FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

ICE Wants to Deport Marc Petitpierre to Switzerland

People in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia will remember Marc Petitpierre as the political activist who would ride his Segway all over town.

Petitpierre lived in Berkeley Springs for fourteen years from 1991 to 2005, when a divorce forced a move to Martinsburg.

In Martinsburg, Petitpierre held jobs at McDonald’s, Sheetz,  FedEx and elsewhere.

But his main focus was on political activism.

When in 2016, Trump ran for President, Petitpierre saw danger for the nation.

Soon after Trump was elected, Petitpierre took to Martinsburg Town Square where during lunch hour he would wave signs for an hour.

Most of the signs condemned Trump.

Only a few days after the 2016 election, Petitpierre took to the Square with the first sign that red: Trump is Not Legit.

And then Petitpierre took to the square almost every day for almost three years with signs expressing Petitpierre’s anti-Trump disgust — Trump is Off the Wall, Trump is a Chump, Bernie Beats Trump. (Many of Petitpierre’s signs are still up at his Facebook page.)

Then in August 2019, there was a parking dispute. Petitpierre got a $5 parking ticket that was timed at 1:10 pm. In fact, parking was allowed at the meter until 3 pm, Petitpierre said.

The following week, Petitpierre went to the magistrate’s office to contest the ticket. It was only $5, but it was a matter of principle. He was legally parked. The magistrate told him to go to the parking office and see if they would drop it. He went to the parking office and came across the parking officer who gave him the ticket.

“She wouldn’t let me speak,” Petitpierre said. “So I put my finger on my lips and then pointed my finger at her as if to say – be quiet, let me speak.”

“She called the police and said that I threatened to shoot her.”

“The people in the parking authority clearly didn’t like that I was protesting against Trump. Next thing I know I’m arrested and charged with harassment or intimidation of a public official. I was thrown into the Eastern Regional Jail in Martinsburg. I was in for five weeks. They wanted me to plead guilty to the charge. I wanted a trial. I wanted out on bail. But I was told that I couldn’t get bail because Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had put a hold on it.”

“My lawyer cut a deal with the authorities so that if I plead no contest to the charge and paid the $5 fine, they would release me,” Petitpierre said. “I agreed. But they never released me.”

Instead of releasing him, Petitpierre was turned over to ICE officials who transported him to an ICE detention center in York, Pennsylvania.  He was there from October 1, 2019 until February 15 or so of this year.

In total, he was in prison for more than six months.

All because of a $5 parking ticket?

Not quite.

Friends have put up a GoFundMe page to help Petitpierre pay past legal and other expenses.

According to the GoFundMe post, here is the deal with his citizenship in a nutshell.

“Marc left Switzerland when he was 3 years old, then first came to United States in 1958. His father was an expert in the electrical engineering field of naval propulsion and became a consultant for the Navy. As such, both parents had to become naturalized citizens of the United States. Marc, being so young when he came here, was entitled to become a naturalized citizen when he was 12 in 1964, by way of derivative citizenship through the naturalization of his mom and dad. Marc remembers going to court as a child regarding his citizenship and he felt he was safely able to remain here.”

Nonetheless, ICE wants to detain Petitpierre because they say he is not a citizen. In fact, he is a citizen, just without papers, he says.

“I’ve had a green card since 1960,” Petitpierre says. “My father became a citizen in 1964. There are conditions or qualifications depending on the circumstances where a child can automatically be a citizen based on their parents naturalization. One way to look at that is that I had been a citizen since my dad became one. It’s just that I didn’t have the papers to prove it because the derivative papers were never filed. There is an application for certificate of citizenship. My lawyer has it, she has looked it over, we have talked about it. She is going over it with the immigration judge. The hearing in October before an immigration judge in Pittsburgh is about whether the legalities of deporting me are still valid based on the fact that I would be approved to be a citizen.”

More articles by:

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter..

August 12, 2020
Stephen Cooper
Santa Davis and the “Stalag 17” Riddim
August 11, 2020
Richard D. Wolff
Why Capitalism is in Constant Conflict With Democracy
Paul Street
Defund Fascism, Blue and Orange
Richard C. Gross
Americans Scorned
Andrew Levine
Trump and Biden, Two Ignoble Minds Here O’erthrown
Patrick Cockburn
The Rise of Nationalism Has Led to the Increased Repression of Minorities
Sonali Kolhatkar
Trump’s Presidency is a Death Cult
Colin Todhunter
Pushing GMO Crops into India: Experts Debunk High-Level Claims of Bt Cotton Success
Valerie Croft
How Indigenous Peoples are Using Ancestral Organizing Practices to Fight Mining Corporations and Covid-19
David Rovics
Tear Gas Ted Has a Tantrum in Portland
Dean Baker
There is No Evidence That Generous Unemployment Benefits are Making It Difficult to Find Workers
Robert Fantina
War on Truth: How Kashmir Struggles for Freedom of Press
Dave Lindorff
Trump Launches Attack on Social Security and Medicare
Elizabeth Schmidt
COVID-19 Poses a Huge Threat to Stability in Africa
Parth M.N.
Coping With a Deadly Virus, a Social One, Too
Thomas Knapp
The “Election Interference” Fearmongers Think You’re Stupid
Binoy Kampmark
Mealy-Mouthed Universities: Academic Freedom and the Pavlou Problem Down Under
Mike Garrity
Emperor Trump Loses Again in the Northern Rockies in Big Win for Bull Trout, Rivers and the ESA
Alex Lawson
34 Attorneys General Call to Bust Gilead’s Pharma Monopoly on COVID Treatment Remdesivir
August 10, 2020
Gerald Sussman
Biden’s Ukrainegate Problem
Vijay Prashad – Érika Ortega Sanoja
How the U.S. Failed at Its Foreign Policy Toward Venezuela
Daniel Warner
Geneva: The Home of Lost Causes
Mike Hastie
The Police Force Stampede in Portland on August 8, 2020 
Jack Rasmus
Trump’s Executive Orders: EOs as PR and FUs
Rev. William Alberts
Cognitive Without Conscience
David Altheide
Politicizing Fear Through the News Media
F. Douglas Stephenson
Is Big Pharma More Interested in Profiteering Than Protecting Us From Coronavirus?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Money Plague
Howard Lisnoff
Revolutionaries Living in a System of Growing Fascism
Ralph Nader
Donald Trump is Defeating Himself
Lynnette Grey Bull
The Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women Human Rights Emergency is Not a Photo-Op for Ivanka Trump
Victor Grossman
Some Come, Others Go
Binoy Kampmark
Death From the Sky: Hiroshima and Normalised Atrocities
The Stop Golden Rice Network
Why We Oppose Golden Rice
Michael D. Knox
After Nagasaki, the U.S. Did Not Choose Peace
Elliot Sperber
A Tomos 
Weekend Edition
August 07, 2020
Friday - Sunday
John Davis
The COVID Interregnum
Louis Yako
20 Postcard Notes From Iraq: With Love in the Age of COVID-19
Patrick Cockburn
War and Pandemic Journalism: the Truth Can Disappear Fast
Eve Ottenberg
Fixing the COVID Numbers
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Every Which Way to Lose
Paul Street
Trump is Not Conceding: This is Happening Here
Robert Hunziker
The World on Fire
Rob Urie
Neoliberal Centrists and the American Left
John Laforge
USAF Vet Could Face ‘20 Days for 20 Bombs’ for Protest Against US H-Bombs Stationed in Germany
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail