Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The dearly deported

President Felipe Calderon told reporters on December 17th that he’s going to bat for his countrymen who have recently been deported.

It is quite a shock on border towns like Tijuana when the United States increases the number of people deported back to Mexico. For one thing, crime goes up south of the border.

We’re not proud of it, but sometimes these decent, hard working people act up once they are kicked out of the United States. The mayor of Tijuana reports a 300% increase in petty crime this year.

So, here’s what Calderon is promising: Food, shelter, emergency medical care and temporary employment for the recently deported. He calls it Humane Repatriation.

Some journalists on the U S side get out the violins and hankies. I hear the same thing from principles and school teachers who bemoan the fact that these people are really just like citizens because they were brought here so young. They have no clue how to live in Mexico. They belong here.

Here’s a tale the OC Register printed the other day in a story about the impact for increased deportations: “Irvin DeLeon, 22, was dropped off at the Tijuana gate on a cold day in March after being arrested for driving without a license near the intersection of Edinger and Main in Santa Ana.

“DeLeon was brought to the United States at the age of 2 by his parents and grew up in Santa Ana. After finishing high school, he started working construction jobs. He also had a minor brush with law enforcement, getting arrested as a juvenile for stealing a car.

“DeLeon had been arrested seven times for driving without a license between 2002 and 2006. Without documents, he can't legally obtain one. Most times, he would pay bail and be released.

“Even though he speaks some Spanish, he's never thought of himself as a Mexican national. Recently married, DeLeon works as an electrician's apprentice in Orange County. Except for the juvenile case and the license problems, DeLeon had stayed out of trouble.

“But this time, deputies identified DeLeon as undocumented and he found himself being deported.

“In Tijuana, outside the border station, DeLeon stared at his cell phone, trying to figure out how to dial inside a foreign country. He was hoping to reach a distant aunt that had agreed to take him into her house.‘My whole life is over there,’ he said, gesturing toward the United States. ‘I don't even have a Mexican ID.’"

Welcome home, Mr. DeLeon. Sorry things didn’t work out for you up north.

No comments:

Post a Comment