I think this conversation needs to be settled. This is why politics has so many people turned off and against each other. In one corner you have politicians that want to exploit an issue that puts people’s life at risk and in the other you have people, to no fault of their own, in a perilous position of being deported to a country that they don’t know, haven’t seen, maybe ever, and wouldn’t have the first clue what to do if they have to leave. It almost seems like a reality show. Survivor. I’m confident that the right thing will happen. After all the stance taking and chest puffing, I am confident, admittedly not as much as I used to be, that the right thing will be done and these individuals that are upstanding young soon to be citizens will get their day and be allowed a path to citizenship. These are hard times for them and I have seen this first hand, heard stories straight out of their mouths and witnessed some atrocities. I’m going to try and walk you through some events these people faced.
Prior to my job as an unrenowned blog splatterer, I used to work for the federal government. One of my jobs was as a Border Patrol Agent. The Border Patrol’s (BP), now known as U.S. Customs and Border Protection, duties were simply to affect arrests on anyone trying to circumvent customs and/or gaining entry into the United States illegally. I worked the southern border where California meets with Tijuana, Mexico and I did my job well, I like to think. I caught people from all nationalities like Mexican, Brazilian, Chinese, Cuban, El Salvador, Guatemala, Venezuela, and a host of other countries. I didn’t particularly love my job but I didn’t hate it either. Regardless of all the hoopla, the position is necessary and the people that work for the BP are dedicated good people that put their lives on the line for the security of our country. They work some of the most perilous terrains and remote areas and try to deter the influx of illegal drugs as well as illegal entry. In my four years their I have run into some very good people, not my fellow ex- Agents but people crossing into the U.S..
A story I would like to share happened on the Tijuana Canal where the U.S. border meets the Mexican border. On this particular night I was working Whiskey 3 (W3), a hard X. This means that I was positioned at this location and was not to move, to act as a deterrence from people crossing. I hear a banging on the gate that leads into the canal and people yelling in Spanish. I go over to the gate and their were several people talking to me in Spanish saying that they were being robbed. I told them to back up and head over to the south side and I’ll go check it out. As I opened the gate and stepped into the canal, I asked W4 to keep an eye out on me as I entered the canal, you never know. As I stepped closer to the border, a yellow line that runs north to south, to peak around the fence, I kept telling this group of 5 to keep backing up to the south side, pointing my flashlight at their faces and hands to make sure they weren’t armed. They had a terrified look on their faces, they didn’t want to go. They wanted to stay on the north side. As I approached I kept telling them to back up, “Muevance para atras”, (use google translate), Still terrified, they were begging me to help. I get to where the yellow line separates the two countries and look around the corner and see a big man grabbing another man by the shirt, as he laid on the ground pointing a gun, an old .38 revolver, at him. The man on the ground had one hand on the ground and the other shielding his face. The big man yelling at him to give him all his money. The actions I took right after that lasted about ten seconds. I pull my Beretta from my holster, tell the people to cross over to the north side and stay out of the way, and to get against the fence, radioed W4 and told him to make sure they didn’t make a break to the north side and radioed dispatch to inform of the situation. They said they would contact the PD on the south side, I told them don’t bother, he’s a Federale, Mexican police officer. I shine my light on him and yelled “Que Haces”. My weapon is now behind my right quad and my flashlight is trained on the Federales face. He looks at me and uses couple of choice words. My dispatch informs that I am not, for any reason, to cross the border, that I must remain on the north side. I don’t respond, just kept my focus on the Federale and his gun. If he had pointed that weapon at me, I would have been able to defend myself, I was hoping that it wouldn’t come to that. By the Federales slurred speech and wobbling stance, I was guessing he had a little too many Tequilas. The confrontation, that seemed like a lifetime, lasted all of 30 seconds. He kept telling me that it wasn’t any of my business, mixed with some language that his mother would wash his mouth out with soap with. I yelled something, don’t even remember what language it was, could have been Spanish, could have been English, could have been Swahili by the confused look on his face. He finally looks down at the man on the ground, back at me, then pushes the man down with some force and turns, holsters his weapon and leaves. I relayed to my dispatch that incident ws over and that the assailant had left. I was at the right place at the right time, could have easily been the wrong place at the wrong time if Senor Tequila felt like becoming the Mexican Wyatt Earp. The now illegal entrants, 20 feet into the north side, thanked me. I stayed there talking to them for a while. They told me that they had been there for about two weeks and that they have been robbed prior, it wasn’t the first time. They told me about their families in their country and how they left their loved ones because there was no work where they lived. A mixed gang of men and 1 woman. They were risking their lives because they needed to feed their children. I asked him how much did the guy take and he just got the one persons cash. The other ones left as soon as he made his presence known with the .38. I gave them my left over food, half a club sandwich from Denny’s and fries and told them if he returns to come back to the gate and that I would bring them north until he left. You want to hear another. This one will make you scratch your head.
