Tag Archives: Mexico

Detained illegal alien who jumped off a balcony is paralyzed and now suing the government for lifetime medical care

Judge Judy shakes head rolls eyes

From Sacramento Bee: A year ago, Luis Alberto Mendez was an able-bodied immigrant from Mexico who worked as a carpenter. He had suffered from depression, but his lawyer said he had gotten the symptoms under control with medication. He was also undocumented illegal.

Today Mendez is a quadriplegic who is confined to his brother’s home in San Jose. He needs constant care and has no money. He blames Sacramento County and the U.S. government, and he’s suing them both.

Mendez, 37, is a native of Mexico who does not dispute that he was in the United States illegally in 2016. When agents detained him, he willingly signed an order agreeing to immediate deportation, his lawyer says. If the government had just sent him home then, he contends, he would not be paralyzed.

Instead, he was taken to the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in Elk Grove. There, his lawsuit claims, jailers ignored his pleas for access to medical care. He eventually attempted to kill himself by jumping off a second story balcony on the prison grounds, his lawyer said.

The fall didn’t kill him, but it left him a quadriplegic in need of a lifetime of medical care. His lawsuit accuses the U.S. government and Sacramento County of negligence, Fresno attorney Douglas Gordon said Friday.

“He is at a little home in the San Jose area being tended to by his family,” said Gordon, who filed the lawsuit in federal court in Sacramento on Thursday. “He’s quadriplegic; he has no money.”

The circumstances that led to Mendez being detained remain unclear.

Gordon, his lawyer, notes that federal policy at that time would have directed immigration agents to leave him alone because he had no felony convictions or criminal ties that would have led them to deport him.

Nonetheless, ICE agents set up shop outside his San Jose home in August 2016 waiting for him to appear. “They had him on some sort of list, had information on where he lived,” Gordon said. “They waited for him to come out of his house, and when he came out on his bicycle riding to work they detained him.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman James Schwab said the agency would not comment on pending litigation.

But Gordon maintains that federal policy at the time, under the Obama administration, required that ICE agents ignore his presence in the country and focus instead on dangerous criminals or gang members.

“The worst crime that ICE has on him was a 2015 assault that was dismissed as misdemeanor,” Gordon said. “He was not supposed to be targeted.”

When Mendez was apprehended by ICE for removal on Aug. 15, 2016, the agency was working under the Morton Memo, authorized by President Obama in March 2011. That memo states that ICE’s number one priority is “aliens who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety.”

Immigrants convicted of crimes, particularly violent criminals, felons, repeat offenders and members of organized crime, all were singled out as priorities.

Those with mental health issues, like Mendez, were not supposed to be targeted. “Absent extraordinary circumstances or requirements of mandatory detention, field office directors should not expend detention resources on aliens who are known to be suffering from serious physical or mental illness,” the memo states.

Mendez apparently was targeted despite that edict, and appeared before a deportation officer on Aug. 15, 2016. He signed a voluntary deportation order, which typically would have resulted in him being flown home to Mexico.

Instead, for reasons that have yet to be explained, Mendez was given a notice to appear before an immigration judge in the future. He was shipped off to the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center, where federal officials contract with the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department to hold ICE detainees.

Once there, the suit states, Mendez began asking for help for his psychiatric needs, which included access to anti-psychotic drugs to deal with a schizophrenia diagnosis, his attorney said.

Mendez had been suffering from depression before he was detained, and tried to cut himself on his neck in February 2016 and again in June 2016, Gordon said. He subsequently was prescribed anti-psychotic medications and he “was well maintained and doing fine,” Gordon said.

“Then, he was detained,” Gordon said, and authorities denied him access to such medications.

Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Shaun Hampton declined to comment on the suit Friday, saying county officials had not yet seen it.

The lawsuit says that because Mendez was denied “reasonable care,” he attempted to kill himself by jumping off “an elevated structure” and fell, hitting his head and suffering spinal cord injuries, a traumatic brain injury and other damage.

The injuries will require a lifetime of medical care, his attorney said, and his family has had difficulty caring for him.

“They’ve struggled to get him on Medi-Cal,” Gordon said. “He has nobody to care for him except his brother and sister, who work. It’s a real struggle for the family.”

DCG

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DACA rescinded: Get ready for the drama…”End of life as we know it”

paul quinonez

Paul’s Twitter profile pic. From his Twitter bio, “From the best state in Mexico: Colima.”

