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Well, You Look Mexican...
May 28, 2010 7:20 PM   Subscribe


 
We are all Arizonans now.
posted by Artw at 7:25 PM on May 28, 2010 [21 favorites]


This confirms that ICE is just a group of thugs with guns.
posted by hal_c_on at 7:27 PM on May 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


I think nearly deported is overstating it a bit. I think this sort of thing sucks, but it's not like he was being brought to the airport. He was arrested. He posted bail. His citizenship was questioned. He produced documents that said he was a citizen and he was let go.

That's pretty far from "nearly deported."
posted by cjorgensen at 7:29 PM on May 28, 2010 [13 favorites]


Let go after three days in a jail with no real recourse to habeas corpus.

A few more anecdotes:
The son of a decorated Vietnam veteran, Hector Veloz is a U.S. citizen, but in 2007 immigration officials mistook him for an illegal immigrant and locked him in an Arizona prison for 13 months.

Veloz had to prove his citizenship from behind bars. An aunt helped him track down his father’s birth certificate and his own, his parents’ marriage certificate, his father’s school, military and Social Security records.

After nine months, a judge determined that he was a citizen, but immigration authorities appealed the decision. He was detained for five more months before he found legal help and a judge ordered his case dropped.[...]

Jacqueline Stevens, A UC Santa Barbara professor of law and society, said she had identified 160 cases of people who had been detained or deported but whose U.S. citizenship was later affirmed by the federal government or a jury. And several immigrant legal aid groups have helped free dozens of other citizens in recent years. [...]

Cesar Ramirez Lopez, a San Pablo truck driver, won a $10,000 settlement in 2007 after he was held for four days by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents even after his lawyer convinced ICE investigators that he was a citizen.

Pedro Guzman, a mentally disabled man born and raised in Southern California, who was deported in 2007 to Mexico, where he survived by eating out of garbage cans for three months while his frantic mother searched for him.

Rennison Castillo, a Washington state man who was born in Belize but took his oath of citizenship while serving in the U.S. Army in 1998, who spent seven months in an ICE prison in 2006.
posted by kipmanley at 7:38 PM on May 28, 2010 [64 favorites]


I thought this was about the recent House episode which had this exact situation as a plot point.
posted by melissam at 7:41 PM on May 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think "nearly deported" is misstating it a bit. He was arrested. He had to post bail. His citizenship was questioned. He had to produce documents that said he was a citizen before he was allowed to go free.

That's pretty far from "being treated like a white person."
posted by Mikey-San at 7:45 PM on May 28, 2010 [116 favorites]


How many US citizens can prove at any given point in time, given the paperwork on their person that they are actually US citizens. It seems to me that largely only immigrants have any chance of providing evidence of their legal status, at any given point in time.

This individual actually provided (proper) evidence that was simply disbelieved.

How many of us would be able to prove we should be here?

I can sympathize with some anti-immigration sentiments, but it's so strange how these folks are demanding that every citizen possess papers that prove that they should be here; I doubt any the supporters of 'papers-please' bills would be able to withstand scrutiny (even if they were citizens).

It seems obvious that they assume only Hispanic 'looking' individuals would be scrutinized. Actual immigration violation analysis would cast that net far wider.[
posted by el io at 7:50 PM on May 28, 2010 [8 favorites]


If I had my druthers, the border wouldn't exist (or would be like the European kind you can walk across/work across) and everyone could be an American if they wanted to. Enough of this crypto-fascist immigration control bullshit already.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:50 PM on May 28, 2010 [37 favorites]


Your favorite country sucks :(
posted by KingoftheWhales at 7:50 PM on May 28, 2010


<style>
#USA {border: none; !important}
</style>
posted by mathowie at 7:55 PM on May 28, 2010 [101 favorites]


fucking unacceptable and a nightmare here in rural NoFla, where there are lots of Puerto Ricans (US citizens since 1917 by an act of Congress) who moved here directly from Puerto Rico. They are not all English-speaking urbanites - some are straight out of the mountains - and a few have neither driver license nor state ID (because they don't drive - they ride with somebody else). I expect this scenario to occur *daily* up here, any time now.
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:55 PM on May 28, 2010


He was arrested. He posted bail. His citizenship was questioned. He produced documents that said he was a citizen and he was let go.

your account leaves out a couple days of the story - you know the time between "produced documents" and "let go".
posted by nadawi at 7:59 PM on May 28, 2010 [22 favorites]


That's pretty far from "being treated like a white person."

But my point was there's a disservice to mislabeling the event. You'll get more outrage out of me with "Let go after three days in a jail with no real recourse to habeas corpus" than you will by misrepresenting what actually occurred.

He wasn't nearly deported. He was detained.

There's enough to get pissed about on something like this without having to make it into something it isn't.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:00 PM on May 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


That !important is outside the border property illegally. It needs to emigrate in.
posted by weston at 8:01 PM on May 28, 2010 [17 favorites]


So, wait, wait.... wasn't Senator McCain born in Panama?
posted by R. Mutt at 8:03 PM on May 28, 2010 [8 favorites]


mathowie: "<style>
#USA {border: none; !important}
</style>
"

You clever man.
posted by boo_radley at 8:10 PM on May 28, 2010


But my point was there's a disservice to mislabeling the event. You'll get more outrage out of me with "Let go after three days in a jail with no real recourse to habeas corpus" than you will by misrepresenting what actually occurred.

He wasn't nearly deported. He was detained.


If he hadn't had his mom desperately trying to prove his citizenship and then the intercession of his Congressman, he would have been deported.
posted by mightygodking at 8:17 PM on May 28, 2010 [16 favorites]


Who knew that Cheech's "born in East L.A." would turn out to be documentary?
posted by phearlez at 8:25 PM on May 28, 2010 [17 favorites]


Meawhile, on the news tonight here in AZ, it appears that Sheriff Buford T. Arpaio has just honorarily deputized Lou Ferrigno. His first task for the former actor, and I kid you not, is to ask Ferrigno to go stand by the sheriff's side as his personal body guard when Arpaio attends the right-wing rally in favor of SB1070 tomorrow.
posted by darkstar at 8:27 PM on May 28, 2010


With the caveats that this is obviously horrible and shouldn't happen to someone just because of their ethnicity, I think the FPP is fairly misleading. One, I don't see any reference to him being deported "back to Mexico" except for him saying this happened because he had "Mexican features." I also don't think he was actually that close to deportation. He was in ICE custody, but the government would still have to prove that he was removable in immigration court proceedings. It's horrible that he had to be in jail for this time, but he would have had some chance to prove that he's a citizen.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:30 PM on May 28, 2010


I wonder, if he had been able to answer questions about Puerto Rico, would they have believed him? Because that would be really really stupid.

