Help JoJo Tran Win Asylum in the US

PhotobucketMy friend Ally writes:

“Just a moment of your time could save my friend JoJo Tran’s life.

JoJo’s attempts at gaining asylum after being in the US for over 13 years have been denied. At this point, his only hope of staying here and safe from prosecution in Vietnam is if ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) reopens his case. A team of volunteers in Seattle is trying to collect as many signatures as possible to convince them and our local politicians to lean on ICE to do this.”

More info on JoJo.

Here’s the petition.

JoJo’s story:

We are calling for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to reopen Dung Anh “JoJo” Tran’s asylum case.

JoJo Tran fled Vietnam in 1996 fearing politically motivated persecution after helping American military veterans as a guide to view sites that the Vietnamese authorities claimed were not authorized, and being called in, questioned and threatened by the Vietnamese intelligence agency.

Since moving to Seatle shortly after his arrival in America in 1996, JoJo has been busy working and volunteering for numerous organizations in the Puget Sound area.

Our updated information from JoJo’s attorney is that March 28 is the last day of his voluntary departure period unless ICE consents to grant him some sort of stay while his petition is being considered.

Help us help this amazing man who has turned adversity and a fourteen year effort to become an American into thousands of hours of volunteering in the community he wants to call home.

The Mysterious Case of the Non-Related Identical Twins

Dorothy & RosabelleDorothy Loader and Rosabelle Glasby are identical twins. But not if you ask the Australian Department of Immigration. You see, different families adopted them, and it took 50 years for them to find each other again. And in fifty years, they had different nationalities: Rosabelle was in Australia, and Dorothy was in Malaysia. Dorothy wants to move to Australia to be with her sister, but the authorities claim they are “not related for the purposes of immigration” and denied her request.

I wrote about their story before.

Well, Rosabelle’s husband Marc has asked that I share a website they have created to try and reunite these sisters. On the site there are suggestions for how you can help. Check it out. Their story is crazy and Orwellian to the max.

Jana Mackey Day & International Women’s Day

Jana MackeyJana Mackey was a friend of mine in college. Read about her story here and check out the press release below.

For Immediate Release February 27, 2009

March 8th – “Jana Mackey Day in Kansas”

Hays, KS – In the coming days Kansas lawmakers will be joining Governor Kathleen Sebelius in recognizing International Women’s Day on March 8th by honoring a recent victim and fatality of domestic violence.

Jana Mackey, a 25 year old KU law student was murdered by her ex-boyfriend last July in Lawrence. Jana was well known throughout Kansas for her work on many women’s issues.

Governor Sebelius has signed a proclamation recognizing March 8th as a “Jana Mackey Day in Kansas.”

On March 5th Senator Janis Lee (D-Kensington) and Senator Marci Francisco (D-Lawrence) will be sponsoring a resolution honoring Mackey. On the House side, Representative Eber Phelps (D-Hays), Representative Barbara Ballard (D-Lawrence), and Representative Paul Davis (D-Lawrence) will be presenting Mackey’s family with a formal certificate on March 9th.

Mackey, who grew up in Hays, had spent endless hours volunteering to aid victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. She had also served three years as one of the youngest lobbyists at the Kansas Capitol with the National Organization for Women.

After her death, Mackey’s family and friends established a national campaign to help her service live on through others. Symbolic of the number of people who attended her funeral, the Eleven Hundred Torches campaign urges hundreds of ordinary citizens to serve others.

Governor Sebelius has joined the campaign and is calling on all Kansans to set aside time on March 8th to volunteer in their communities.

Special volunteer events are being planned in Hays and in Lawrence on that day.

International Women’s Day began in 1908 with a 15,000 women’s march through New York City calling for equal voting and work rights for women. In 1913 the event was officially scheduled as March 8th. Today International Women’s Day is celebrated world-wide and is an official holiday in 15 nations.

For more information about Eleven Hundred Torches, see their website at