Want to be the “best you can be,” Paul? You can start online here.

Surprisingly, there are very few sympathetic comments on the liberal Seattle Times web site.

From Seattle Times: Paúl Quiñonez Figueroa wakes up around 6 a.m. every day, anxious.

“I could literally wake up to the end of DACA,” he said of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which since 2012 has allowed young people brought to this country illegally to live and work here.

As a 22-year-old DACA recipient, the waiting has been killing him. “He should announce it already,” Quiñonez Figueroa said Friday in his Northgate apartment.

On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions did it for the president. Sessions announced an “orderly, lawful wind-down” of DACA over the next six months. The Department of Homeland Security will accept no new applications.

Current DACA recipients, however, will be allowed to work legally until their two-year permits expire. That gives Quiñonez Figueroa until February 2019.

“Having a few extra months to prepare for the end of life as we know it is not treating us with empathy or with heart,” Quiñonez Figueroa, an activist with Washington Dream Coalition, said immediately after Sessions’ remarks.

And he was infuriated that President Donald Trump, who had pledged to show heart when dealing with Dreamers, “did not have the decency to face us.”

Now, he’s looking toward the congressional debate that Trump and Sessions have set up as they left the fate of DACA recipients to the legislative branch.

Quiñonez Figueroa, who works as a legislative assistant to state Rep. Shelley Kloba D-Kirkland, said he and his peers plan to press members of Congress to vote on a new DREAM Act introduced this year. The bipartisan bill goes further than previous, failed versions; those eligible would include not just young, undocumented immigrants illegal aliens who go to college or serve in the military but also those in the workforce.

Unlike DACA, it would provide a path to citizenship.

Quiñonez Figueroa said, however, “we’re not going to be used as bargaining chips to put down our parents, to put down our friends.”

He was referring to speculation that Trump and some Republicans might try to trade passage of the DREAM Act for items on the president’s agenda less friendly to immigrants: building a wall on the border with Mexico, hiring thousands of new Border Patrol agents and placing new restrictions on legal immigration.

If Congress tacked such addendums onto the DREAM Act, Quiñonez Figueroa said, DACA recipients like him would seek to kill the bill, he said.

His views represent something of an evolution in the Dreamer movement. It has generated tremendous momentum in part because people brought here as kids are often seen as blameless, unlike other immigrants who come to the U.S. illegally.

But some are so uneasy with being in a special category that they no longer want to be called “Dreamers” — a term they feel connotes virtue unique to them. “We’ve moved far beyond that,” Quiñonez Figueroa said.

He and others want the parents who brought them here to have the same protections they do, even while that is a much more controversial notion.

‘Best I could be’

For a long time, Quiñonez Figueroa was angry about being uprooted from his home in a small town in the Mexican state of Colima, about 500 miles due west of Mexico City. He was 7. “I remember my childhood as happy — normal,” he said. “Why did I have to grow up undocumented illegally here?”

Only last year, when he returned to Colima while studying in Mexico for the summer, did he realize the poverty of his hometown, the challenges his cousins faced in getting to college and the dangers of a country beset by drug cartels.

Then, his parents’ decision to reunite the family in the U.S. — where his father had been working construction and was finding return visits increasingly hard because of toughening border security — made more sense.

He remembers the trip in the back seat of a car, eating potato chips and trying to keep his younger brother quiet as they crossed into California, driven by a legal resident. His mother followed a week later, taking a riskier trip through the desert that she never talked about.

Eventually, they made their way to Eastern Washington, where they had extended family. Quiñonez Figueroa mostly grew up there. Tutored by his mom, who had wanted to be a teacher but couldn’t afford the necessary schooling, he was placed in a program for advanced students.

He threw himself into extracurriculars: volunteering as a bilingual interpreter, running cross-country and playing tennis, joining the debate and Spanish clubs.

“I had to be the best I could be,” he said. Otherwise, he wouldn’t get the private scholarships he needed to go to college. Even when DACA came into being right before his last year of high school, and he was deemed eligible, he couldn’t get federal financial aid due to his status.

As the Trump administration has been keen to point out, DACA recipients are still considered undocumented illegal even though the government has granted them permission to work here temporarily.