I don't think I've ever seen my birth certificate, let alone presented it as evidence of anything.
posted by doublehappy at 8:31 PM on May 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


"nearly deported" is not exactly a strictly defined specification. How close would he need to be to being escorted across the border? 100 yds? 15ft? A few steps?

Arrested and in the process of being deported is a particularly bad definition for "nearly deported," it seems to me.

Arrested and would be deported if not for the good fortune of having a mother that had his birth certificate easily available and the doubly good fortune of a congressman that cared enough to get involved is certainly a pretty good definition of "nearly deported."

How many people have a birth certificate at home and a Hispanic congressman?
posted by oddman at 8:31 PM on May 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


ahem . . .

Arrested and in the process of being deported is NOT a particularly bad definition for "nearly deported," it seems to me.
posted by oddman at 8:35 PM on May 28, 2010 [20 favorites]


How close would he need to be to being escorted across the border? 100 yds? 15ft? A few steps?

How about he would have had deportation proceedings fairly well advanced. I'm not almost dead simply because I'm going to die one day. I agree with cjorgensen, a bit of precision insures that our outrage is properly directed. Breathlessness on the left is not intellectually much different than kneejerk hyperbole on the right. It's in the service of more just aims, but it risks dismissal because it's obviously incorrect, when the truth would serve the same aims without the same potential objections.
posted by OmieWise at 8:41 PM on May 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


For this FPP, hispanic origins are not races.
posted by doublehappy at 8:42 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna go out on a limb here, OmieWise, and guess that you're not Hispanic, and have no Hispanic friends.
posted by Michael Roberts at 8:46 PM on May 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


cjorgensen wrote: "He produced documents that said he was a citizen and he was let go."

And if he hadn't had a copy of his birth certificate on hand, what then? Off to Mexico before you can get one, since you're in jail and all?
posted by wierdo at 8:47 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know what? I'm not going to get any further into semantic hair-splitting over this.

Let me put it this way. I'm a naturalized citizen and Hispanic. Tomorrow morning when my wife wakes up I'm going to make sure she knows where my passport and certificate of citizenship are. And because she is partly of Hispanic descent and looks it, I'll make sure that we get a copy of her US birth certificate. Just to be safe.

The atmosphere in this country has pushed me to be this level of concern.

From your perspective we're being hyperbolic. I assure that's not how I (as a Hispanic man) see it.
posted by oddman at 8:55 PM on May 28, 2010 [78 favorites]


guess that you're not Hispanic, and have no Hispanic friends
Pretty much the definition of an ad hominem argument, there.
posted by hattifattener at 9:00 PM on May 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


think nearly deported is overstating it a bit. I think this sort of thing sucks, but it's not like he was being brought to the airport. He was arrested. He posted bail. His citizenship was questioned. He produced documents that said he was a citizen and he was let go.

Let me know how you feel the next time you are unjustly put into jail for three days just because of your racial looks.
posted by caddis at 9:06 PM on May 28, 2010 [11 favorites]


For the love of all that is good and holy will people please stop using "that's an ad hominem argument" as an ad hominem argument?

Hatti, do you have any substantive issue with the more verbose and polite way of putting Michael's argument, i.e. If you or your friends were actually threatened with randomly being thrown in jail and not given rights guaranteed to you as a citizen of the United States because someone thought you looked like an illegal immigrant, you would certainly think that close enough to being deported."
posted by Zalzidrax at 9:09 PM on May 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


I have no idea who is or isn't Hispani/Latino here. But is it an ad hominem to suggest that man might not understand the issues involved in abortion as well as a woman, or that a hetero person might not really "get" the issues that are important to the LGBT community or that a white person might not understand certain aspects of white/black racism in the South?
posted by oddman at 9:13 PM on May 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wait, Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens? Next you'll be telling me that St. Reagan was wrong about the Indians!
posted by scody at 9:13 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jesus Christ, I cannot believe a single person in this thread is daring to split hairs on the outrage quota here.

He's a US citizen. In the course of a standard arrest, he was threatened with deportation and held in prison. The authorities in question refused to accept his legal proof of citizenship.

I sort of doubt anyone would be dampening down the outrage filter here if this had happened to a middle class white guy in Ohio.

The rights that protect Eduardo Caraballo are the same rights that protect every other US citizen. When his civil rights are eroded, so are yours. So if you can't get pissed off on his behalf, get pissed off on your own.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:14 PM on May 28, 2010 [102 favorites]


It's as if you people have never heard of a concern troll.

"Yes, this is awful and everything, but let's now spend a lot of energy getting straight on exactly why it was awful and whether or not he was really "nearly deported"; it's very important to be precise, you know, in fact, the most important thing!".
posted by kenko at 9:17 PM on May 28, 2010 [14 favorites]


So much for our "post-racial America".
posted by Throbsicle at 9:19 PM on May 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think nearly deported is overstating it a bit. I think this sort of thing sucks, but it's not like he was being brought to the airport. He was arrested. He posted bail. His citizenship was questioned. He produced documents that said he was a citizen and he was let go.
He wasn't let go for 3 days after he "produced documents". And do you think every American is capable of producing documents on demand? His mom happened to have a copy of his birth certificate, but what if she hadn't been around? Or was back in Puerto Rico? Normally you have to fly all the way down and show up in person to get your certificate.

