When someone is at risk of deportation, it can cause huge anxiety and worry, which is why Obama’s immigration reform action has allowed undocumented immigrants across the country to let out a big sigh of relief. However, those who have committed crimes are not eligible to apply for temporary protection from deportation. Such is the case with 103.7 The Fox radio personality James Shaman.
Shaman, who is an emcee at the Mason City, Iowa, radio station, has been an active voice when it comes to immigration reform. This may be due in part to the fact that he is facing deportation himself. The Canadian-born Iowan earned a criminal record when he was a young man. He has been protected from deportation by his permanent resident visa; however, when that expired three years ago, his green card was rescinded due to his criminal history. He has been on parole status ever since, continuously in fear of breaking even a minor law and being deported under the new laws.
“There’s a whole lot more to immigration, and I’m not the only one that’s dealing with this,” Shaman said during his radio show on Dec. 29. “I don’t even think I’m the only person in north Iowa dealing with this, there may be others. I consider myself rather fortunate that I have the means to speak aloud with my microphone and my radio station and let people hear about this.”
While Shaman went on to express that he felt relieved to be able to have his story heard by others, the radio personality has a lot ahead of him. He’s expected to appear at a hearing in Bloomington, Iowa, with federal immigration officials to find out if he will be sent back to his native country. If so, Shaman will leave his Mason City community, where he lives to be close to his daughter.
Despite the fact that he’s facing possible deportation, Shaman knows he’s lucky to be on parole, compared to the many who have been imprisoned while awaiting their hearings and trials.
“I consider myself rather fortunate because there are people who have been incarcerated for extended periods of time awaiting their trials,” he said. “All this just because the immigration courts are so backlogged and that’s why it’s taking so long to get this issue resolved. I mean 3.5 years.”