This is in response to an article written by Mr. Sainz (“Trolley station… or training ground for Border Patrol agents?” published May 29, 2009) . First and foremost Border Patrol Agents ascertaining alienage of individuals in public are doing the job that they swore to do when they entered on duty. Mr. Sainz, I assume, is a paid writer for your paper, if he does not write his articles, is he doing the job he is paid to do?
As for the students that were returned to Mexico. This could have been handled in a few different ways. If the students gave the apprehending agents phone numbers where their parents could be reached, than the parents are illegally in the country could have been returned to their country of origin with their children. If the parents were Legal Permanent Residents (LAPR) then the children could have been released on their own recognizance and given a hearing date with the Immigration Judge. This would also give the parents time to file the legal documents to immigrate the children legally. If the children refused to give the aforementioned information or an address of a parent or near relative, then the agents had no other choice than to turn them over to the Mexican authorities in Tijuana. These authorities in Mexico make themselves responsible for locating the parents or responsible relative to released the children to. I should also mention that juveniles are not detained in the same room with adults, nor are males and females detained in the same room.
As for Pedro Rios’ comment I have this to say. United States Citizens or Legal Permanent Residents who are considered part of a minority group have nothing to fear from the Border Patrol. Those individuals who have entered this country illegally or have overstayed their non-immigrant visa do have something to fear....Deportation to their country of origin. This is just common sense. I think if Mr. Rios asked the people in this community who are legally in the country or are United States Citizens if they fear taking public transportation or sending their children to school their answer would be an emphatic no. This is why I think that Mr. Rios does not have the pulse of the citizens in this community.
In my opinion the trolley station is as safe as any other place, however just because you are in a public place does not guaranee that you will not be questioned as to your citizenship, and I’m not just talking about trolley stations this also includes anyplace that is open to the public. Check the law sir, I am sure that you will find that the circuit courts have decided that a temporary detention to ascertain a persons alienage and legal status in this country is NOT a violation of that person’s constitutional rights.
If anyone enters a country illegally anywhere on earth or violates that country’s immigration laws they would also face deportation. Why would you have this country be any different from those counties?
Contrary to Mr. Rios’ comment the Border Patrol does not use raids to train it’s agents. Before he makes ignorant comments like that perhaps he should take the time to educate himself about Border Patrol operations and training.