Also, Americans actually have been deported for real In one case a mentally retarded Hispanic citizen was "deported" to Tijuana by mistake.
posted by delmoi at 9:27 PM on May 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


The rights that protect Eduardo Caraballo are the same rights that protect every other US citizen.

bears repeating.

being a white guy who was once detained for false reasons, i can empathize. i didn't have some asshole threatening to send me back to mexico, though.

this is supposed to be 'the land of the free.' but it isn't when some of us have to produce papers to prove we belong here.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 9:29 PM on May 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


If someone would deport me to socialist boogeyman Norway due to my appearance, I think I might actually be okay with that.

(That is, if the Norwegians would take me and not go "what the hell". Germany would be okay too.)
posted by dunkadunc at 9:34 PM on May 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


It's as if you people have never heard of a concern troll.

I don't think it's concern trolling to ask people, when describing something outrageous, to be as precise as possible. If people on MetaFilter are getting distracted by the details, you can be damn sure Fox News will use any sloppiness in describing this situation to convince people that the whole thing didn't really happen.

cjorgensen's complaint amounts to little more than a suggestion that the post would be better worded like this:

A Puerto Rican man was detained without bail or lawyer for three days and threatened with deportation "back to Mexico" even after producing his birth certificate, proving that he's an American citizen.

posted by straight at 9:36 PM on May 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


Wait, Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens? Next you'll be telling me that St. Reagan was wrong about the Indians!
Hey, Lou Dobbs was complaining about the Puerto Rico day parade in NY. Saying we shouldn't have any "foreign holidays" Apparently unaware of the fact there was nothing "foreign" about P.R.
posted by delmoi at 9:37 PM on May 28, 2010 [12 favorites]


it's very important to be precise, you know, in fact, the most important thing!

The thing is, it actually IS important to be precise. Outrage is not its own justification, you have to be outraged about something. When you mislead people about what's outrageous, you hurt your cause. Here, we've been told that he was "almost" deported. Obviously almost is an ambiguous term, but it's worth being precise so we know where this problem occurred.

He wasn't "almost" deported in the sense that there was a removal order against him issued by an immigration judge. He was "almost" deported in the sense that he was arrested and held because some ICE agent thought he was removable and held him. This is helpful information because it illustrates the problems of street level enforcement of immigration laws in ways that make Arizona's recent law look like a terrible idea. See how specific, precise outrage is probably MORE helpful? Just saying he was "almost" deported isn't helpful at all because it doesn't tell anyone what actually happened.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:37 PM on May 28, 2010 [11 favorites]


But is it an ad hominem to suggest...

Nah.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:38 PM on May 28, 2010


but that's the thing, dukadunc--they'd deport you to sweden.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 9:38 PM on May 28, 2010


I was going to say one day I'll understand why people get all het up about immigrants but, you know, I hope that day never arrives. What a hopeless feeling it must be to be locked up with not one of the douche-nozzles holding you willing to look at your proof.
posted by maxwelton at 9:38 PM on May 28, 2010


Related to this is the fact that other Hispanics have been using stolen Puerto Rican birth certificates to enter the US. The problem was so great that Puerto Rico is canceling and re-issuing *every* birth certificate. Puerto Rican Birth Certificates Invalid After July 1st. If you know anyone born in PR, you can point them at this website with information on getting new birth certificates. (My wife's parents and two of her siblings have to go through this.)
posted by fings at 9:40 PM on May 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


Meawhile, on the news tonight here in AZ, it appears that Sheriff Buford T. Arpaio has just honorarily deputized Lou Ferrigno. ..
...who was mistaken for the Jolly Green Giant and promptly deported to Greenland.
posted by prinado at 9:46 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Meawhile, on the news tonight here in AZ, it appears that Sheriff Buford T. Arpaio has just honorarily deputized Lou Ferrigno. His first task for the former actor, and I kid you not, is to ask Ferrigno to go stand by the sheriff's side as his personal body guard when Arpaio attends the right-wing rally in favor of SB1070 tomorrow.

I look forward to opening my newspaper to read that Sheriff Arpaio has had his testicles bitten off by a shark.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:48 PM on May 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


The pressure will ease when the fall comes due.
posted by vapidave at 9:48 PM on May 28, 2010


I also don't think he was actually that close to deportation. He was in ICE custody [...]

Really? How could a racially-profiled target in ICE custody not, by definition, be close to deportation?
posted by treepour at 9:54 PM on May 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Well to be fair, treepour, he could have been held in ICE custody for months without contact with family or friends before they got around to actually deporting him.
posted by kipmanley at 9:56 PM on May 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


You know, it's striking to me how I live within 100 miles of the US border, and it has never really occurred to me that immigration might detain me for three days. If they did, I sure would think that was "close to being deported" because immigration detaining me at all would be far closer to 'deportation' than my normal state of affairs.
posted by zippy at 9:56 PM on May 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


Really? How could a racially-profiled target in ICE custody not, by definition, be close to deportation?

For the same reason that someone in police custody is not "close to conviction," because he still has to be proven removable. In this case its in immigration court, which is not nearly as protective as regular court, but the government still has to prove that he is actually not entitled to be in the US.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:00 PM on May 28, 2010


A lot of people say it wouldn't have happened to a white man. Well, you can take some consolation in the fact that it more than likely would not have happened to a black man either. This is progress!

(Yes yes, this was bad, outrage meter in full effect.)
posted by Malice at 10:02 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I got a strange olfactory response of horse manure when I read the 6th word of the FFP.

cjorgensen explained the reason why, and saved me a bit of reading. Cheers.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:08 PM on May 28, 2010




I recommend Jacqueline Stevens' blog documenting harms of border enforcement, States without Nations.
posted by girandole at 10:11 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


How many of us would be able to prove we should be here?

All the more reason to make sure that you have a copy of your birth certificate and get yourself a passport (which is really the closest thing that we have to a national form of identification).

What happened to him sucked, no question, but I think the writing is on the wall with respect to where all of this is going (and I wouldn't be surprised if there's is an actual national ID card in our near future).

