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Immigrants Of The Day: Rufo Roman of Mexico, Fay Wray of Canada, and Alanis Nadine Morissette of Canada

by Kevin R. Johnson

Rufo Roman (Mexico)

Rufo Roman, currently of Spartanburg, South Carolina, is our Immigrant of the Day.  Roman, who owns the restaurant Mexico Lindo East with his wife, Rita, is being held in detention awaiting deportation. Rufo pled guilty to re-entry of a deported alien but had admitted his illegal status on immigration forms several years ago as part of the process to gain permanent residency status and paid a $1,000 fine, his wife said. 

Friends petitioned on his behalf, describing Roman as an otherwise law-abiding businessman trying to stay with his family through what he thought were the correct channels. "We tried to do it right to the best of our ability," said Rita, a native of Lebanon and a U.S. citizen. "The government never told us we did anything wrong until five years later. We paid the dues. We told them everything, to the best of our knowledge. "We're very sorry he entered the country illegally, but we tried to rectify it by making him legal."

The Romans were married in 2002 in the United States. Rita has one daughter, 11-year-old Nawal, whom Rufo, a Mexican national, helped raise since she was 3. He was head chef at the restaurant, which has hosted Spartanburg County Republican Party events, monthly chats with U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis and charity functions, including free dinners for the needy and fundraisers. County Democratic Party Chairwoman and former U.S. Rep. Liz Patterson, who lobbied on Rufo's behalf, called the way the case was handled unfortunate. "He's a successful businessman here in town and has been trying to get his green card for a number of years and did not realize he was in violation of the law," she said. Patterson said she was disturbed to learn immigration officials wouldn't allow the Roman family to pay for a flight to Mexico, where Rufo could begin application for residency, but rather are keeping him in custody at taxpayers' expense.

For more about Roman, click here.

November 29, 2007 | Permalink

Fay Wray (Canada)

Fay_28king_kong29_publicity_photo Kingkongposter Fay Wray (19072004), an actress in U.S. films, was born on a ranch in Alberta, Canada. Her family moved to the United States when she was three. Wray's family lived in in Arizona and Utah before settling in Los Angeles, where she got her first film work in Hal Roach comedy shorts and in low-budget westerns in the early 1920s.

Wray is best remembered for her role as Ann Darrow, the blonde seductress of a gigantic gorilla in the classic film King Kong (1933). She wore a blonde wig over her naturally dark hair for the role.

Wray became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1935.

Wray's autobiography, On the Other Hand, was published in 1988. Wray was a guest at the 70th Academy Awards, where the show's host, Billy Crystal introduced her and paid tribute to her film legacy. Wray was approached to appear in a small cameo for the 2005 re-make of King Kong (2005). Before filming commenced, however, Wray died in her sleep in August 2004 of natural causes.

December 24, 2007 | Permalink

Alanis Nadine Morissette (Canada)

Morissette Alanis Nadine Morissette (born in Ottawa, Canada, June 1, 1974) is a dual U.S./Canadian citizen and singer-songwriter. She has won seven Grammy Awards, and has sold more than sixty million albums worldwide.  For a video of one one of her songs (Precious Illusions), click here.

Morissette began her career in Canada. Her international debut album was the rock-influenced "Jagged Little Pill," which became the best-selling debut album by a female artist in the U.S., and the biggest selling debut album worldwide in music history. She is one of the top 20 best selling female artists in music and is the best selling female rock artist ever.

Morissette was born in Ottawa, Ontario.  In 2005, she became a U.S. citizen but maintains her Canadian citizenship as well.  The singer was among some 4,500 people who took the citizenship oath during a ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Morissette has said:  I consider myself a Canadian-American."

December 26, 2007 | Permalink

These posts were orginally posted on the ImmigrationProf Blog here, here and here.

About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson is currently Dean, Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, and the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Law Chair holder at the University of California at Davis. He is also one of the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog .

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.