You don’t hear a lot about mistakes on a federal level. You hear the word “federal”, and you think of top secret facilities and projects that need to be on the hush hush. A few weeks back, that was all that came to mind before I was actually experiencing being detained (held against my will) in a federal facility myself. I was told that I was being “administratively detained.”
I came across an article not too long ago on a student from Korea, here in the States on a student visa. Her story showed me how unjust and disorganized Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can be. I realized how ignorant people are to the injustices that many immigrants face. Your opinions and beliefs toward a group of individuals that are (in politically correct terms) titled “aliens” (often are unaware of federal court room legalities, and dehumanized while detained, and to much dismay) all too commonly hold no merit. Especially when it comes to factual acknowledgement of “How much taxpayer money is used to deport and detain said individuals?”
When I was told I was to be “administratively detained”, in that moment ICE could have told me I was being detained because I was Caucasian, and I would have believed it. It was my first time hearing such play on words used to deprive human beings of “unalienable rights”. “We the people…” I ask, am I no longer a person?
For want of a better life (speaking for many Southeast Asians), for want of escaping Communism, war, and the aftermath of genocide – U.S. immigrants must face deportation. It seems more likely under President Trump. However not all immigrants having been placed into ICE custody have committed a wrongful act. Some, like the Korean student mentioned, are unaware of their student visas are expiring. Even the most responsible individual can forget or even misplace something of great importance. Maybe procrastination was the cause? I for sure would be telling a tall tale if I were to say, “That is something I have never done.” Some have indeed done something wrong, or in the eyes of society, are found guilty, serve their time at a state level having been criminally detained, and after being released may face deportation at a federal level. A lot of the time the only offense made by an individual is crossing the border into America without any documentation, and they now face administrative detainment. I call it federal injustice.
Why are American soldiers normally sent to the other side of the world into another’s country? To support and aid countries in need of help is the number one answer given most of the time, right? Well, if we can identify and are aware of the areas that are causing our neighbors in Mexico so much stress and heartache (gangs, cartels, drugs, etc), then the question should be, “How can America help support our neighbors?” Not, “How can we keep out and ignore such violence that eats at the borders of this great country?”
I’ve lived in this beautiful country for nearly 23 years of my life. I am 24 now. If I am not an American, I am Americanized. I’m sadly not a naturalized citizen, but at the very center of my identity I am an American. I have served three and a half years on a plea agreement of a 63-month sentence for two assaults, 2nd degree, and a felony harassment. Many people in my case were hurt, others inadvertently. I would be a fool not to be remorseful for being involved in a situation that hurt many. Not enough words can describe all of the hurt.
My past and those charges however do not define the man I am now. To be so young and having hurt so many people in my life, a sense of restoration and healing needs to begin for absolute redemption and rehabilitation.
I write these words to bring light to some issues of injustice on a federal level in hopes that healing and restoration will prevail. To be “administratively detained” and not criminally detained yet make less than the incarcerated individual is injustice. To be sent back to a country on charges at a state level that time has been served for and much taxpayer money spent to keep an individual incarcerated, I might add, is injustice. Adding insult to injury: to keep an individual with immigrant status administratively detained after serving his time, spending more taxpayer money to do so is just un-American. It is injustice toward the hard-working women and men of America. Much more, what seems to be the most alarming, in general, is not knowing of such injustices. I can continue to gripe. I can continue to state facts, opinions and my own beliefs, but at the end of the day what matters are your own opinions and beliefs. Most importantly the facts.