By the way, an expired passport isn't valid for travel but it is still valid for purposes of proof of citizenship.
posted by mstefan at 10:12 PM on May 28, 2010


Except cjorgensen wasn't terribly precise nor accurate neither. So long as we’re concerned about tainting the outrage filter and all:
  • “He produced documents that said he was a citizen and he was let go,” says cjorgensen;
  • “Despite showing ID and even a birth certificate, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) apparently decided he ‘looked’ Mexican and must be using fake papers. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) had to intervene on his behalf to get Caraballo released after three days in jail,” says change.org.
—Personally, I think the FPP’s hyperbole is more understandable and less inaccurate, but I suppose that’s a call we each must make for ourselves.
posted by kipmanley at 10:14 PM on May 28, 2010 [17 favorites]


By the way, an expired passport isn't valid for travel but it is still valid for purposes of proof of citizenship.

Not according to the IRS. When you want to prove that you can legally work here, the passport must be non-expired.

THERE! I made a point that was more pedantic than the folks complaining that "nearly deported" should have been written as "a lot fucking closer to deportation than he ever should have been".
posted by kiltedtaco at 10:17 PM on May 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


decided he ‘looked’ Mexican and must be using fake papers.

So they deported him to New Mexico.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:17 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Damnit darkstar! Thanks for ruining Lou Ferrigno for me. What am I supposed to do with the framed, autographed Incredible Hulk poster I have now?!
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:46 PM on May 28, 2010


US citizen's rights are violated... Imprisoned by white supremacists and threat of exile to foreign land held over his head for days, only intervention of high ranking state official sees his release.

Concerned commentator worries about word choice in the hopes of preventing racists from misrepresenting the situation.

Ah. Clarity.
posted by yeloson at 10:47 PM on May 28, 2010 [10 favorites]


The problem was so great that Puerto Rico is canceling and re-issuing *every* birth certificate. Puerto Rican Birth Certificates Invalid After July 1st. If you know anyone born in PR, you can point them at this website with information on getting new birth certificates.

wow, hell - thanks for the heads-up, and now I gotta go warn all my folks.
posted by toodleydoodley at 10:47 PM on May 28, 2010


All the more reason to make sure that you have a copy of your birth certificate and get yourself a passport (which is really the closest thing that we have to a national form of identification).

For those who'd like to carry with them a federal ID that acts as both proof of identity and proof of U.S. citizenship, consider obtaining a U.S. Passport Card. It seems strange to carry one just as a form of proof of citizenship, but I guess if you'll be passing through Arizona and your state does not require proof of legal residence to obtain a driver's license, you're concerned about ICE holding you unreasonably, etc. this might be a practical way to avoid unjust confinement.

It's cheaper than a normal U.S. passport, will fit in a wallet, is evidence of U.S. citizenship, and is accepted as a passport for land or sea entry and exit to and from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda (it can't be used for international air travel). One downside is that it contains an embedded RFID chip, which may concern the privacy conscious (although it does come with a little EM shield sleeve that you can keep it in).

I have one in my wallet.
posted by RichardP at 10:49 PM on May 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


If Puerto Rico got deported it would just be Rico!
posted by doublehappy at 10:51 PM on May 28, 2010 [10 favorites]



#USA {border: none; !important}


This is how I know I'm working too hard: I can't bring myself to favorite this comment, because the CSS is malformed (the !important should come before the semicolon.)

and not being able to fix it is going to drive me crazy all night -- I need a vacation
posted by davejay at 11:06 PM on May 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


Imprisoned by white supremacists.

???

Clarity indeed.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 11:06 PM on May 28, 2010


He was nearer to being deported then normal. I don't see a problem with the wording. We really don't know how long it would have taken for him to be deported, he might have just been detained for a while.
posted by delmoi at 11:08 PM on May 28, 2010


The Obama administration recently (friday) urged the Supreme Court to review a law passed in Arizona (not the more recent one that allows police to interrogate people they suspect are illegal immigrants) that imposes harsher penalties on companies for hiring illegal immigrants than federal law requires. If the administration can establish that immigration is under the purview of the federal government rather than that of the states, the new Arizona law would have even less ground to stand on. I look forward to that happening, and to repubs and tea party types explaining how the federal government should just mind its own business because they like treating other people like garbage ever so much.
posted by clockzero at 11:10 PM on May 28, 2010


So, wait, wait.... wasn't Senator McCain born in Panama?

Yes, but technically he was born on a military base IN Panama, which legally counts as US territory. Just like...Puerto Rico does.

I know what you're trying to do, and believe me I'd love to as well, but we can't play it both ways like that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:14 PM on May 28, 2010


While some people in this thread split hairs over whether it's correct to describe Eduardo Caraballo as having been "nearly deported" or having merely been treated like any other brown person, I have to take a step back and reflect that if my Mexican grandfather or my half-Mexican mother (both US citizens) were still alive today, they could be just a few misunderstandings and arguments away from what Caraballo faced.

My sister and I look like our father, who was Anglo and Scandinavian. My 9- and 8-year-old brown-skinned nephews, on the other hand, are US citizens whose father is a Mexican. I thought we were coming to the day when the color of their skin wouldn't make much of a difference in their lives, but now that day seems farther away than ever. Thank God they live in LA County, but who the hell knows how long sanity will prevail there. Steve Poizner is foaming at the mouth about immigrants ruining the Golden State, so it's only a matter of time before someone in the GOP persists with the bullshit pandering beyond balloting day.

I will not be setting foot in Arizona as long as this law is in effect. Problem is, there are lots of states chomping at the bit to copycat the law. I don't have any optimism that anything is going to be done by the executive or legislative branches of the federal government to fix the "broken system" anytime soon.
posted by blucevalo at 11:20 PM on May 28, 2010


I will not be setting foot in Arizona as long as this law is in effect.

You and Kanye West and Michael Moore, baby!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 11:30 PM on May 28, 2010




I will not be setting foot in Arizona as long as this law is in effect.

A principled stand. On the other hand, the story we're discussing here took place in the Chicago area.
posted by Nothing... and like it at 11:37 PM on May 28, 2010


He wasn't "almost" deported in the sense that there was a removal order against him issued by an immigration judge. He was "almost" deported in the sense that he was arrested and held because some ICE agent thought he was removable and held him. This is helpful information because it illustrates the problems of street level enforcement of immigration laws in ways that make Arizona's recent law look like a terrible idea.

