We're raising money for Paolo Amoruso, the nephew of Lorraine Williams, owner of Cafe Dodici on the square in Washington. He's just 19, from Italy, and he was headed over for a few months to hang out with his cousins and practice English.
But Customs and Border Patrol at O'Hare wouldn't let him in! They called Lorraine when she was on the way to the airport and said he would be kept in detention (alone in a room all day) until he was finally sent back to Europe — they didn't even send him all the way home to Italy at first, just Germany. The poor kid!
Let's show him that we Americans aren't all so close-minded and that we want young people to come and visit. I stayed with his cousins in Italy and had an amazing cultural exchange. We as a community can show the same hospitality in return. Let's reimburse his ticket — 827.14 euros (about $875.66) and pay his next one too (and maybe an immigration lawyer if it comes to that).
Rep. Loebsack, Sen. Grassley, and Sen Ernst were all called but couldn't do anything. Nor could Illinois Sens. Duckworth or Durbin. We got both The Chicago Sun-Times and Des Moines Register to cover the story, but the attention only caused Customs and Border Patrol to send him home early, because they must have known what they did was wrong. He couldn't even speak to Lorraine or a lawyer at the airport.
Bottom line this is NOT OK. We shouldn't have a government separating families. Luckily Paolo got to go safely home to his parents in Italy, a safe country. Lots of people turned away aren't so lucky. Help make it up to the kid, because it's not our fault our laws are unfair!
- Lee Tucker
- Monica Leo
- Lu Ann Frisch