I got a chance the other day to meet my first victim of Trump’s new immigration policies. I met a Mexican man who is a cousin of a Mexican friend of mine here. He was just deported from Virginia, and he showed up here in Mahahual on Saturday. I got to meet and talk with him, and I could not believe the story he told me.
I am not going to give his full name, or what city he lived in Virginia. He still has family there, and he is afraid of maybe some reprisals against his family. He had to leave his daughters in the USA with their aunt, and they are 15 and 11 years old.
To start the story, this guy has lived and worked in Virginia for the last 17 years. He is from an Ejido village here near Bacalar, David Gustavo. It is the Ejido village I wrote about a couple of years ago. He is now 36 years old, and he left Mexico for Virginia 17 years ago, and this is the first time he has been back in Mexico since he left as a young man. This man has lived in the USA all of his adult life, and has been gainfully employed the whole time he lived in the USA. All he has known his whole adult life is the USA.
He was a supervisor at a company that built roof trusses, floor trusses, and panels he told me. He made $18.00 an hour plus overtime, and he managed Mexicans and some Americans (these were white Americans, he said black people said work was too hard), so he mainly supervised American and Mexican workers. He told me he managed 35 people, half Mexican and half Americans. He also has a side business, painting contractor. He has worked as a supervisor at this company for the last 8 years.
He is a single father, and has two children he is raising by himself, two daughters, 15 and 11. He never married the mother, and she is an American, and she has hard times, so he is raising the girls totally by himself. He told me he has never gotten any assistance from the US Government in helping raise his children, and he pays all the bills. He took them to school, and handled all the cleaning and cooking, everything for his children.
Not only does he pay to raise his children in the USA, he also sends his mother $200.00 usd a month to help support her in the village near Bacalar. This village sends people from each family to work in the USA for a while and send money home. A lot of the older people in the village rely on their children in the USA sending them money each month to survive. So here is a Mexican man supporting two families, one in the USA, and one in Mexico, and working two jobs to help support these two families.
So that is the background for this story. Man working two jobs, supporting two families, with no criminal record, living in Virginia, and has been there 17 years. A man raising his family with NO government assistance at all. You never hear of these kind of people when everybody is complaining about Mexican immigrants.
Now the part of the story that gets interesting. He made a mistake he told me when he was younger, and in 2001 he had a DUI, basically drunk driving. I have had one of these myself when I was younger, like a lot of people I know from South Carolina. So since he had a DUI, and because he is Mexican, he cannot get a driver’s license in Virginia. Since he has no license, and is raising two kids, and has two jobs, he basically has to drive to survive.
So Virginia, like the great state of South Carolina, has license checkpoints everywhere to try to catch people driving without insurance or a license. They basically have a roadblock and stop every car that has a Mexican in it, and they check their license, and identification. That is also how they catch drunk drivers a lot in South Carolina and Virginia, and I think the last time I checked that was Unconstitutional, stopping random cars. It is also how those states make a lot of their money, through DUIs and traffic stops.
So since 2001 he has been stopped three times for driving without a license, and in Virginia on your third driving without license violation, there is a mandatory 10 day jail sentence. Now we all know it is wrong to drive without a license, but what do you do when you have mouths to feed in Virginia, you have to drive a car, no public transportation systems in the Deep South, you have to drive to survive. I had a DUI in South Carolina, and I had to drive a while without a license, and trust me it is not fun, always looking over your shoulder. So what he has done by breaking the law, a lot of us in the deep south have had to do it also to survive. He has had no wrecks, no driving violations, just driving without a license.
So while he was doing his 10 days in jail, his children stayed with their aunt and she took care of them. On his tenth day in jail, as he was about to be released, Immigration Agents came and scooped him up and put him in the Immigration Detention Center in Virginia, per Trump’s new immigration policies. He said that this has never happened before, but now that Trump is in charge, they are deporting people right and left. Lets just say he is not a big fan of Donald Trump.
He spent three months in the detention center, and he even paid a lawyer $3,000 usd to help him fight his case. Well, as happens with a lot of lawyers in the USA, the only thing the lawyer did for him was get him deported. He told me there between 900-1,000 Hispanics waiting to be deported in the detention center.
He went in front of a judge and told him his story. He has two children who are US citizens, and their mother can’t help take care of them, and he is the only one in the USA able to take care of his children. He even asked if he could stay in the USA until they can find the mother to help with the kids. But because of Trump’s new policies, the judge said no. They told him he can appeal, but that would take 8 months, and he would have to stay in the detention center until then. It would also cost him more money for another lawyer, and things like that, and his children would have to stay with their aunt until them.
He told me he paid for his mistake with a DUI, and what he did a long time ago. He told the judge to stop legal proceedings, and just deport him back to Mexico, he was not going to fight it anymore. So they loaded him and the others on a bus, and then flew them to Matamoros, Mexico. He told there were about 60 people on his plane to Mexico, all men. He also told me almost everybody on the plane was like him, deported over traffic violations. He also told me that everybody on that plane would love to get their hands on Donald Trump, because even the immigration officials said this was because of Trump.
He told me the worst thing about the whole thing was leaving his children back in the USA. He told me his boss said he would take him back in a minute, if he decides to return. This is another thing I find interesting. He got paid in Virginia each week by check by his boss. He paid Social Security, income tax, and state and local taxes. He worked under the name Cordero, and used a social security number provided by his boss at the company he worked for. He also said he was not the only one using the same social security number, that a lot of people in the company were named Cordero.
I talked to him for this story, and he told me he is not going back to live in the USA again. He is going to get a job here, and send for his children and bring them down here to Mahahual to live, when he gets the money. I got him an interview with an American contractor, and I think he is going to start working for him soon. He is also a painting contractor, so I am going to try to get him some painting jobs here in Mahahual.
This is a side of Trump’s new immigration policies, that most people don’t or will ever hear. We have a single father separated from his children in the USA, and deported, even though his children are US citizens and born in the USA. He has no criminal record, besides traffic violations, gainfully employed and supporting two families, one in the USA, and one in Mexico. His children are staying with relatives with no home of their own, with no income from him or support. If he does not go back and get them, they will probably have to go on welfare, and get food stamps and all of that. So here is a family that has never gotten any assistance from the US Government, but now because their father has been deported they may have to.
So I ask you, is this what the USA has become, separating a single father from his two children that are US citizens, and is gainfully employed, with no criminal record just because there is a racist in the White House now? I am ashamed and appalled of how this guy has been treated by the USA, a country he adopted as his own, and was raising his children there, and sending them to good schools. How do you think his two girls feel about the USA now their father has been snatched away like he was. I am sure they feel very frightened and very alone without their father. What I also find unreasonable is, he is a Mexican raising his children, when their mother, an American, is not around.
So I am going to help him as much as can to help him recuse his children from the USA. He has been helping us out today on the malecon while we find him some work.
Now I am sure as long as Trump is in the White House, this is going to happen a lot. Now I can see getting deported if you are a “bad hombre”, like Trump says, and you are in gangs or dealing drugs. But to deport a man who has become a viable productive member of society in the USA, gainfully employed, and raising two children because their mother can’t or won’t, to me is a gross miscarriage of justice.
If any of you want to comment, feel free, I would be curious to see what some of you out there think of this travesty. I know Trump minions will say he deserved it, but I disagree.
Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina