Complex Immigration Case May Leave 24-Year-Old Without Home

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Adam Lieber is frightened because his days in the United States are numbered.

“I’d really like them to grant me citizenship,” the 24-year-old said. “I was raised here, I went to school here.”

But after living in Dallas since he was a baby, Lieber could be deported to the Philippines any day now.

“I’ve been here too long for them to just tell me to pack up and go to someplace, I don’t know,” he said.

Lieber’s situation began in 2010, when he was arrested for drunken driving. While jailed in Dallas County, he said an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent discovered he was undocumented, and told him he would have to be deported.

“I was terrified,” he said. “I was scared out of my mind.”

Lieber pled guilty, served time in jail and signed a voluntary departure notice as his lawyer then suggested. He agreed to leave the country by last Thursday, and then would be allowed to return once he could get a visa.

But earlier last week, his new attorney, Arturo Rodriguez, and advocate Ralph Isenberg filed an emergency application with ICE in an effort to delay Lieber’s departure.

In their note, they told ICE this is an “extreme family separation.”

Lieber’s mother is stunned.

“For me, it is the most inconceivable thing in the world that this could happen,” Marci Lieber said.

She has congestive heart failure, kidney failure and vision loss. She depends on her son for help.

“I think if he gets deported, I don’t know what would happen to me,” Marci Lieber said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it killed me.”

To understand why the Liebers are in this predicament, you have to go back to Adam’s birth.

His mother said she adopted him when he was just 11-months-old. Her father made the arrangements, adopting Adam from the Phillipines.

Adam Lieber said Marci is the only mother he’s ever known.

“She’s my mother,” he said. “She’s been there when I first realized who I was. She’s been there when she took me to my first day of school. She’s been there every step of the way.”

Lieber’s mother said the social security number her father gave her for her son years ago turned out to be her nephew’s.

She said she recently went to the social security office to get a number for Adam.

“The social security person said you can’t do it based on a birth certificate. You have to do it on a formal adoption decree,” she said. “And that sort of opened the door on the nightmare we’re living.”

Marci Lieber believes she adopted Adam legally.

“Why at this point in my life will I be losing my son for something that was done without any evil intent?” she asked.

“I don’t know what would happen if I were to leave now,” Adam said.

It’s all he thinks about: “I don’t know who would take care of her,” he said of his mother.

An ICE spokesman said the agency is now reviewing the facts of the case. In the meantime, Lieber is wearing an ankle monitor and his case is now considered a final order of deportation.

That means he could have to leave the country for up to five years before he can return.

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  • Steve Black

    Really want to know how this one works out.

    • Ralph Isenberg

      We at ICIE feel very certain we have a strong case to keep Adam here. We are asking ICE to immediately take the monitor off of him. IF they refuse we will see ICE in Federal Court once again. We are also insisting that ICE accept a form I-246. IF they refuse we will file it with DC. ICE in Dallas has got to learn that not everyone should be deported. We must start to ask questions before we deport people.

      • Steve Black

        If you’re going to state an opinion at least have the decency to stand behind it. @Ralph, I don’t know his legal status, it seems a bit cloudy. I believe he should be allowed to stay in America primarily because he was brought here without any personal choice and now he considers it his home. The woman who raised him as her own testifies that she thought it was legal. Until proven otherwise, she’s intended nothing innapropriate. What happens to him after his mother isn’t ill remains to be delt with by the court. Until then, I hope he is allowed to stay and care for her.

      • Nonya

        If you are in the country illegally, you should be deported. Why do you think they law does not apply?

      • Nonya

        @ Steve, I do stand behind my statement. If you are in this country unlawfully, you should be deported. How much more simple can I make the statement.

        Just because the woman who raised him “thought it was legal” or “she didn’t intend to do anything inappropriate “does not make it right. It is very unfortunate that this person is caught in this situation however good intentions do not outweigh the fact that he is here unlawfully. He is of age now and is able to take responsibility for his situation and do what ever is necessary to remedy it.

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  • Suzette L.C.

    Jack, I have a friend who adopted her daughter in 1987 while she was serving in the military. Her daughter was born in Mexico to a mother who died during childbirth. “C” was raised in Texas, went to school here, then gave birth to her son in 1995 and shortly afterwards found out her adoption was not considered legal. So my friend and her daughter have been fighting for several years to keep this from also happening to her. She’s a great woman who has NEVER been in any legal trouble. I wonder how many others are going through this nightmare.

    • Ralph Isenberg

      Jacj, there is no excuse for any American to go through this. We had ICIE will help any family that is having the same problem. Just send them our way

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  • Deenis Teel

    @Ralph Isenberg–blame whoever brought him here illegally NOT the government!!!

    effing fool!!! i hope you lose any suit you file against ice regarding this you’re pathetic

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      @Deenis Teel
      Wow, I don’t recall hearing or reading anywhere where anyone, including Ralph, “blames” the government for any of this. Meanwhile, you not only resort to name calling, you can’t even manage to compose your attack with proper grammar or punctuation. Who’s the moron?

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