National NBC News article featuring Principal Attorney, H. Glenn Fogle, Jr., and Fogle Law Firm clients, Floyd Abdul and Ivan Stobert , about the Etowah Detention Center in Gadsden, Alabama.
In 2006, he traveled from Moldova to the United States on a visa. While here, he fell in love and in 2008 married a U.S. citizen. He became a permanent legal resident, bought a house in the Atlanta area and started a cleaning business.
Ivan Stobert, a 25 year-old Moldovan national, speaks to his lawyer from his home in Atlanta. Despite holding a green card, he says he spent nearly a year in the Etowah County Detention Center last fall after accidentally checking the “U.S. citizen” box on a motorcycle license application.
“Finally I made my dream,” Stobert told NBC News. “I buy my house, I have my business. I thought, ‘Wow, I love America!’”
But the love affair ended in December 2010, when the slight 25-year-old found himself locked up indefinitely in the Etowah County Detention Center in northeast Alabama, charged with an aggravated felony and facing deportation.
More than 250 detention facilities around the country are used to hold the tens of thousands immigrants detained each year by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, as they await court dates or deportation. Even those accused of relatively minor infractions, such as overstaying a visa, can be held for months – or even years – fighting their cases without the benefit of rights and resources guaranteed to those accused of criminal acts.