The Militant (logo)  
   Vol. 67/No. 19           June 9, 2003  
Reporters’ committee covers
Calero antideportation fight, victory
(front page)
As part of the Militant’s weekly coverage of the antideportation fight by Róger Calero, we reprint inside an article posted May 20 on the website of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP). The article appeared under the headline “Journalist wins fight to remain in United States: A native-Nicaraguan journalist working for two New York-based publications was detained by the INS for more than 10 days in December 2002, despite his permanent U.S. residency status.” The RCFP provides legal assistance to journalists facing attacks.

The article is about the recent victories won by Calero, a Militant staff writer and associate editor of Perspectiva Mundial, in his fight against the U.S. government’s efforts to exclude him from the United States. This story and two earlier articles that the RCFP wrote about Calero’s fight can be found at

Calero gained his first victory May 1 when his attorney, Claudia Slovinsky, received a letter from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announcing the federal government’s intention to drop its effort to deport him from the United States, stating that the immigration police’s efforts to deport Calero “is no longer in the best interest of the government.” The second victory was registered two weeks later, when the government quickly returned Calero’s Nicaraguan passport and resident “green card” to him, after a request by his attorney.

Supporters of Calero’s fight are now pressing for a favorable ruling by a New Jersey immigration judge on the federal government’s motion to terminate the exclusion proceedings against him.

Meanwhile, support for the case continues to build and news about the victories Calero has scored are beginning to spread. The front-page article announcing Calero’s initial victory in the May 26 Militant, for example, has been posted on the website of the Cuban weekly Granma International.


May 20, 2003—Journalist Róger Calero, associate editor at monthly Spanish-language news publication Perspectiva Mundial and staff writer for socialist newsweekly the Militant, received his permanent green card and his Nicaraguan passport from the Department of Homeland Security May 15 after a six-month legal battle that started when he was stopped at customs when he tried to re-enter the United States.

The dispute began when the Immigration and Naturalization Service detained 34-year-old Calero for ten days after he returned to the United States through George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Dec. 3, 2002, following assignments in Cuba and Guadalajara, Mexico.

His detainment was based on a 1988 conviction for selling marijuana to an undercover police officer. The conviction was waived in 1990 by INS when Calero applied for, and was subsequently granted, permanent resident status in the United States.

Calero’s case went to DHS, to which many of the bureaus of the Immigration and Naturalization Service went when the new department opened Jan. 24.

The Róger Calero Defense Committee, created to organize support for Calero, first announced victory May 1 when DHS moved to terminate the deportation case against Calero. Newark Immigration Judge William Strasser ordered DHS to elaborate on its motion to terminate, which consisted of one sentence citing INS rules and contained no other explanation, according to Claudia Slovinsky, Calero’s attorney.

Twelve days later DHS clarified the motion, saying the INS was correct in waiving the marijuana conviction, and had properly granted Calero permanent residency in 1990, invalidating the removal proceeding.

Slovinsky said she is hopeful the latest termination motion will be granted, ending Calero’s legal battle.

“It’s significant that the government goes back and says [the green card] was properly issued and they can’t come now and kick him out of the country,” Slovinsky said.

The Róger Calero Defense Committee attributed the decision to terminate the proceedings to the large support base behind Calero. The committee organized petitions and letters after Calero was detained, and continued their efforts during the legal case.

Calero’s defense committee now plans to raise funds to help with his legal and publicity fees.

According to a report in the Militant, Calero called this development an important victory for worker’s rights, and added that he hopes to go back to concentrating on the work he did for both publications prior to being detained.  
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