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Throw an Illegal(?) Shrimp on the Barbie


Raoul Lowery Contreras

Guest Columnist


Originally published in Cal News and republished by permission.

12 September, 2007

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State Republican Chairman Ron Nehring has the distinction of being the first California Party State leader to go outside the United States to hire people to run the State Republican Party. Moreover, there appears to be a prima facie case that he has hired people to run the California Republican Party that may be illegal aliens or people who have fraudulently secured work papers, or both. There are two men, an Australian and a Canadian. We will discuss the Canadian in another installment.

First, there is Australian citizen Michael Kamburowski – who runs the day-to-day Party for Nehring. He says he has been a legal resident for 12 years. He has not become an U.S. citizen even though – technically, anyone with a Green Card can apply after five years. He has been able to apply for seven years -- if his Green Card is valid. But, is it?

According to newspaper reports, Kamburowski arrived in the USA on a "pleasure trip" in January 1995. Thus, there is a suspicion he overstayed his visitor’s visa because two years later he married an American citizen woman who filed an I-130 form that is known as a "Petition for Alien Relative" and an "Application for Adjustment Status." That’s government-speak for becoming legal because of an American spouse, in the current parlance, an "anchor wifey." Remember the movie about a Frenchman marrying an American so he would qualify for a "Green Card?"

The suspicion comes from the fact that the couple broke up in a year (1998) and Immigration rules on married couples is that the marriage must be bona fide and last at least three years (I have a German sister-in-law of 14 years so I’m very familiar with this rule). Kamburowski’s legal resident status came into question after the marriage broke up and the old Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) began deportation proceedings against him. He claims he never received notices from the INS about the proceedings. He was ordered deported by an Immigration Judge in (May) 2001. He was not at the hearing.

He then married another American citizen woman who, within a year, applied for another "Petition for Alien Relative" and another "Application for Adjustment Status" for Kamburowski. This is a direct implication that he was in fact illegally present and working here or he would not have needed his second "anchor wife" to make both these applications after his first "anchor wife" had done so in 1998. In other words, the less-than-a-year marriage in 1997-98 that allowed the American wife to apply to legalize Kamburowski appears to have invalidated the applications thus making Kamburowski an illegal alien working illegally.

Kamburowski was tracked down by the INS-replacement agency, Homeland Security, and he showed up for an "adjustment of status interview" in January 2004 (We can deduce that he wasn’t legal because he needed "adjustment"). This is when he says he learned about his three-year-old deportation order. Technically, he was an "absconder" that is, someone who has been ordered deported but who stays in the face of that deportation order.

He was arrested and jailed. He was bonded out for $7500 after a month in jail (The normal bond is $1500). In a lawsuit against the government and its agents, he claims that he lost his job because of the jailing. However, his resume on file with the California Republican Party does not show any employment between 2000 and 2006. So what job did he lose while in jail? Sources told the San Francisco Chronicle that he worked as a hotel desk clerk.

Here is an interesting time line: Kamburowski arrived in the U.S. in January 1995 probably on a visitor’s visa; he says he started working for Conservative Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform in November, 1995 and says he worked on various projects for Norquist until December 2000. Question, how did Kamburowski secure legal work papers or visa to work in less than 11-months? Or, did he actually have such a visa? If so, who requested it and who certified there were no Americans qualified to do the job he was hired to fill.

Working for Norquist at the same time was the newly fired former Executive Director of the San Diego Republican Party, Ron Nehring, who was fired in 1997 for, according to a highly placed Republican official "total disregard of the available facts and incredibly poor judgement." Nehring hired Kamburowski last March, just days after he took control of the largest State Republican Party in the universe.

Here’s what we know: Kamburowski came to the USA on a "pleasure trip" in 1995 and stayed. Twice he married American women who both applied to legalize him. The first application in 1997 was null and void because of the break-up of that marriage in 1998. He claims to have worked in jobs between 1995 and 2000 for Washington D.C. Conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist. Could he have had a work visa after his application for legalization ended with divorce? Moreover, he started work eleven months after arriving on a visitor’s visa two years before he married and his anchor wife applied to legalize him.

Chairman Nehring and Kamburowski worked together during this legal twilight zone in Kamburowski’s legal status. Nehring has yet to produce any evidence that Kamburowski is remotely qualified to run a multi-million dollar operation-- More on that in the next installment. In view of these indisputable facts, State Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring must suspend Kamburowski until he can prove that he was completely and totally legal in the United States every single day since his arrival on a "pleasure visit," in 1995. Tangentially, he must prove that he had legal status to work for anyone in the United States 1995 through 2000, the years he says he worked for Grover Norquist. The Federal government should investigate Grover Norquist’s hiring of a foreigner who appears to have been an illegal alien while in Norquist’s employ.

After suspending Kamburowski, State Republican Chairman Ron Nehring must resign for the same reasons he was fired by the San Diego Republican Party in 1997: i.e., "total disregard of the available facts and incredibly poor judgement."

© 2007

Raoul Lowery Contreras

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