Accepted by Gonzaga University, Quiñonez Figueroa benefited from Washington’s version of the DREAM Act, approved while he was there, to allow undocumented students illegal aliens to get state financial aid.

He quickly built up his résumé. He interned for U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, in Washington, D.C., and got a fellowship to spend a summer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs.

After school, he worked as an Eastern Washington field director for Sen. Patty Murray’s re-election campaign, and was interested in working for the federal government. But undocumented immigrants illegal aliens are not allowed.

So he turned to local politics. In his job as Rep. Kloba’s assistant, he does everything from running the office budget to helping arrange town-hall meetings.

Not ready to give up

It was in Mexico last summer that Quiñonez Figueroa realized how American he has become. Participating in a program that brought DACA recipients to study side by side with Mexican students, he picked up on subtle but distinct cultural differences, like the way he and his peers would complain about service they found lacking.

“We were called ‘arrogant Americans,’” he recalled.

He nevertheless discovered he could get by in Mexico if he had to. His Spanish was passable. There were opportunities for college-educated professionals like him.

Staring down the possibility of a forced repatriation, he said it wouldn’t be end of the world, but added: “I’m not ready to give up.”

His game plan: go to graduate school and hope that by the time he’s done Congress will have passed a law allowing him to stay.

DCG

Los Angeles targets contractors who might work on border wall

gil cedillo

Council member Gil Cedillo believes Mexico, not three US states, is California’s “dearest” neighbor

Demorats: All for bullying when it fits their political agenda.

From Fox News: The city of Los Angeles wants to require contractors to reveal whether they have ever been involved with President Trump’s border wall construction.

City lawmakers say residents have a right to know whether companies are working on the controversial agenda.

The city council voted on Tuesday to require companies working with the city to say whether they had worked on building, design, or sold materials for “any proposed border wall between Mexico and the United States of America.”

“We want to know if there are people who do business with the city of Los Angeles … who wish to profit from building a wall that would divide us from our nearest and dearest neighbor Mexico,” said Councilman Gil Cedillo.

Tim Murphy, board president of CALBX, called the move “absurd” and said it sets a dangerous precedent for discrimination against companies.

“They’re moving beyond the political theater and hyperbole that this issue generates,” Murphy told “Fox & Friends.” “They are creating, in fact, a political blacklist, threatening any company that would express an interest, not actually build, but express an interest in working on the border wall.”

State Sen. Ricardo Lara wants to expand the move, preventing all of California from doing business with companies involved in the border wall.

Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, are threatening a government shutdown over border wall funding when the government must negotiate a new federal budget in October.

DCG

ICE arrests 114 in New York operation targeting fugitives and illegal aliens

gov andrew cuomo

From Fox News: An Ecuadorian citizen who was illegally in the United States and had been convicted of rape was among 114 people arrested during an 11-day operation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in New York, the agency said Tuesday.

ICE said the sweep, which ended Saturday, targeted fugitives and and people who have violated U.S. immigration laws, including those who re-entered the country after being deported.

Of those arrested during the operation, 82 people had criminal histories, including prior convictions for sex crimes, drug offenses and fraud, while 15 others had pending criminal charges, including assault, larceny and sexual exploitation of a minor.

Others taken into custody included a Jamaican citizen — with a prior conviction for forcible touching, robbery in the 1st degree and acting in a manner to injure a child less than 17 — and a Mexican citizen whose criminal record includes a 1st degree manslaughter conviction, authorities said.

“Our nation has a proud history of immigration, but we are also a nation governed by laws specifically designed to protect its citizens and residents. ERO deportation officers are committed to enforcing the immigration laws set forth by our legislators,” said Thomas Decker, field office director for Enforcement and Removal Operations in New York. “Of those arrested during this operation, nine were released from New York custody with an active detainer, which poses an increased risk to the officers and the community.”

DCG

GMA spins a story on an illegal alien: “Ohio father of 4 bids farewell before deportation to Mexico”

illegalThe father is more than welcome to take his family with him to his native home.

The father had notice six years ago that because he is an illegal alien, he’d be getting the boot.

The father had been in the US for 16 years – plenty of time to acquire US citizenship.

Yet the media does their best everyday to prove why most see them as an arm of the demorats.

From Yahoo (originally on Good Morning America): An Ohio father of four had an emotional farewell with his family this morning before returning to Mexico.

