I’m starting a new series; Government Bloopers. Starting with this post, it’s noteworthy to mention all the stupid things our government does, we pay for with our taxes and instead of fixing the problem, the government will come back to us later, asking to bail them out (i.e. higher taxes).
Welcome to the first installment. Today we are going to focus on the American immigration process that is so flawed, that we are deporting American nationals instead of illegal aliens and criminals! In a rush to deport as many illegal aliens as possible, we have been throwing a few legal ones into the mix as well. Turns out that between 2006 and 2008, of the over 1 million people that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) deported, well over 1% of those, were actually American Citizens. As part of the process, they are detained in ICE prisons for months or years, bullied and interviewed by agents, then they are brought before an immigration judge that decides their fate. And this continues to this day.
Yes, you read right, we are deporting American citizens, mostly to Mexico. No, this is not a Saturday Night skit. If that doesn’t make you laugh, I assume few things will.
I’ll be honest, when I first heard of this story during my morning commute to work, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. It is ridiculous.
Picture this; A Veteran U.S. Marine with a tattoo of the eagle, anchor, and globe on his chest, was deported to Mexico not once, but twice. He is a fourth generation American. Or meet Andres Robles, 22, who is celebrating yet another birthday in Mexico after being deported, doesn’t know a soul and doesn’t speak Spanish. In July of this year, Christoper Z. who was riding his bike home and randomly approached by ICE agents who demanded verification of his status. He didn’t have ID on him and was detained.
Why does this happen? Well, a lot of it (and the formal excuse) is due to confusion. The Government is in a hurry to deport as many illegal aliens as possible and in the process, may not be doing proper fact checking, but relying on assumption. The Huffington Post pointed out that it’s partially due to incorrect status information given to US citizen parents, mostly of Mexican ancestry. For example, instead of giving their children instant citizenship, as their legal right calls for, they were given Green Cards mistakenly. Paperwork may not have been filed correctly in the later process, or ICE agents just do not check whether their information is correct. As part of the process, detainees are interviewed, but even when they call out their legal status, it is simply ignored. Detainees have at times sworn under oath their citizenship status, but were still deported.
Is there some discrimination involved on the part of the ICE? Most likely. During interviews with ICE agents, detainees of Mexican decent are labeled “brown skin”. Most of the deportation process focuses on those of Latin American decent. There is evidence of ICE agents bullying detainees, and many do not speak up out of fear.
In the case of Andres Robles, attorneys are attempting to get his paperwork through to ICE but bureaucracy is preventing them from receiving the proper approvals and checks to get him back.
Now, the Veteran made it back to the U.S. finally. But the government did not apologize or pay him reparations for disrupting his life.
I don’t have a solution to this, but I can recommend the obvious: Fact checking! Deportation is a big deal. You are violating people’s civil rights, not to mention their lives. Job loss, financial losses, disruption of livelihood etc. Thousands of Americans are being deported wrongfully every year, and the government is not paying for reparations for any of their errors.
Where are the checks and balances and why is the government exempt from being reprimanded?