January 11, 2012 § Leave a comment
By Cory Bennett
As Ruddy Mirabal remembered it, he had a few hours to kill before a night class in April 2010. So he got in his cousin’s car not knowing where they were going.
When they made a pit stop in Hoboken, N.J., his cousin handed Mirabal something to hold.
It was cocaine. They were quickly arrested by undercover police and Mirabal said he was unknowingly caught up in a drug deal by his cousin.
Nineteen months later, this one night led to a felony cocaine possession conviction and the deportation of Mirabal, 21, back to the Dominican Republic, a country he left behind when he was 8 years old.
For Mirabal, the day was simply a blur.
“Everything was happening so fast and all I could think was, ‘Get me out, get me out, get me out,’” said Mirabal, sitting in the Essex County Correctional Facility, in an interview before his deportation.
As an immigrant without permanent residency, Mirabal’s aggravated felony charge was classified as a “Level 1” offense, resulting in a permanent ban from the United States.
His supporters hoped to reverse the decision citing that he the first student in New York State to earn his high school diploma in jail. But Mirabal was deported on Nov. 15, 2011.