Free Sima

I was outraged when I learned about the detention of an Iranian woman who has been peacefully living in Carrboro for several years.

Sima Fallahi, 48, was detained last week after living in the United States for two decades. Her 104 Shelton St. duplex is a few blocks from Carrboro Elementary School, where she served in the Parent Teacher Association, and Weaver Street Market, the local natural foods hangout. Her paintings have hung in Town Hall.

Now Fallahi sits in a Mecklenburg County federal prison.

Her Western ideals, out-of-wedlock daughter and Unitarian beliefs would cause her to be "persecuted, tortured and/or killed" if deported, Fallahi wrote in a 1998 application for political asylum.

Mayor Mark Chilton and state Sen. Ellie Kinnaird urged Price, a Chapel Hill Democrat, to intervene.
- | Fate of mom, girl worries Carrboro

I'm definitely glad to hear our elected officials are getting involved. If you know any of them, please encourage and support their efforts to shine a spotlight on this until Sima is freed or at least gets a fair hearing. Here's the part I don't get:

Fallahi was detained Wednesday after applying for a Chapel Hill business permit to sell art on the street.

During a routine background check, the Chapel Hill Police Department found her name on "final order for removal" status on an immigration law enforcement database. She was detained at the Orange County jail until immigration authorities transferred her to federal prison.

Didn't the Chapel Hill Town Council pass a resolution encouraging local law enforcement to disregard excessive federal laws that violate local residents civil rights. Does this not fall into that category?



Repeating myself from above:

I do not think it is appropriate to get into a discussion of Sima's familial relations in this forum.

Here's what we know and what should be the basis for our discussion:
-Sima has given a power of attorney to her friends Kathleen and Bob who are working with her immigration attorneys;
-Sima, with concurrence of Orange County Social Services, has given custody of Leila through the end of the school year to Kathleen and Bob;
-Sima's attorneys have set up a mechanism for the community to contribute financially to Sima's legal expenses. Information on how to contribute can be found here.

Let's end this thread. Everyone's had their say, it's up to the lawyers now. I've found this entire situation distasteful at every turn, and I agree with Dan and Ms. Fallahi's brother that this is fundamentally a private matter on the specific question of Ms. Fallahi's immigration case. Perhaps another thread could be started to discuss the larger question of local government's obligation to participate in the enforcement of immigration laws, what those laws are, and so on. (But even that, I think, has been well covered on this thread.)

Please end this thread.

Duncan is right. Kill the thread.

There is obviously much more going on in this situation than meets the eye, and nobody -- least of all Sima herself -- will benefit from further discussion about her situation in this public forum.

I think the same, incidentally, about this site which, however well-intentioned, could end up souring the impression a government attorney or immigration judge might take of Sima's situation.



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