The Plain Dealer Cleveland, OH
Copyright (c) The Plain Dealer 2002
Wednesday, January 9, 2002


Official sympathy can't save deportees But deal lets Brecksville parents return

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CHUCK CROW THE PLAIN DEALER Sylwester Boryka hugs his 5-year- old daughter, Claudia, in his lawyer's office. Boryka's son Karol, 9, wrote to President Bush last year asking that his parents not be deported to Poland. Claudia Boryka, 5, and her brother, Karol, 9, join their father Sylwester in his lawyer's office.

Brecksville - Even a letter sent by 8-year-old Karol Boryka to the president was not enough to stop his father from being deported to Poland.

But if things go as expected, Sylwester Boryka will be back home in time to plant a garden this spring.

Karol, the American-born son of Sylwester and Mariola Boryka, wrote to President Bush last year because he "seemed like a man who cared about families." The boy asked that his parents be allowed to stay in the country they loved.

In early 2000, the Immigration and Naturalization Service ordered the couple deported for overstaying their visas. Karol's letter to the White House prompted telephone calls from the INS commissioner's office in Washington, D.C., and buoyed the family's hopes that a settlement could be reached.

Richard Herman, the family's lawyer, believes a settlement has been reached to make everyone happy. Sylwester, 34, leaves for Warsaw on Friday and will immediately file papers to return home, a process which could normally take up to a year. He hopes to return in weeks.

Then his wife must return to Poland and go through the same process.

"We're very hopeful that Sylwester will return home very quickly," said Herman. "We have already filed the paperwork for him to have processed with the American embassy in Warsaw and the overseas U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in Vienna, Austria. But we have no idea how long it will take for him to return."

Sen. George Voinovich's office also got involved in the Boryka's case and will "facilitate a quick processing of his documentation...."

Herman said the Borykas' case has been long and convoluted. The couple came to America in 1990 on tourist visas and stayed after they expired. The INS began deportation proceedings in 1991, and the couple agreed to leave the country voluntarily in 1999. They stayed because they believed that their case was being reviewed.

"Sylwester paid $2,400 to the INS for work authorization cards in 1999," said Herman. "But it was a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing. The INS had already issued a warrant to deport the couple."

The family might have stayed in the country indefinitely if Mariola, 35, had not been stopped by North Royalton police on a routine traffic check a week before Christmas in 2000. When police learned that the INS had a warrant out for the woman and her husband, they lured Sylwester to the police station and arrested him as well. Both were turned over to the INS.

The couple's two American-born children, Karol and Claudia, 5, can remain in America, as can Sylwester's elderly mother, Felicia, a Polish immigrant who became a U.S. citizen 20 years ago. Sylwester said his family would not split up.

Herman said Felicia was recently diagnosed with Alheizmer's disease and that she relies on her family for her needs. Herman said doctors are treating Karol for life-threatening asthma and allergies, and the doctors have said the treatments are not available in Poland.

On the eve of his trip back to his homeland, Sylwester said he tries not to worry too much.

"My wife and I can't even talk about it anymore," he said. "We both just hope everything will work out for the best."


Contact Michael Sangiacomo at:, 216-999- 4890




NEWS SUBJECT: English language content; Asylum/Immigration; Political/General News; Health; Health (ENGL GIMM GCAT GHEA HLT)


PRODUCT: European News/Features (DEE)

REGION: United States - Ohio; Midwest U.S.; United States; North American Countries; Ohio; North America; United States; Poland; European Countries; Central And East European Countries; Poland; Eastern Europe; Europe; Emerging Market Countries (USOH USC USA NAMZ OH NME US POL EURZ EEURZ PL EEU EU DEVGCOZ)


Word Count: 608 1/9/02 PLDLCL B1