KNCO and other media reported a story on Thursday about the arrest of Pascale Fusshoeller, the founder of YubaNet web-based new service in Nevada County. Thursday afternoon a statement was released by her spouse, Susan Levitz.
“My wife Pascale is the victim in this heartbreaking situation. Her only crime was falling in love in the US, a country that didn’t allow gay people to marry. Almost 15 years ago she overstayed her visa so we could stay together. For all that time we waited for the laws to change, living in the shadows and sharing very little about our personal lives.
Finally we were allowed to marry, which we did in July, soon after Prop 8 and DOMA couldn’t stop us. We were in the process of getting all our paperwork together to get her green card, and then she was pulled over for a routine traffic stop. Because we don’t have the green card yet and she doesn’t have a license, she identified herself as me, hoping they’d just write a ticket and she could be on her way.
Instead, she was arrested, and CHP reported her to federal authorities, known as ICE. A routine traffic stop shouldn’t be able to ruin our lives and our business. But right now Pascale is in jail and could be deported any minute. That’s what’s criminal here. This is outrageous.”
Levitz also wanted to thank the overwhelming response of the many people that have sent messages of support since the incident became public.
You had the right to remain silent.
So she came here, stayed illegally, presented fake ID to avoid detection, and now because they claim "it's not fair" and the law is "outrageous" we should all just look the other way?
NO! It's time to deport illegal immigrants. It is absolutely shameful that people are supporting this kind of criminal behavior. Are we no longer a society ruled by law? Should we all just follow our feelings, with utter disregard for what the citizens of our country have decided upon as law?
I don't see why this made it to the news. She broke the rules and she got caught should she be let go because she is gay?? I don't think so
Lori Burkart Frank
You can help by calling our Congressional Representative, Doug LaMalfa. I just called the Redding office who will call the Oroville office who has more expertise in this matter. Call: 534-7100
Here's what I wrote to legislators on behalf of SPIRIT Peer Empowerment Center:
Pascale Fusshoeller, a fantastic and dedicated journalist, has been detained by ICE for INS from Grass Valley, CA. This is an injustice since she is a wonderful contributor to our community. Just a few of her accomplishments include:
- Editor and co-founder of Yubanet since 1999
- Annenberg Fellow
- Recipient of KVMR's Osborn and Woods Community Service Award for fire and emergency news
- Recipient of Forest Service Appreciation Award for Excellence in Wildfire Reporting
She and her partner of 15 years were married in June and she was working on documentation for a green card prior to her arrest.
She always reports on issues of interest and concern to the community and we appreciate her so much. Please help her to be released and returned to our community. Thank you for your time.
Illegal is illegal sorry she couldn't follow the rules but if she is such a upstanding person why didn't she become a citizen she had 15 years!!! Don't use gay marriage as a lame excuse this county accepts everyone regardless of religion, sex, etc. Oh and FYI if anyone gives a false name to a police officer their going to jail and driving without a license at best your car is getting impounded and a hefty ticket sorry "its not fair" but those laws apply to everyone!
No one said she should get off scott free. However, she has made a considerable positive contribution to our community and should get a fair hearing HERE and not be deported.
DrAnon, and Mike, Pascale has given our community her energy, devotion and expertise, in the form of YubaNet among other things, a website I depend on here in the foothills. I don't know what we'd do without her contributions here.
She's spent 15 years in a devoted relationship, something that we'd be happy seeing in any marriage, yet she and her partner have not had the benefits any heterosexual couple could have.
To me, she contributes so much to our community, BOTH through her website AND in her relationship (now marriage), that that far outweighs a minor traffic violation that just about everyone could get stopped for (at that intersection).
It seems rather harsh to paint Pascale with the same brush as, say, someone who came here illegally, got welfare, has a criminal record here and at home, etc....everyone who is here illegally isn't necessarily a candidate for automatic deportation, nor should they be. Yes, she let her visa expire and didn't correct it (she entered this country legally), yes, she did the wrong thing on Tuesday, and yes, she was in the process of correcting it, a long, frustrating, expensive and degrading process.
I know this personally; my husband is a New Zealand citizen who has been a legal alien for 14 years. We went through the long, ugly process at INS, just so he could stay and work here. I was ashamed to be an American when it was all over.
Pascale is one of those people who should be allowed time to fix her situation and get legal, so she can stay here with her spouse, her friends, her company, her home and her community. She is a person for whom an exception should be made because we are so enriched with her here, as part of Nevada County, than we were before she arrived.
Pascale provided excellent local journalism and live fire updates and has received several awards for her contributions to this community . She provided this service free of charge. When The next smoke plume shadows my house ,will there still be a YUBANET ? Will anyone report on local politics and ask the tough questions ? Or will Yubanet go the way of the Community Endeavor ? If you do report like a real journalist you'd better have your papers in order and drive like a Saint or you'll be thrown under the ICE bus by your "lawabiding" community. Never mind the government is closed , doesn't answer the phones, can't pay death benefits to veterans families but has plenty of money to deport folks and keep veterans away from closed monuments.
I strongly disagree with the 'deserved' deportation sentiments expressed here. Pascale is a highly contributing community member and has been for nearly two decades. The fact that she was born in Luxembourg does not change that she is a valid and needed member of this community.
Shame on those with narrow minds and hearts....We all have a right to love and to freedom. Is this really a criminal act? I think not......Laws are not always just or reasonable for that matter.Take the lines off the darn maps! We all would be able to "BE" where we are. Maybe even with PEACE.
Everyone should have a chance. She did come here legally in the first place. Her buisness Yubanet.com has been a life saver to me during two fires while living here in Foresthill. It is the first place We go for info.She provides a wonderful community service that is invaluable . She should be given time to correct the problem.
Let me get the facts straight:
1. Because she was in love, she decided to stay in the US illegally (and that is a perfectly good reason to circumvent our immigration laws?)
2. She was driving a car w/o a license (but because she was breaking the immigration law, she could not get a proper license - and that is a perfectly good reason to circumvent our motor vehicle laws?)
3. She broke a traffic law (but these are just minor routine offenses - she would have been happy to just pay a little fine?).
4. She Lied to a police officer (but because she was breaking a couple of (other) laws and didn't want to get caught. This should be OK?).
5. And I am supposed to believe that her only crime was falling in love?
Sounds like there were decisions she could have made where she would not be in this predicament.
Before you write me off as someone from the far right with an anti immigration agenda, the last time I voted for a republican president candidate was almost 30 years ago (and I have voted in every election since).
And you think by calling LaMalfa is going to help?
good luck in wasting his time!
She actually broke 3 laws, being illegal, driving without a license and giving false information. What's right is right, that's why we have laws in this country. 15 years and she couldn't reapply for her work visa during those years. Sorry, but I have no sympathy.
Yes, it IS different just because she is gay and she should be released because of that. They couldn't marry until the Fed govt would recognize it, and that just happened this summer. Until then, even if they had married when it was briefly possible in CA a few years ago, it wouldn't have helped because of DOMA. The Feds treated married gay couples as unrelated, "legal strangers" to each other. On the other hand, if they were a straight couple, they'd have been married and this wouldn't be happening at all. So it's because they're gay that they couldn't get her visa extended or start the citizenship process or any of that. Therefore, now that the laws changed and they are married and starting to regularized her status, she should be released. It's just catch 22 otherwise!