Mistakes Happen… Be a Man and Admit When You Make One!

28 02 2010

WARNING – serously long rant follows…you’ve been warned…

You know… I really do appreciate and fully understand the hard work and stressful conditions that go along with being a peace officer or a federal agent, but even these folks are human and they do make mistakes. Why is it so damn hard for them to admit it? I’ve hardly ever seen a case where an officer made a judgement call, that in hindsight he/she knew was wrong, come out and say afterward that he/she is sorry or admit culpability in any way. Is it the oversized ego-syndrome that goes with the job? Is it the fact that they would have to then admit that they are not the “god” of good that they thought they were? I’m just curious…because it just seems like just once…I’d like to see an officer/agent come out and say, “I screwed up and I want to help set things right” instead of covering their arses along with all of their buddies.

My Sister-in-law is sitting in a ICE detention center in Raymondville hundreds of miles away from her home because of a situation just like this. Granted, thanks to our illustrious and extremely wise Patriot Act…the US Border Patrol has pretty much unlimited police powers in the arena of travel and immigration documentation…but sometimes just because you “can” doesn’t mean you “should”…

My sister-in-law originally travelled here from Colombia on a tourist visa to visit my wife and our family in Texas. While visiting we talked and she decided that she would like to stay and attend school here in Texas, so my wife and I helped her get a Student Visa so that she could attend one of the local colleges where we lived while she stayed with us. During the time she was attending school…she met a man who she fell in love with and they decided to marry. Of course, after marriage they began the process of getting her status changed due to her marriage to a US citizen. She was and is still attending school during this time mind you… Unfortunately, and if you’ve ever tried to go through this process…you know how onerous it can be, they failed to include some key information in the application so it was denied. Well…they immediately hired an immigration attorney to help them get it back on track. And it has been in process since then.

Well…my family and I have recently moved to the Dallas area so my sister-in-law decided to fly up here and help us celebrate my son’s 6th birthday. She was supposed to arrive here in Dallas on Thursday evening, but something terrible happened. The gate that she was departing from had two flights leaving out of it. My sister in law, not paying close attention, saw many people lining up to board and assumed that it was her plane that was departing, so she got in line to board as well. Well…the flight attendants scanned her tickets and allowed her to board…A PLANE TO CORPUS CHRISTI! Well…needless to say, when she arrived after what felt curiously like an extra long flight to Dallas, my sister-in-law attempted to find her bag. Of course the baggage attended stated, “Miss, I’m sure your bag is in Dallas where you ticket shows your arrival, but we’re in Corpus Christi.” Of course my young sister-in-law is distraught and scared. Of course SWA realizes that the mistake was theirs and puts her up in a hotel room for the night and promises to put her on the first flight to Dallas in the morning. Well…my sister-in-law’s cell phone died during this overnight stay and she didn’t have her charger that was in her checked in luggage in Dallas, so she couldn’t even call anyone.

The next morning she get’s picked up by the taxi contracted by SWA and taken to the airport. Well…for some reason…even though it is a domestic flight…US Border Patrol has extra scrutiny in Corpus Christi for anyone that reports that they are non-citizens….which of course includes my sister-in-law. Long story short…they detain her. I could go into long detail about why they said they detained her and yada yada yada, but the fact is that they screwed up and she actually had all of the paperwork on her that proved that she was here legally…they just didn’t care. Our system is not setup to help people…only to screw them and get as many out of the country as possible. So after a full 24-36 hours of playing kidnapper moving my sister-in-law from safe house to safe house (we don’t really know all of the places they took here…only that they moved her 5 times during this period)…we finally learn that she has been transferred to ICE custody and is in a transfer facility in Harlingen. Of course by this time my wife, my family and I have driven all the way down to South Texas to help as much as we can…but since it’s a weekend..even though they know she’s legal…she has to remain detained until a US Magistrate can review her case….or at least that’s the drivel they’re shoving us now. Who knows if they are telling the truth or not…it’s not like they haven’t lied to us on multiple occasions already anyway…

So long story short…my sister in law has been without sleep (no bed or bedding) for over 48 hours now. She’s being treated like common criminal scum (which is what they treat all of the undocumented like by the way), she’s a basket-case, her husband is going insane and my blood boils a little more each passing second. All because one US Border Patrol agent and his ego wouldn’t let a mistake get corrected quickly. Thanks a lot officer and agents. Real fine job there. (Oh…am I generalizing? You say all officers/agents aren’t this way? Hmmm…maybe all of your detainees and suspects aren’t always crooks and criminal either… Generalization suxxors huh?)

Hope your life for you and your loved is doing better than mine right now. May god bless us all…




2 responses

28 02 2010

Look… I know officers and agents of the law are in general good, honest, and hard-working folks. I’m not going to debate that fact. I do debate the fact that they treat the people that they are given the power to police in the very way that they despise being treated themselves. They make rash judgments, they jump to conclusions, they forget dignity and respect, and reach VERY generalized conclusions about the people they detain/arrest/take charge of. Specifically in the case of immigration…it’s even worse. They play mind games with these people, practice sleep deprivation tactics, attempt to coerce them into voluntarily giving up their already limited rights, and much more. I hereby challenge anyone that thinks otherwise to prove differently. I can assure you that I can find far more evidence supporting these assertions that anyone else can otherwise.

Also… My initial comment still remains valid. If I had to wait to hear an honest and respectful apology for improper actions by an officer of the court/law/federal agency that wasn’t forced upon them due to court action…I’d be well on the way to my grave. Sorry folks…defend all you want…but it’s just the way it is. For some reason or another…this is one group of folks that just can’t bring themselves to own up to mistakes/failings/fallacies without force. Maybe it just comes with the job…group think at its worst…

1 03 2010

This is a horrible situation, I understand. I am not saying that the BP and ICE are in anyway right for what they have done. She displayed all of the proper documentation that she was required to show and she should have been dismissed without and further delay. Officers and Agents are dealing with criminals on a daily basis who are constantly lying to them about everything they can. Personally, I couldn’t care less if you’re here legally or not as long as you’re not causing problems or constantly being a menace to the general population. Some people are just trying for a better life and I can understand that. This comes down to ONE Agent and that Agent’s direct Supervisors. They are the ones that made the call, approved the detention, and have cause all of the problems. I don’t think that it’s fair to make the generalization that all detainees are treated with such disrespect, as your sister-in-law has been. I would not say that there is it an oversize ego-syndrome that goes with the job, I am a pretty laid back person when it comes to situations involving an non-citizen. There are just some people that are like that, some people let the power go to their head and treat people in ways they shouldn’t. I agree that the US Justice system is flawed at best, I work for it, see everything first hand, and it is bush league that she is being treated the way she is. Everything will work out in the end and hopefully nothing like this will happen again. Maybe the Agent will be reprimanded for the false arrest of her, but the Government will probably say the Agent was acting under the “color of law”. Did they offer any explanation on why, after seeing her documents, they still detained her? Keeping her in my prayers.

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