Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New Regs Allow Border Guards to Search Your Data

you're probably one of the very few like minded people i've come across...well, in that regard at least.

my aunt was actually a victim of the patriot act. you know, i was pretty nonchalant about the whole ordeal. i wasn't clueless as to the number of rights that were being thrown out the door, but i shrugged it off. all of my family came over legally, what's the problem right? but i wasn't well enough informed because the night before new years eve 2007 when all of the border changed were in place my aunt was held back at the border.

she's over 65, just under 70 and she was treated like a comon criminal. because she didn't understand what was going on, and they refused to bring her english speaking representation until it was too late she was stripped of all of her rights. you want to talk about not having freedoms in this country? wow... i don't think either one of us can really understand what freedom is until you lose absolutely every single U.S. freedom you ever possessed. apparently she's been a resident alien all my life and prior, but her husband became a citizen many many years ago. they're lived lawfully in this country since they were very young and built their family here.

my aunts kids are all older than i am and they took her from us because of a glitch in the system. because the "INS" never got an address update. problem was that there was a court order issued to deport her if she didn't show to a hearing. as that as she understood it had been an issue that had been taken care of and done with. she had to move because her daughter was losing her home so they all changed addresses and bought a nicer place.

she paid her taxes with that address, her drivers license, credit cards, bills absolutely everything was under that address for the last 10 years. 10 YEARS! you're telling me the INS couldn't have bothered finding her if they really wanted to? if it was that important? i mean who the hell are they kidding? she was stuck in mexico and sure we have family there, but come on. you're ALL ALONE in a place you only like to visit on christmas and maybe for a wedding. they had to get my aunt an apartment because she had a falling out with my other aunt. she's a little crazy.

it was so sad and so horrible that it happened over the holidays that i didn't know what to do. i mean she was just taken away. she was told that she signed a document giving up her rights as a U.S. citizen, she was giving spanish speaking representation after the fact. we could not believe what she was coerced into doing. had she been able to contact her daughter she would have told her to just go to jail in the U.S. where she'd be shuffled around for a bit but ultimately processed much sooner.

my poor aunt was so scared and so confused and so without hope. it took months to get her back across the border and it's not over. it's tentative, at least for the next year or so, she'll have to go back to the courts about every 4-6 months though her judge was really nice and promised to resolve the issue quickly. hopefully he keeps his promise.

i just remembered, her court date is this month! i'll have to call her. thanks for reminding me! lol

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