I think this is an interesting point; it's important to see where the system breaks down so you can figure out how to fix things. This is clearly a Bad Thing and anything that can be done to figure out how and why it happened so that we can make things better now and in the future is good with me. In many cases, part of the problem is that a lot of discretion is given to people at relatively low levels and once someone's in the system it's assumed they're there for a reason even if that's not the case.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:45 PM on May 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


On the other hand, the story we're discussing here took place in the Chicago area.

On the other hand, others in the thread have brought up the Arizona law. So, your point, whatever it may be, is moot.
posted by blucevalo at 11:52 PM on May 28, 2010


Delmoi: Also, Americans actually have been deported for real

It's happened before, on a mass scale -- look up the Mexican Repatriation. In the 1930s, 500,000 to a million Latinos were deported to Mexico, and 60% were US citizens. Others were non-Mexican.

In that drive, started by Republican Herbert Hoover, large numbers of people were simply rounded up at gunpoint and put on trains for Mexico.
posted by msalt at 12:12 AM on May 29, 2010 [26 favorites]


msalt - thank you so much for showing me that.

to further that route - lets look at operation wetback.
posted by nadawi at 12:42 AM on May 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wow - thanks msalt. I have never heard of that before.
posted by dopeypanda at 1:03 AM on May 29, 2010


We clearly need to start standing on street corners in Arizona, asking white people whether they can provide proof of citizenship on the spot... I was thinking it would be more effective if we dressed in black spook-suits to give the impression of being with ICE.
posted by kaibutsu at 1:27 AM on May 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


Sheriff Buford T. Arpaio has just honorarily deputized Lou Ferrigno.

Arpaio? Ferrigno? That sounds pretty Italian to me. Do they carry their documentation with them, or should the ICE deport them back to Sicily ASAP?

On a more serious note, I have noted, as a European, that one of the arguments used to defend Arizona's "carry papers" law is that similar laws are common in Europe. While this is true, it isn't something we Europeans ought to be very proud of: in my experience, it does open the door to police harassment on the grounds of skin colour. Also, it's something which is almost necessarily linked with the existence of a national compulsory ID card scheme, something which is also common in Europe and which, I'm sure, even most of the staunchest, whitest defenders of the Arizona law aren't particularly keen of.
posted by Skeptic at 1:41 AM on May 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I will not be setting foot in Arizona as long as this law is in effect.

You and Kanye West and Michael Moore, baby!


Did you have some point, or is your participation in this thread a piece of performance art attempting to encourage the MeFi view that Australians have taken over from Afrikaners as the most lunk-headed racists in the world of white people?
posted by rodgerd at 1:46 AM on May 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


Do I need to tell my story about being stopped by la migra again?

I'm a white girl. I've never had my citizenship questioned like this. And it's a damn good thing, too, because absent my passport, it's actually really hard for me to prove that I AM a US citizen. I was born in the UK; my mother is a citizen, which makes me an American Citizen Born Abroad. I have the documentation which shows this (and, interestingly for other points, declares me to be a "natural born American citizen with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities thereunto"), but it typically takes days and days of escalations before you find someone who's even heard of such a form, never mind knows how to authenticate it.

I've continuously held valid US passports since I was 18 months old, but getting registered to vote for the first time took MONTHS.
posted by KathrynT at 1:46 AM on May 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


at least he could order some chow in the native tongue!
posted by billybobtoo at 2:24 AM on May 29, 2010


at least he could order some chow in the native tongue!
posted by billybobtoo at 2:24 AM on May 29 [+] [!]


Why are you assuming he speaks Spanish?
posted by jamaro at 2:55 AM on May 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


So would everyone here welcome Cuban refugees with open arms as well?
posted by mattholomew at 3:31 AM on May 29, 2010


So would everyone here welcome Cuban refugees with open arms as well?

I'd welcome to where I live, but nobody in this story is a refugee. He is a US citizen.
posted by knapah at 3:54 AM on May 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


*I'd welcome them to...
posted by knapah at 3:55 AM on May 29, 2010


My 2 cents, as an Arizonan - yes, the law is ridiculous. Get rid of it and the federal law that it was copied from. However, the states that are impacted most by 'undocumented' immigration need assistance from the federal level to handle the intake and infrastructure needs.

We also need to figure out how to deal with the problems of 'off the books' labor. These people are (mostly) working with none of the protections a 'legitimate' worker would be afforded under the law, and federal penalties against companies that hire 'illegals' do little to solve the problem as they are frequently working in situations that are below the radar of law enforcement - i.e., temp labor for some contractor that's working a 2-week gig.
posted by mattholomew at 3:57 AM on May 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Knapah, understood. My question was directed more to the others who were discussing the larger immigration question in general.
posted by mattholomew at 3:59 AM on May 29, 2010


The dweebishness in this thread amazes me. Rather than discuss the main issue, the thread has devolved into nitpicking over word choices.

The post is well titled, "Well, you look Mexican." That appears to be the sole reason he was unjustly held even after documentation was produced. The mere fact that Hispanics need to carry documentation to prove citizenship or face incarceration or mistaken deportation is quite Orwellian. It's also rather racist. In the criminal justice system we at least talk the talk that we would rather have several guilty men go free rather than imprison on innocent man. When it comes to removing brown people from our midst that calculus gets turned on its head. Immigration detainees are repeatedly racially profiled, have few legal rights, are housed in terrible conditions and just plain mistreated.
posted by caddis at 4:49 AM on May 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


We're a hispanic family. At one time or another, various members of my little nuclear family have been mistaken for being Spanish, Mexican, Hawaiian, Filipino, Korean, Arab, and so on.

The wife and kids and I are taking a road trip this summer, driving to various points of interest in the US, and you can be damn sure of the following.

(1) Every one of us will be carrying our US passports and birth certificates.

(2) We will not be coming within 200 miles of Arizona.

So much for those days when we could just hop in the car, drive to the Grand Canyon, and not have to worry about being detained by La Migra.

