Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Unknown Stories from the ICE

I hate riding in the "Dog Pound" van that ICE uses to transport its detainees. I had two media interviews in San Francisco this morning, so I had to compromise.

On the way and back from San Francisco, I met two Asian detainees. Here are their brief stories:

#1: He was a 22-year-old only child from China, from the province of Fujian. His parents arranged for him to fly from Shanghai to Oakland. ICE detained him at the airport, transported him to the Oakland detention center, then to San Francisco for processing and housing in Yuba.

He asked for political asylum out of fear that the CHinese government would prosecute him. After a month, he would be released pending approval of asylum. He would flying to New York because he has relatives there.

He said that he couldn't get used to the dirt in jail. He was always hungry. He slept during the day, waiting for the call for court. He wanted to cry all the time because he misses his parents. He thought about them whenever he's away. He was tired of being handcuffed, chained, and shackled.

He wore a brand new pair of white Nikes Air Shock Resistance and baby blue sweatshirt. His hair was dyed brownish. He was about 6'2" and weighed 160 lbs. He didn't speak any English. If he didn't speak, he'd look like any Asian American college student.

#2: She was in her mid-thirties with short black hair. She was from the Philippines. She did eight months in Chowchilla State Prison for Women for a white collar crime. She was detained by ICE immediately after her release. She had been in detention for about three weeks. She signed her deportation paper today. She wanted to go back to her country because she didn't want to stay locked up.

She didn't understand why she was being punished twice. She said that she committed a white collar crime and did her time. Now she was being deported. She had not legal representation. She said that she had sp many stories from ICE detention that she could write a book. She intends to share her story. She understands English fluently.

There are plenty of horror stories in ICE, give me some time.


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