I was on the swing shift, working overtime on Rover patrol, when scope, an agent working heat sensing cameras, calls out a group of 4 crossing. I get to the location where they were spotted and quickly see them low crawling. When they spot me they get up and run. They run through a group of bushes. Two feet on the other side of these pushes was a Cholla Cactus, I’m guessing. It was the type of cactus that grows in small pieces and when you run into them, parts of them come off. The reason I know that, is because I ran right deadsmack into them. I can’t express how much that hurt and how dumb I felt. It hurt because I was running at full speed, try it, run full speed into a cactus. I felt dumb because, while I looked like a linebacker arresting this cactus for illegal growing, the small group of 4 managed to bank right and avoid the cactus. At this point I yelled out, like a man that ran into a cactus full speed. The group stopped, looked back and came to help me. They told me to stand still. They grabbed my pants and pulled it off my leg, removing the cactus from my leg. They were clear. They had open space and a direct route down the mountain into Imperial Beach. They didn’t do it. They helped me instead. They pulled that cactus off of me like people that had done this on prior occasions. What did I do to thank them. I deported them. Actually, I thanked them for their kindness, shook their hand and them told them that I couldn’t let them go. to their credit, they completely understood. I didn’t take them in and fingerprint them, take their picture and get their details for the system, no, but I told them that right now, straight down the path they were taking, there were already two other agents waiting for them. Redundancy. They looked down and just smiled. I pulled my Bronco up to the fence and told them, hop back over and that where they tried to cross was full of security cameras and sensors. That I wished I could help but……I said, I can’t tell you that about 500 feet west there was a sensor that wasn’t working correctly and that crossing at night was giving us problems. I can’t tell you that. I can’t tell you that it will be fixed by tomorrow morning, nope, I would get in trouble. They climbed on the hood of my truck and hopped over. That was the last time I ever seen them. Don’t know if they are part of DACA, I hope so.
This portrayal of illegal people, (not aliens, martians are aliens, they are people), as some kind of monsters that are here to harm us are completely false, for the most part. Don’t mix them up as all being drug runners or mules. They’re not, while admittedly some are, but very few. Most are looking to support their families, exactly what all of us would do if we were in their position. I’m not lobbying for open borders, I don’t think it’s wise to have open borders but I am urging common sense. The DACA program is meant for people that have been here for a while and we didn’t even know they were among us. We didn’t know because they have caused no trouble, have not been arrested, work (they can’t be on any social program) and are productive. These people basically assimilated in the best possible way. The criteria they face forces them to do that.
My blame for the stall of this program is going to be tough to hear. I could be mixed up but it seems that the Democratic criticisms on President Trump has left him unwilling to approach the subject at this time. I’m going to try and be as diplomatic as possible about this situation and refuse to take sides. On one hand you have the President who knows that this is a tool to mend bridges with the left but isn’t quite “feeling the love” so he is deciding to hold off and the other you have the Democratic Caucus who feels that this shouldn’t be a political issue but a humanitarian one and should be passed immediately, without “giving the love”. In the middle you have innocent people, innocent in that they were forced to migrate as children, that are hoping the differences can be resolved. For the President, having people, that already here and assimilated, working and paying taxes is the easiest solution to counting them as basically visas delivered through the lottery. He can count them to the quota that the government gives out each year and, bonus, they are proven good people that are already paying taxes. From a business point of view, and the President is a businessman, not so much a politician but that’s the platform he ran on, that is a huge win. For the left, if they can find a way to reconcile their differences somehow, they get their legislative win and more importantly they helped those people that they were trying to help. It really is a win-win situation if both sides can find something positive to say about each other. Everyone in government feels like this the right thing to do. Please don’t let petty differences get in the way of what can be a monumental moment of solidarity. We are the world’s leaders in front of the cameras, meaning everyone watches our every step. Let us show them what we are capable of.
You want to hear something ironic, I ended leaving the BP into another position within the government, met a wonderful woman who happened to be illegal, married her, had a child and had to leave my job because I lied about where I met her. True story. The whole thing, not just the ending.
This story, while written with good intentions, is poorly written and reads a little rough. Doesn’t really captivate the reader the way I wanted to, I got bored trying to edit it. To my credit though, I did manage to introduce the word hoopla into the story. There’s that, I guess.