Category: ICE

At Mexican Border, Four in Five Drug Busts Involve American Citizens

ImagePosted by  Pierre Berastain

“Three out of four people found with drugs by the border agency are U.S. citizens, the data show. Looked at another way, when the immigration status is known, four out of five busts—which may include multiple people—involve a U.S. citizen.”

Amidst the accusations of people like Governor Brewer and Sheriff Apaio that undocumented immigrants are dangerous criminals responsible for smuggling millions of dollars worth of drugs , this article brings a new and fresh perspective.

At Mexican Border, Four in Five Drug Busts Involve American Citizens

by 

The public’s view of a typical Mexican drug smuggler might not include U.S. Naval Academy grad Todd Britton-Harr, who was caught at a Border Patrol checkpoint in south Texas in December 2010 hauling a trailer with 1,100 pounds of marijuana.

Nor would someone like Laura Lynn Farris leap to mind. Border Patrol agents stopped the 52-year-old woman at a border checkpoint 15 miles south of the west Texas town of Alpine in February 2011 with 162 pounds of marijuana hidden under dirty blankets in laundry baskets. (more…)

Crossing the border without papers

Posted by Pierre Berastain

What if the person crossing the border had been a Latin American? What if the person had not been white? It seems to me that no amount of “God-talk” would let that person cross. Our perspectives and attitudes are colored, and they are often colored with shades of injustice or inequalities in the way we treat others. This is an invitation to examine our prejudices.

The Penalty is Exile

By Alan Bean

The criminalization of immigration, or “crimmigration” as it is sometimes known, is a recent development.  Michelle Fei lays out the basic problem,

The issue that immigrants face is that, now there is this increasing collaboration between the criminal justice system and the deportation system.  So, for basically, all kinds of immigrants, including green-card holders, undocumented immigrants, people with visas.  This means that once you enter the criminal justice system, often times you are on a fast-track to deportation, usually with no chance of ever coming back to the United States.

There is more crimmigration information packed into this radio program than I have previously discovered in any single source.

The Penalty is Exile: How Immigration and Criminalization Collide

Written by Cory Fischer-Hoffman

Under President Obama more than 1 million people have been deported from the United States. We’re told many of those people are criminals who’ve broken more than just immigration law. On this edition, producer Cory Fischer-Hoffman takes a closer look at how immigration and the criminal justice system work together, to detain and deport hundreds of thousands of people every year.

Transcript:

Cory Fischer-Hoffman: Have you ever traveled on Greyhound Bus Before?  Do you know the feeling of standing in the station, looking around to see if your bus will be full and hoping that after a smooth and uneventful journey, you will safely arrive to your destination?

In January of 2010, Alex Alvarez boarded a greyhound bus in Lawrence, Kansas and then got off his bus in Orlando to transfer to Immokalee, Florida,  but he never arrived to his final destination.

Alex:, I was entering the bus station, and I entered calmly but there was someone who detained me and asked, “where are you going?” I said “to Florida, to work.” and then they asked me for my papers.  I didn’t present any documentation and so, they immediately handcuffed me and they took me to a room, and they said, “sorry you can’t travel because you don’t have papers from here.” In this bus station, it was two of us who were detained, because we were the only ones who were immigrants. But, we didn’t commit any crime, absolutely none

Cory Fischer-Hoffman: Alex Alvarez is from Guatemala, and like so many others he left his country in search of way to provide for his family back home.  Alex worked in a bakery in Florida for four years and then traveled to Kansas.  Since he was unable to find reliable work, he decided to return to Florida and see if he could get his old job back.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement stopped him, solely based on “looking like an immigrant,” Alex said.  They handcuffed and arrested him and then took him to an immigrant detention center.

Alex: I was in an immigrant detention center.  They asked me a lot of questions, “what’s your name, what is this, what is that?” as you were a criminal, even though, I didn’t do anything.  Then they took me to another detention center, where there were more people, and throughout the whole time we were handcuffed.  It enrages me to think about how they treat people, I am not a criminal that they should treat me like that, with chains ties around my wrists, ankles and waist. (more…)