40 years ago. Lawrence R. Brownlee, MD – Concierge Medicine, Tustin, Orange County, California – also migrated into this country. MD Elite, mdelite.com,
    http://www.mdelite.com

    Like

    Oscar

    21 November 2007 at 5:20 pm

  3. They should be deported, it is not an honest mistake. Its a defiance of the US law.

    Like

    Richard

    5 October 2008 at 8:03 pm

  4. Richard, I have to disagree. In addition, any harm done is trivial compared to their contributions to society. Justice should be tempered with mercy—and should be administered with good judgment.

    Like

    LeisureGuy

    6 October 2008 at 7:47 am

  5. they should not be deported because they been a good citizen to that country..

    Like

    miraflor family

    6 December 2008 at 12:41 am


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