Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Searching for Pedro Guzman

LOS ANGELES -- The family of a mentally disabled man claims that the federal and local governments mistakenly had an American citizen deported and said U.S. officials should help find him in Mexico.

Relatives of Pedro Guzman, 29, are suing the Department of Homeland Security and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in Los Angeles federal court.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit this week over what the civil rights group contends was the wrongful deportation of a developmentally disabled man.

Pedro Guzman was serving time in Los Angeles County's Men's Central Jail for misdemeanor trespassing when he was deported to Tijuana on May 10 or May 11, according to the ACLU.

The family said they've been looking for their loved one in Tijuana for a month. Michael Guzman said his worst fear is that his brother is "no longer living."

He said Michael can't read, gets lost and often can't remember the family phone number.

The suit said Pedro Guzman was sentenced in April to 120 days in jail for a misdemeanor trespassing violation. The suit said that sometime after that the Sheriff's Department identified him as a non-citizen, obtained his signature for voluntary removal from the United States and turned him over to federal authorities for deportation.

More here!

As I read this over on ManEegee's blog, I remembered a student of mine in Chicago who had a schizophrenic brother. His brother, who when he lapsed into another personality only spoke Spanish, was not allowed to return to the US after a family vacation in Mexico. He ended up in a Mexican prison for two months while things sorted themselves out.

Reading this further reminded me why my mother was nervous about going into Mexico, despite her fluent English and frankly pale skin-- she was always worried she would not be let back in by some backwards racist INS agent. Having met several now, I understand that a jo is a job, but some jobs seem to attract some frankly insensitive and underintelligent types. The hysteria fanned by rightwing xenophobes doesn't help either.

I'm still waiting for people to understand if they tell me to go back where I came from, I'm headed home to Texas, where my family has been since before the southern losers invaded it. They were there grillin' out when the Spanish came by to marry into the fam and create the raza cosmica. I'm wishing for any paleface who spouts off about English only and white power remember that the english barely stayed alive in the east,and our ancestors were here a couple of hundred years longer. Hell, we're about two centuries more civilized out here! At least until the Anglos came, no? *grin*

peace n power out

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