Petition Closed

Release Audrius Kazenas from ICE Detention

Audrius Kazenas is a hero of the fight to free Eastern Europe of Soviet control to bring an end to the Cold War. Because of his and his father's strong stands against corruption both men have become targets. Audrius' father now lives in constant pain after "falling" under a bus and Audrius was has suffered torture and politically motivated imprisonment for defending himself from an attacker. His father has been warned that Audius had better not return to his country and documents sent since have reinforced concern that he would not be safe if he were to be deported.

Since being brought to this country illegally in 2000 Audrius has remained at home as the primary caretaker for his citizen daughters and his stepson while tending to housework, running the family's lucrative dog breeding business and maintaining and remodeling his wife's houses and property. He was not allowed to own anything of value while here and when ICE took him in 2008 he had no assets and no way to help himself. A number of citizens in our Northern NH community have stepped in to help Audrius and have submitted letters of support to the immigration court. His supporters include our chief of police, a police sergeant and our town administrator. Many who know this man well have told of Audrius' abilities as a father, his respect for his neighbors and the law, as well as how many times he went over-and-above for his neighbors, spending hours in a driving rain storm searching for a stranger's lost puppy, coming to the rescue of a critically injured neighbor, never turning his back on any person in need. Some have also informed ICE of their belief that Audrius is a victim of domestic abuse and concern that Audrius may be a witness to other criminal activity.

Audrius is now on his third year of sitting in a prison cell despite the fact that he is guilty of no crime in this country. The immigration judge has twice granted him deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture and twice DHS' Assistant Chief Counsel has appealed that decision to the BIA. In her appeal brief the Assistant Chief Counsel sited Audrius' inability to obtain many of the documents needed to prove his claims that his life would be in danger if he went back, but as long as he is locked up he has no access to the internet and no way to contact any of the people who could provide those documents. None of his friends and neighbors speak the languages necessary to communicate for Audrius to facilitate getting those documents and though some articles and documents have been found as well as some witnesses, it has taken too long and arrived too late - and there is much more that can not be accessed without Audrius' direct involvement.

Audrius now has an appeal filed with the First Circuit Court. According to the First Circuit Court the transcripts from his immigration hearings that are needed to prepare his case were signed for at the prison where he is held at the beginning of August, but he did not receive them until 40 days later. During that time local ICE officers attempted to deport Audrius before his appeal could be heard. After a stay of deportation was granted by the court necessary papers for his appeal as well as money sent for Audrius' commissary have "gone missing" instead of being properly delivered to him. He has frequently been unable to call us due to phone malfunctions and his visits have been interfered with, making it impossible to help him or for him to help himself.

There are many citizens who can and will speak to the character of Audrius Kazenas. Our police have made it clear that he is not considered a danger to his community, he has a great respect for the law and they welcome his return. Audrius' lengthy incarceration has served to deny him the ability to defend himself from deportation and has put an immense financial and logistical burden on his friends and neighbors who are trying to help him. Justice is not served by Audrius' remaining in prison or by the continued denial of access to the internet and/or ability to communicate with those who could help him. We request that he be released back to the community from which he was taken so that he might at least be able to obtain the proof that he needs that he has indeed been an officer in the military; that he was involved in anti-Soviet and anti-terrorist undercover investigations and because of this his life would be in danger if he were deported.

This petition was delivered to:
  • Secretary of Homeland Security
    Janet Napolitano
  • Assistant Secretary of DHS/ICE
    John Morton
  • Senator
    William Cowan

Deborah de Santos started this petition with a single signature, and now has 333 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.