Immigrant Says Blount Judge Told Her To "Go Home" to Nicaragua

By: Jim Freeman Email
By: Jim Freeman Email

Maryville (WVLT) A Blount County woman says she turned to the court system for protection.

Instead, she says she left feeling shocked, devastated and in tears.

All because of what she says the judge said to her.

Volunteer TV's Jim Freeman has the rest of the story.

Anna Calixto's an immigrant, in the US legally.

She went to court last Friday seeking an order of protection from her estranged husband.

But, she says the judge told her to just "go home", back to nicaragua.

"He tells me you go back to your country. My husband, you go back to your country," Calixto says.

Anna says that's what Blount County Judge W. Dale Young told her last Friday in his courtroom.

It made front page news in today's Daily Times and it's been the buzz around Maryville.

Anna says, "Why go back to my country? I have two children here. He said. 'It's OK.' He says. 'I don't care.'"

Anna says she was in court about an order of protection against her estranged husband whom she says has been harassing her, calling her, and often showing up at her home trying to get visitation with their two children.

According to Young's office, there is no transcript, recording or documentation of what was said during Anna's hearing.

Kenneth Patterson lives in Maryville and read today's newspaper story and says, "I think that it was wrong in the first place for them not to have a reporter in the courtroom, because without a document of what's said, there's no proof about what's going on."

Lisa Barber with Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition says, "It's a shame the community, documented or undocumented, that when they go in front of a judge that their rights to a court are abused. Instead of getting protection, they're told to go back to their country regardless of their status."

Judge Young gave us this statement, "By law, I am not permitted to discuss a case that is still pending."

Katie Monday lives in Maryville and says, "I would feel devastated you know if you can't turn to our court system, who do you have to turn to?"

Anna says, "This is horrible for me. It's no good. I need help for my children."

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