“I was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, My dad worked for a division of Capitol Records. He received a transfer to Los Angeles, got permanent resident visas for the whole family and when I was two years eleven months old, we moved to the States. “ said Mike Burrows. “I grew up in Glendale, California, where I said the pledge of allegiance, played baseball, and lived like an American. Except for a first grade teacher who told me I could never be President, I thought I was just everybody else. In high school, I played guitar in a band, played first base for the jv then varsity baseball team. All in all, I was living an American life.”
Burrows, a Lawful Permanent Resident, has lived in the U.S. for over 50 years, and has no memory, family, or connection of any kind to Canada, but due a 1978 conviction of receipt of a stolen 8-track tape deck (a conviction that was EXPUNGED in 1983), Burrows is facing deportation.
In 2001, due to the now annulled conviction, Burrows was found “removable” by the U.S. government. Burrows even spent a month in the federal immigration detention center in Lancaster County, California. He has been fighting his deportation for the last nine years.
Burrows’ story is a perfect example of how menacing and misguided immigration laws are today. Having exhausted all legal channels, Burrows says he now sits at home waiting for ICE agents to break down his door again and take him back to a country he doesn’t even know. If he attempts to re-enter the U.S. to see his daughter or parents he faces up to 20 years in Federal prison as “criminal” aliens are banned for life.
Despite his grandfather being a former South Dakota senator, paying his taxes, and running a successful car business, Burrows’ only hope to stay in the United States now is a governor’s pardon.