by Athenea Luciano
We’ve all seen, and some have witnessed, the fallout of President Trump’s executive orders concerning immigration. Just as important, we’ve seen the support and compassion of our fellow Americans, many who are the children of immigrants… as I am.
As a child, I understood very little about the politics of immigration. Only as a young adult did I realize I had lost my father to the harshness of U.S. deportation policy. He was deported and died in Mexico at the age of 48. I’ve spent most of my adult life working to keep this from happening to other families, yet, it still happens.
Recently, a Mexican national residing in Escondido, Calif. for the past 10 years received a call from immigration officers at the San Diego border. “You need to come down to the border station because your children are being detained,” she was told. Afraid for her children, she immediately left for the port of entry. What happened next is harrowing. Her children, U.S. citizens, were being unlawfully detained by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) at the San Diego port of entry. Why? After talking with the children, CBP officers discovered their mother was in the U.S. illegally. They successfully lured the mother into driving down to the port thinking she was coming to pick up her children, but instead she was detained.When she began to question authorities about their deceitful tactics, authorities accused her of resisting arrest and used excessive force. The victim is 5’ 3”, weighs about 135 lbs., and has been earning a living by cleaning homes for the past 10 years. She has never been in trouble with the law. This hard-working mother of three U.S. citizen children was beaten and subsequently deported to Tijuana, Mexico, a country she fled because of the cartel violence. Now in Tijuana with no job, no family, and no home, she is distressed and is praying that the ACLU or another organization takes an interest in her case to help her return.
Don’t let this happen to you. Know your rights.
·Do not speak to immigration authorities or sign any documents without an attorney present. · If you encounter a “routine” checkpoint, and you and/or the other occupants are asked about citizenship – respectfully decline to answer. You have the right to remain silent.
· RECORD EVERYTHING – If you get stopped by immigration authorities, you have the right to film. They may ask you to stop recording, but you do not have to comply. Be safe and consult an immigration professional about legal permanent residence options. As always, I am here to help.
Athenea Luciano is the founder and owner of Immigration Solutions San Diego. She can be reached at Athenea@immigrationsolutionsSanDiego.com
Ms. Luciano founded Immigration Solutions San Diego as an expression of her passion to inform and help immigrants in the United States understand the laws, qualifications, and other important information needed to secure legal permanent residence in the United States. Ms. Luciano is the author of US Immigration, Ultimate Guide (to be released in 2017).