Jesus Lara Lopez, who worked at a packaging facility in Willard, Ohio, was seen off by family and about a dozen supporters at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport this morning, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Photographs taken at the airport before his flight show him embracing his children in a series of tearful goodbyes.

When Lopez checked in with immigration officials in March, he was told he was being deported under “an illegal immigration crackdown,” his lawyer David Leopold told the press this morning.

Lopez has been in the country for 16 years, and his children were born in the U.S., the Plain Dealer reported.

A federal immigration judge first ordered Lopez removed in 2011, Khaalid Walls, the Northeast communications director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told ABC News. In 2014 the agency granted Lopez a stay of removal, Walls said, adding that “in a further exercise of discretion, the agency has allowed him to remain free from custody to finalize his departure plans.”

“The agency will continue to closely monitor his case to ensure compliance,” Walls said.

He said that ICE could not confirm for ABC News whether Lopez complied with its request until after he is “successfully repatriated,” for operational and security reasons, but would try to provide an update on his status later today.

ABC affiliate WEWS-TV in Cleveland reported that Lopez had never been charged with a crime during his 16 years in the U.S., has paid taxes and did not receive food stamps. Walls noted in response that the lack of a criminal record does not necessarily exempt an unauthorized immigrant illegal alien from deportation.

“As Secretary [John] Kelly and Acting Director [Thomas D.] Homan have stated repeatedly, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of national security and public safety threats; however, no class or category of alien in the United States is exempt from arrest or removal,” Walls told ABC News.

Leopold told WEWS-TV that his client had a valid work permit. The New York Times reported in June that Lopez worked “the graveyard shift packing Milano cookies and Goldfish crackers” at Pepperidge Farm.

ABC News reached out to Pepperidge Farm for a comment about Lopez’s work permit, and the company said he was hired by a third-party company, Spherion, which manages packaging workers at the facility. Spherion confirmed for ABC News that Lopez had a valid work permit and it hired him in October 2016.

“These are the darkest times I’ve ever seen as an attorney. When the best and the brightest that we have to offer are taken from their homes and sent away,” Leopold told reporters. “The law is so broken.”

America’s Voice, an immigration rights advocacy group, posted a statement on its website criticizing the deportation of Lopez from John Sandweg, a former acting director of ICE and a former acting general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security.

“Cases like this are an incredible waste of ICE resources that only make it harder for the agency to identify and remove dangerous criminals,” he wrote. He added that he believes enforcement resources should be focused on finding criminals and public safety threats instead.

Sandweg has been a vocal critic of President Trump‘s broad promise of reducing illegal immigration to the U.S. a central part of his 2016 campaign.

The U.S. was already focused on enforcing immigration rules during the presidency of Barack Obama, who oversaw the removal of more than 2.5 million people through immigration orders, earning him the nickname deporter in chief.

“The [Trump] administration’s focus on the low-hanging fruit of the enforcement system only allows the bad guys to remain at large, weakening our public safety,” Sandweg added.

DCG

Illegal immigrant who had been removed from the US seven times crashed his van and killed a father-of-three

garcia velasco illegal

Illegal immigrant/killer Garcia-Velasco

From Daily Mail: An illegal immigrant, who has been removed from the United States seven times, had consumed ’12 beers and was driving at 100mph’ when he crashed his van and killed a father-of-three.

Nemias Garcia-Velasco, 32, who is from Mexico, was going over 100mph when he lost control of his 2001 Dodge Ram work van and crashed, killing 58-year-old Silvano Torres.

Prosecutor Ryan Lindberg said Garcia-Velasco was driving down Interstate 80 around 1pm on Wednesday when the incident occurred.

Garcia-Velasco told officers that he had consumed 12 beers the previous evening into the morning of the crash, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

During Garcia-Velasco’s hearing, Lindberg also said the man had been removed from the US a total of seven times. After two deportation hearings, in 2009 and 2011, Garcia-Velasco was forced out of the country and the five other times were considered ‘voluntary returns’.

Lindberg also added that Garcia-Velasco had also been convicted of having false citizenship papers prior to the crash, just a day after the Fourth of July holiday.

Garcia-Velasco’s blood-alcohol level was .243 when it was checked at a hospital after the crash, according to the Herald.

At the time, Torres was riding unrestrained in the cargo area of the van. He was pronounced dead at the fiery scene.  Another passenger, Jesus I. Gonzalez, 16, was treated at the hospital and released the day of the crash.

