“Michael Kamburowski, the Australian immigrant hired as a top official in the California Republican Party, was ordered deported in 2001, jailed three years later for visa violations — and has filed a $5 million wrongful arrest lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to U.S. District Court documents.
“Kamburowski was named in March to be the chief operating officer of the California GOP. He is responsible for the state party’s multimillion-dollar budget and oversees campaign funds and financing for the nation’s largest state GOP organization.”
“The hiring of Kamburowski — a virtual unknown in state party circles — comes at a time when the state GOP’s financial health appears weak. The California Republican Party at the end of 2006 had $219,000 in the bank and outstanding debts of $4.4 million — and a $3 million loan repayment to wealthy contributor Larry Dodge is due at the end of this month. Yet senior party members, speaking not for attribution, say Kamburowski has had little contact with the team behind Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has generated a fundraising bonanza for the state GOP.”
“Court documents and records show that Kamburowski, an Australian citizen , arrived in the United States on a pleasure trip on Jan. 23, 1995, and took up residence in Arlington, Va.”
“Two years later, in February 1997, Kamburowski married an American woman. After their wedding, his new wife filed an I-130 form for ‘Petition for Alien Relative’ along with an ‘Application of Adjustment of Status’ with the then-Immigration and Naturalization Service, according to the lawsuit.”
“The marriage broke up after a year, and in April 1998 Kamburowski moved to Washington, D.C., according to court documents.”
“For three years, from 1997 until 2000, Kamburowski said he was executive director of the Norquist-affiliated Ronald Reagan Legacy Project, which aimed to name major monuments after the late president in all 50 states.”
“But Kamburowski eventually left Norquist’s group and ran afoul of immigration officials. His lawsuit indicates that the INS began deportation proceedings against him and sent him a notice to appear in court in January 2001.”
“Kamburowski’s lawsuit claims that he notified immigration officials of his new addresses, but never received official notice of his coming deportation, which he said was returned unopened to the post office.”
“When the INS sent another surrender notice to a different address, Kamburowski again said it was returned to the post office and he never saw the notice, according to the court documents.”
“By May 31, 2001, officials at the Executive Office for Immigration Review in Arlington decided to get tough; an immigration judge there conducted a removal hearing with Kamburowski not present, and ordered him deported from the United States, the documents show. But Kamburowski, according to documents, said he was never notified of the hearing.”
“Two weeks later, in June 2001, Kamburowski married another American woman, the court documents state.”
“Within a year, his new wife had filed again to get him a green card through the I-130 form for ‘Petition for Alien Relative’ along with the ‘Application of Adjustment of Status’ with the INS, court records show.”
“On Jan. 22, 2004, Kamburowski was scheduled for an immigration hearing — called an ‘adjustment of status interview’ — at the Department of Homeland Security’s Long Island office when officers informed him of the standing deportation order filed years before, court documents show.”
“He was immediately arrested and jailed at the Wackenhut Correctional Facility in Jamaica, N.Y., the documents state. Kamburowski, while in jail, filed a motion to reopen his removal order, according to the court documents.”
“Nearly a month later — despite the protests of Homeland Security officials who opposed his release on grounds that he posed a flight risk — an immigration judge freed Kamburowski on a $7,500 bond, the documents state. He was released from custody on Feb. 22, 2004.”
“But Kamburowski’s current resume — which states his objective is ‘to play a major role in the reshaping of the California Republican Party into a hyper-effective political organization” — shows no employment from 2000-2006. Sources said that during at least some of those years he called himself an aspiring actor, and occasionally worked in desk clerk jobs before he eventually tried his hand at selling real estate in New York and the Dominican Republic, which he left in February.”
“One month later, the board of directors of the California Republican Party approved Kamburowski’s hiring to head up financial operations handling millions of dollars in campaign funds. GOP state chair Nehring, in making the announcement, called Kamburowski a ‘national issue management specialist,” who as an Australian immigrant ‘was inspired by Ronald Reagan to come to America.”
Aussie hired by state GOP embroiled in immigration lawsuit, by Carla Marinucci and Lance Williams, Chronicle Staff Writers, Sunday, June 24, 2007 or here if the link is dead (via Calitics and OC Liberal.)
I’d writing something scathing here if I could only stop laughing.
Update 062507: Via Calitics, the CRP says AMF to Kamburowski.