I tell you, things would be a lot different if the authorities started to detain redheads because, "Well, you look Irish". Check out this Los Angeles Times article about the tens of thousands of illegal Irish immigrants living in New York. At least some of them seem to be aware of the tremendous advantage they get from their color, and are trying to leverage that for immigration reform.
posted by math at 5:22 AM on May 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


What happened to the US? "Papers please" laws automatically revoke the status of the US being able to claim "Land of the Free", if it wasn't already revoked.......

Maybe it should be "Some of the Land is Mostly Free, Some not so Much. Beware."
posted by sety at 5:43 AM on May 29, 2010


Every citizen is equal, but some are more equal than others.
posted by caddis at 5:47 AM on May 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I tell you, things would be a lot different if the authorities started to detain redheads because, "Well, you look Irish". Check out this Los Angeles Times article about the tens of thousands of illegal Irish immigrants living in New York. At least some of them seem to be aware of the tremendous advantage they get from their color, and are trying to leverage that for immigration reform.

One of my relatives can't get back into the US because he overstayed his visa for many years. Calls for an amnesty for Irish people illegally in the US are regularly made by Irish politicians when they go to the USA, particularly on St Patrick's Day.

It would be good to see those calls made more inclusive.
posted by knapah at 5:48 AM on May 29, 2010


I wonder if there will be a growing problem in the future with "stateless" persons who have been wrongfully deported from their home country and are not accepted anywhere else. Would any country add wrongful deportation to its list of qualifications for asylum?
posted by werkzeuger at 5:52 AM on May 29, 2010


I maintain, without a question, this article here has been the most fascinating result of SB1070. Whether or not you agree with the law, oh man, the sheer bewildered surprise (and hilariously incompetent response) expressed in these interviews is like nothing I've ever seen.
posted by effugas at 5:58 AM on May 29, 2010


I have this lovely dream wherein Sonia Sotomayor's car breaks down in Arizona, the usual bullshit shenanigans ensue, and then this entire racist regime is crushed under the power of the SCOTUS while puppies and unicorns frolic under rainbows.

(The unicorns stampede and trample Arpaio into the mud, and the puppies bite Brewer unmercifully.)
posted by elizardbits at 6:22 AM on May 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


Word choice is obviously not the most important issue here. It rarely ever is. But the reality is that semantics are a weapon that is often used against progressive persons and causes. There are millions of people in the US who are so eager to justify their own limited worldview that any measly shred of a discrepancy in your account will, in their minds, invalidate anything else you say. (Here I am recalling a study I read about, but can't find the citation for offhand:) When their prejudice is pointed out, prejudiced whites will actually seek out egregiously racist imagery to "prove" that "hey look, I'm not like that so I must not be prejudiced! You're an asshole!" No, this is not fair. Yes, it raises another impossible standard. But it's the reality, and it's not one that's created by the person who criticized the word choice.

Reactionaries consistently manipulate information to make their opponents come across as liars or crazy people. Calling attention to weak points in the rhetorical armor usually is not a personal attack. If we dismiss the presentation of ideas -- "semantics" -- as not worth talking about, we fight a one-sided battle. It's not the most important issue (obviously), but it's a weapon people use against progressive causes and deserves to be taken seriously alongside everything else that deserves to be taken seriously, not in place of it.
posted by mister-o at 6:35 AM on May 29, 2010


You know, the fact that a bunch of white people refused to believe he was really an American even though he showed them his birth certificate puts him in pretty good company.
posted by EarBucket at 6:40 AM on May 29, 2010 [14 favorites]


Well, you can take some consolation in the fact that it more than likely would not have happened to a black man either. This is progress!

I'm black. I will never ever live anywhere along the US-Mexican because there's too much of a chance of some stupid cop "deciding" I'm Mexican and throwing me in jail, just for fun, kicks and giggles or they're having a bad day.

Never under estimate the ability of the police to fuck you over, no matter your color.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:57 AM on May 29, 2010 [11 favorites]


Word choice is obviously not the most important issue here. It rarely ever is. But the reality is that semantics are a weapon that is often used against progressive persons and causes.

It's like during the Israel/Lebanon war where a bunch of bloggers started claiming that photos were photoshopped as if that proved, somehow, that the whole war was fake or something. I think they found one actual photoshop (where one rocket trail had been clone stamped) Then during the Gaza incursion, people in these threads were claiming that things weren't so bad and that Hamas had "a sophisticated press operation" (apparently something the Israelis lacked?) and that, therefore, all the bad stuff we were hearing about didn't actually happen.

It was pretty weird.
posted by delmoi at 7:29 AM on May 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


For this FPP, hispanic origins are not races.
posted by doublehappy at 8:42 PM on May 28


For the general record, there is no such thing as race. Technically, all those boxes should be "ethnic origins" and it bothers me incredibly the way that the Census has chosen to do it.

If Puerto Rico got deported it would just be Rico!
posted by doublehappy at 10:51 PM on May 28


This is freaking golden and I am favoriting it so hard.
posted by lizarrd at 7:30 AM on May 29, 2010


Problem is, there are lots of states chomping at the bit to copycat the law.

Natural evolution of the term "flyover states," as in, that's the only save way to travel through them?
posted by fuq at 7:51 AM on May 29, 2010


If only the cops had awesome mind reading powers.
posted by Artw at 8:02 AM on May 29, 2010


Disgusting and scary.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:35 AM on May 29, 2010


About the Census: "race" and ethnicity questions are divided into two categories. The first asks a person whether he or she is of Latino/Hispanic or Spanish origin and then asks if they want to get more specific. A second part then asks people to choose one or more races, with Hispanic not being one. White, various Asian and "other" categories are offered. Lots of angry-seeming people are replying "AMERICAN!" and not choosing a race, in which case that's what is written down. "White" should be "Caucasian," I would think.
posted by etaoin at 8:58 AM on May 29, 2010


For the record, I am along the lines of dunkadunc politically.