Garcia-Velasco suffered from severe burns to his face and was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center at the time.

Rosa Flores, who had been dating Torres, said he loved talking about his two daughters and his son.  Torres had documentation to be in the US, she told the Herald, adding that he had lived in Omaha for nearly six years.

The pair were on their way to their respective homes after leaving a job patching a roof because it got too hot.

Garcia-Velasco was charged with motor vehicle homicide in the death of Torres. His bail was set at $2 million.

DCG

From the masters of fake news, CNN’s latest hit piece: ‘Trumpcare’ would send California couple to Mexico for birth control

hyperbole

CNN doing what they do best: fake news.

From CNN: All Ariana and Kevin Gonzalez want is birth control.  As far as health care needs go, that’s pretty simple. But the California couple says that if the Republican alternative to Obamacare becomes law, they’ll be driving over the border to Mexico to get it.

It’s not that the Gonzalezes don’t have insurance; they have very good insurance through Ariana’s job as a high school teacher.

The problem is that “Trumpcare,” as Ariana calls it, would probably run her health clinic out of town. It’s Planned Parenthood, which the Republican health care proposal defunds because it performs abortions.

The Gonzalezes live in the Imperial Valley, an agricultural area two hours east of San Diego, with a severe doctor shortage. On average in California, there’s one primary care physician for every 1,341 people. In the Imperial Valley, there’s one physician for every 4,170 people, according to the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

For Ariana, that means it takes well over a month to get an appointment with her gynecologist and then four or five hours in the waiting room to see him, which means she has to take the day off work. At Planned Parenthood, she gets an appointment the next day and is in and out in about 30 minutes.

If the Republican plan passes and Planned Parenthood leaves town, Ariana says, her best option would be to cross the border, where she can see a gynecologist immediately. It’s an option she doesn’t want to take but will if she has to.

Ariana has a message for senators as they contemplate whether to pass the law, also known as the American Health Care Act. “If (Planned Parenthood’s) doors are shut, you’ll be driving your own constituents to an entirely different country in search of health care, and that’s not America,” she said. “I don’t think that’s who we are as a country.”

Ariana, 23, knows what life would be like without Planned Parenthood in her town because she’s lived it.  Before Planned Parenthood opened in the Imperial Valley two years ago, she became pregnant when she didn’t want to, and then later she couldn’t get pregnant when she did want to.

Without easy access to birth control, Ariana became pregnant at 15. A doctor tried to convince her to have an abortion, saying she was one of countless teen moms he’d seen just that week. “He said it would be better for me, and we could have it done in 10 minutes if I just said the word,” she remembers. But Ariana, now 23, says her “maternal instinct kicked in,” and she never considered termination.

In the summer of 2011, when her son, Oliver, was 18 months old and she was 18 years old, Ariana met her future husband.  She wasn’t looking for love — in fact, she’d shunned dating to focus on caring for Oliver and preparing to study at San Diego State University in the fall.

But one day, she was visiting a friend when Kevin and his brother showed up to visit. They were hanging out in the front yard, and she excused herself to go inside and check on her napping son. “I was expecting ‘you have a child?!’ “she remembers. “But he just said, ‘OK, no problem.’ He didn’t blink an eye.”

Kevin proposed a few months later and adopted Oliver. They tried to have another child so Oliver would have a sibling close in age, but Ariana suffered three miscarriages, including one with twins. Then, an ectopic pregnancy permanently damaged one of her fallopian tubes, and she was unable to get pregnant for nearly two years.

With each medical failure, Ariana sought advice from her gynecologist, and each time, the wait for an appointment was about six weeks. The Gonzalezes’ hope for another child seemed to be stuck in an endless cycle of complications and long waits to see the doctor.

They say they wish Planned Parenthood had been in their town then, as the clinic, unlike her gynecologist’s office, treats infertility without long waits.

Finally, after nearly four years of miscarriages and infertility, Ariana’s doctor prescribed steroids, and she became pregnant with their daughter, Bailey. She wanted to see her obstetrician immediately, but again she faced a six-week wait. “We needed to make sure that this pregnancy was going to stick and it was going to be healthy, and in order to do that, off to Mexico we went,” she said.

Read the rest of the story here.

h/t Twitchy

DCG