In the name of justice, help stop the deportation of Oleg Mashkov!

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This is a cry from the heart that has been crushed and scattered from a tragedy that I no longer know where to find help, support, or a way out of this situation.

At this time my loving, smart, kind, and hard working husband, Oleg Mashkov is undergoing treatment at Hartford Hospital’s psychiatric inpatient unit.  He is being treated for clinical depression and suicidal thoughts, including subsequently discovered thyroid issues and high blood pressure.

With all my strength and capability, I am supporting him through this difficult time, but am running out of options.  I need your help!

My husband has been living in the United States for the last 23 years. He arrived here on a work visa from Russia and, once the visa expired, has been trying to obtain legal status.  Throughout these years he has been reporting to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to obtain legal status complying with all of their instructions.  He has worked hard and paid all his taxes since his arrival to this country – a country that he immediately fell in love with.  He has been a law abiding resident and has never been convicted of a crime.

His attorney requested a stay of deportation order which was denied on administrative grounds, without any further explanation.  He was required to purchase a one-way ticket to his native country and wear a monitoring ankle bracelet until his departure. 

Under a clause in the immigration law which allows for the postponement or even a stop to the deportation of an ‘illegal’ person if he or she has a close relative, a permanent resident or a US citizen who needs his or her help, moral and material support.  Due to an abusive relationship in my prior marriage – both psychological and sexual – I have been under professional psychological care over the last years.  The abuse undermined my mental and physical well-being to such an extent that to date I have not been able to work full-time.  Oleg has been my moral support and I am completely dependent financially on my husband.  All of this has been well documented and this information has been provided to the immigration service.  Our hopes for a stay were crushed when our attorney received, verbally by phone, the denial of stay from the immigration service - less than a day before the required departure.

My husband was at home, alone, when the lawyer called to inform him of this heart breaking decision.  Only God knows what emotions rushed over him and what thoughts came into his head at that moment.  Immediately subsequent I received a call from our lawyer and asked to return home as soon as possible because she feared for my husband's life.  She called for emergency service and local psychological and psychiatric support service to be sent to our home. By the time that I arrived home, Oleg had been taken to the hospital. Social workers were waiting for me outside and began to give me psychological support. Despite the ordeal, I immediately went to see my husband and stayed with him at the hospital.  Given my own psychological state, I was recommended by hospital staff to receive treatment as well.

What am I to do without my husband, my dear Oleg?  He is the one who took me to my doctors and counselors; it was he who found a lawyer for me and helped me in every step of rebuilding my life!

Immigration services are continuously calling me requesting information on his whereabouts and how long his hospital stay will last.  I am certain that immediately after his discharge, they will take my husband to a detention center and forcibly deport him.

I sincerely beg for your compassion and support to bring justice to this inhumane decision.  My husband is not a criminal and should not be treated in such a humiliating manner!

We are a middle-aged couple who met each other not at the best times of our lives, but who also realized that together we have a chance for a better life.  Like most people, we want to work, enjoy every day of our lives, support our elderly parents, meet friends, rejoice in their successes, and not to be afraid of tomorrow.  We are both professionals with higher education and want to continue being contributing members of our community and beloved home.

I have contacted our town mayor and the local media in hopes of assistance.

For the sake of justice and in the spirit of human compassion, I ask for your help.

Elena Vasilevska