I was going to make a comment about how a SLYT outragefilter post doesn't make a good metafilter post, but thought that would be threadshitting a bit. Instead I watched the linked video and didn't find the headline a good fit (I still don't). The fact that there was decent supplementary material available makes it worse. When you point to articles that were never part of the post to prove how my criticism is invalid you're more or less proving my point.

I can't wrap my head around the argument that says asking for precision means you're dismissing the rest of the account.

Three minutes of additional linking, some less weighted verbiage, and this post would have been way stronger.

I'd also be willing to bet that many of the people professing the most outrage have done little to change things. I haven't either. I've only written three letters to politicians on this subject. Admittedly, not much, but most likely more than most.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:01 AM on May 29, 2010


There will come a day when Sarah Palin's "real Americans" are clamoring to get over the border into Mexico to escape Obama's jackbooted thugs rounding them up to put them in FEMA concentration camps!

I hope. A boy can dream, right?
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:38 AM on May 29, 2010


Allow me then a grotesquely unfair move to associate by guilt, which I shall use to attempt to sketch out a broader context:
Yet when it comes to coverage of global warming, we are trapped in the logic of a guerrilla insurgency. The climate scientists have to be right 100 per cent of the time, or their 0.01 per cent error becomes Glaciergate, and they are frauds. By contrast, the deniers only have to be right 0.01 per cent of the time for their narrative—See! The global warming story is falling apart!—to be reinforced by the media. It doesn't matter that their alternative theories are based on demonstrably false claims.
—Which is why I tend to dismiss contrarians and Fiskers no matter the political persuasion; it's just so goddamn easy. The original diss of an admittedly weak FPP doesn't come off as hey, you know, you could fix this anecdatal post about our hideously unfair and systemically up-fucked immigration issues thusly; it comes off as why should any of us give a shit? It's also, y'know, wrong on the facts of the matter, but hey. —So long as we're concerned about semantics, and how one's tone affects one's framing, or whatnot.

Meanwhile, it was recently noted hereabouts that Cracked has been hiding some really decent material in their clickbait listicles; here, then, is perhaps the acme of their art, and it is somewhat more on-point than this distempered digression.
posted by kipmanley at 9:41 AM on May 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Natural evolution of the term "flyover states," as in, that's the only save way to travel through them?

It's not just flyover states, fuq. I was referring specifically to California. I kind of have my doubts that it'll actually happen in California anytime soon, but on the other hand, one of the two leading GOP gubernatorial candidates there supports SB 1070 and says he wants to go "even further."

cjorgensen: Isn't it remotely possible that some of the outragefilter that you're talking about might have been mitigated if you had used more "precision" in your original comment about your own political views on immigration instead of deciding to supply that information 100+ comments later?
posted by blucevalo at 9:42 AM on May 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


So would everyone here welcome Cuban refugees with open arms as well?

Are you in a contest to generate the most amount of "huh?!" in the least amount of words?
posted by dirigibleman at 10:12 AM on May 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


You and Kanye West and Michael Moore, baby!

You know who else is on that list? Joe Satriani, Sonic Youth, Cypress Hill, Serj Tankian, Ozomatli, The Coup, Massive Attack, tons of other cool folks, and the list will be growing as word gets out.

So, yeah, I'm proud to fly my freak flag and side with those leftist commie pinkos, "baby!"

Cheers!
posted by blucevalo at 10:28 AM on May 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Isn't it remotely possible that some of the outragefilter that you're talking about might have been mitigated if you had used more "precision" in your original comment about your own political views on immigration instead of deciding to supply that information 100+ comments later?

Why? I'm not sure what my personal views have to do with the criticism. It was implied I am some sort of racist. I was straight up accused of being a "concern troll," and also that by asking people to be careful with their rhetoric I was dismissing what had happened to this person. Enough of those 100+ comments were making my case better than I was, and I have to sleep.

I get just as pissed when the right misrepresents the facts or uses shoddy language to make a point.

I'm not sure how long a person is allowed to be detained without charges. Three days doesn't seem so egregious to me. This said, false imprisonment is one of my greatest irrational fears. I am grateful this is not a reasonable fear. It sucks that for some people it is.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:44 AM on May 29, 2010


When are we gonna start rounding up all the people who look Canadian?
posted by klangklangston at 10:49 AM on May 29, 2010


When are we gonna start rounding up all the people who look Canadian?

We don't care about the people who look Canadian because they're mostly white.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:53 AM on May 29, 2010


My spouse spent some of his life growing up in the Chicago area. He says these towns surrounding Chicago are well-known for being old school racist and really hateful towards anyone non-white. Here's a This American Life episode about Cicero.

ACT ONE THE UNTOUCHABLES

To understand how Cicero reacted when Hispanics started flooding into town, you have to understand how it dealt with conflict in the past. For a period the town was run by Al Capone, and the mob was connected to Town Hall for most of the twentieth century. Since the 1950s, the town also had the reputation of being "the Selma of the North," with black people being driven from town by angry mobs while the authorities turned the other cheek; and a police chief who wore a t-shirt that says, "Police Brutality: The Fun Part of Police Work." (8 minutes)
posted by anniecat at 11:03 AM on May 29, 2010 [2 favorites]



Half of us on here would crap our panties if we were held in custody for three days. AND nights! Oh the nights.
posted by notreally at 11:03 AM on May 29, 2010


I forgot to add, Cicero sounds like Berwyn.
posted by anniecat at 11:06 AM on May 29, 2010


cjorgensen: You admit that three days in detention would be (to you) an inconceivable thing, although you seem to imply that at the same time, if it happened (to somebody else, that is), it wouldn't be "egregious" (although, then again, if it did happen to you, and it was false imprisonment, it would be one of your greatest irrational fears being fulfilled).

The point is for non-white-skinned folks in the USofA, the conception of such a thing got a damn lot closer to reality with the passage of SB 1070. And it's not an irrational fear for folks like Caraballo, even though he has all the correct papers proving his citizenship.

After all, some a-hole Senate candidate running in Idaho is on record as saying that he doesn't think it matters a whole lot that Puerto Rico is freaking part of the United States.
posted by blucevalo at 11:30 AM on May 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


"We don't care about the people who look Canadian because they're mostly white."

