LatinaLista — Imagine this scene: It’s 6:30 a.m. in the middle of the week at a city trolley station. People are wiping the sleep from their eyes as they hustle to catch a ride that will take them to work and school.
Now imagine that suddenly uniformed officers, en masse, storm the trolley station looking for only a “certain type” of individual. People don’t know what is happening. The uniformed officers approach only those “kinds” of people they are after. It includes men, women and children. The people are questioned then whisked out of the area, and before anyone knows it â€” out of the country.
While a scene like this tends to evoke memories of what the Nazis did to the Jews, it was an all too real scene last week â€” in San Diego!
On May 20, twenty-one people, including three high school students, were detained by Border Patrol agents working with San Diego Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents in detaining and deporting people determined to be undocumented immigrants.
San Diego trolley station
The border patrol agency said they were merely assisting the TSA in conducting a “standard operation.” However, to our knowledge, the TSA in any city has not conducted an immigration sweep of their clientele. The border patrol agency, which seems to be doing all the talking for the TSA, says that TSA agents are “trained to look for suspicious behavior at mass-transit stations as part of their routine operations.”
Yet, clearly since the border patrol agents just happened to be there “assisting” TSA authorities, this was no routine operation.
Local reporters who have tried to contact the TSA for an explanation have received no cooperation from the agency. In other words, TSA officials are not returning press calls.
Among the 21 people detained and deported were three high school students â€” a 16-year-old girl and two boys ages 15 and 17. While the children were detained, they were allowed to speak to their parents and the Mexican Consulate.
Though the children did not report being mistreated, the fact that they were minors and deported is an issue that needs to be addressed by the Obama administration and Department of Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano.
It’s been touted that no ICE officials were involved in this raid. Since the trolley station does not sit on the physical border with Mexico, one has to wonder why border officials were transported to the station to “assist” TSA authorities.
Why would TSA authorities find it necessary to conduct such a raid specifically looking for undocumented immigrants? Did they get a report that undocumented immigrants were skipping out on paying their fares?
Reports are filtering in that students are now afraid to use the public transportation system in San Diego and their parents are afraid for them to use them as well.
In a cash-strapped state like California, it would seem that the TSA shot themselves in the foot by instilling such fear in the one group that utilizes and pays for public transportation and now will find alternative ways to get around.
Though the children were undocumented, the fact that they were minors and deported underscores what we reported earlier about how the Obama administration is expanding a flawed immigration enforcement measure that runs contrary to immigration reform.
When it was discovered that these children were minors, they should have been released. In fact, questioning, detaining and deporting minors who do not have an accompanying parent or legal guardian should be a violation of our immigration policy.
Why it is not is an issue long overdue that needs to be addressed and begs one question to be asked of President Obama â€”
Where is the administration’s empathy with these parents whose children were whisked away?