Everyone in attendance at a Phoenix Coyotes game should have to have their papers on them.
posted by klangklangston at 12:49 PM on May 29, 2010


I asked what the allowable time for detention is. Three days doesn't seem terribly horrible to me from a rational examination. I have a friend that is afraid of sharks. He lives in Iowa as well. My fear of false apprehension is about as realistic for me as his fear of sharks. There isn't a contradiction in what I wrote. It seems like a reasonable amount of time. The idea of unlawful or false detention scares the crap out of me.

I can have it both ways. I think I was even pretty clear in stating that it was an irrational fear.

A society does have to on occasion detain an individual. Sometimes we even take away liberty. I tried finding out how long the state is allowed to do this without charges, but I am not finding this information. I, in no way, am stating that being held for 3 days would be fun, but it also doesn't seem that far out of bounds.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:10 PM on May 29, 2010


After all, some a-hole Senate candidate running in Idaho is on record as saying that he doesn't think it matters a whole lot that Puerto Rico is freaking part of the United States.

For what it's worth, Ward was defeated in the primary. A bit embarrassing for Sarah Palin, who had not only endorsed him, but had come to Idaho to stump for him.
posted by EarBucket at 1:20 PM on May 29, 2010


Earbucket: For what it's worth, Ward was defeated in the primary.

Good point. Still an abhorrence that he got as far as he did in the contest.

cjorgensen: I, in no way, am stating that being held for 3 days would be fun, but it also doesn't seem that far out of bounds.

I in no way implied that you stated that it would be fun.

Nobody's arguing that there aren't cases in which detention is necessary. This case most likely wasn't one of them.
posted by blucevalo at 1:56 PM on May 29, 2010


Did you have some point, or is your participation in this thread a piece of performance art attempting to encourage the MeFi view that Australians have taken over from Afrikaners as the most lunk-headed racists in the world of white people?

Normally I'd get defensive about that, but this story has made me think... if Australia had a land border with Indonesia, or Sri Lanka, or Lebanon, I have no doubt that many people here would be happy to follow the Arizona example.
posted by twirlypen at 2:38 PM on May 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Since Arizona seems to somehow be on the agenda here, I'll write about it here...

It really pisses me off when I see Arizonans (and the Governor herself) say that their boycott problem is because of people "misunderstanding" the law. No, you moron, we understand the law perfectly well. Even with the changes it's not only stupid, but dangerous and grounded in racism, and something I would never willingly subject myself to.

In the immortal words of Dick Cheney: go fuck yourself.

When people do something you don't like, you don't get to wish away the problem by calling them stupid. Except maybe in internet-troll-land.
posted by wierdo at 4:30 PM on May 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


So how does it work on the border? US immigration just pushes undocumented deportees southwards and Mexican immigration says yeah, right, whatever? Do they not object that the person might not be Mexican, but rather, say, Guatemalan, Bolivian - American? (The anecdotes above don't mention detention in Mexico, only eating out of garbage cans.)

How about the other way around? Do we accepted deportees from Mexico or Canada on the say-so of Mexican or Canadian immigration? ("Must be yours. Doesn't look or talk like one of ours, ey?")

I'm genuinely curious.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:48 PM on May 29, 2010


For those of you who need a reminder of what the semantic debate is about, and for you white supremists who would like a little more variety in the argument: Derailing for Dummies.

After all, this is a typical strategy used by the crypto-bigot community; they can't really win by openly professing support for racist policies, so they try to argue the language and make the issue seem a: not as important as it actually is, and b: try to derail the conversation into one about semantics. If it's successful (like it was here), people fighting White Privilege have to argue on two fronts: going back to defend how bad the situation is, and defending the phrasing of the original statement.

Of course these days only fellow crypto-bigots and the hopelessly naive will fall in line with this sort of derailing tactic, and so it's a pity that both types of poster deem to be in the thread.
posted by happyroach at 5:17 PM on May 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


My spouse spent some of his life growing up in the Chicago area. He says these towns surrounding Chicago are well-known for being old school racist and really hateful towards anyone non-white.

When I was a pre-teen, I rode my bike down Cicero avenue, from the north side (Edgebrook) all the way to Cicero the city, in a misguided attempt to spend time with a girl who lived far away in a southern suburb. I wasn't so good with maps, and it didn't seem that far. Long story short, I rode through some pretty bad neighborhoods on the way, and some housing projects, and after a certain point all the neighborhoods were heavily hispanic and/or African American.

Now, I'm as white as a picket fence post, and about as thin, plus I had blond spiked hair, a vividly colorful shirt, and a brand-new bike -- and not one person gave me a hard time, although one prostitute did memorably yell out "Wanna date? I got a bike too!" So along I went, feeling just fine, not feeling in any kind of danger.

Then I got to Cicero the town, and it just gave me the creeps. There was nobody around, but there was something about the place that freaked me out and made me feel like I was in danger. So I abandoned my plans, turned around, and rode all the way back up through those neighborhoods, feeling much safer.
posted by davejay at 10:47 PM on May 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


You know who else is on that list? Joe Satriani, Sonic Youth, Cypress Hill [...] tons of other cool folks

My American housemate introduced me to the joys of Cypress Hill many, many years ago. It confused me that the Hispanic lead singer referred to himself as a nigger in Insane In the Brain.

I initially thought he was appropriating their culture to increase sales. That's just not on, is it? Terribly uncool.

But maybe he was just using it more as nigger = dude?

Oh, and thanks rodgerd. I'm a racist. Yibbida yibbida.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 4:01 AM on May 30, 2010


Just an anecdote to show how much progress we've made in the last 60 years. In 1964, my Scicilian-American dad was serving in the US Navy and was at sea when he learned of his father's death in Texas. They helicoptered him to Acapulco but it was up to him to get home for the funeral. Well he couldn't get through customs because they didn't believe he was a US citizen in spite of his papers, the fact that he spoke fluent English, and was standing there in a US sailor's uniform, because he LOOKED Mexican. It took intercession from the US consolate to finally get him home for the funeral. Haven't we made any progress since then?
posted by tamitang at 2:09 PM on May 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


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