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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > Why did San Diego TSA authorities and border patrol conduct an immigration raid and deport three students on their way to school?

Why did San Diego TSA authorities and border patrol conduct an immigration raid and deport three students on their way to school?

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 — 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 — 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 — 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 —
Where is the administration’s empathy with these parents whose children were whisked away?

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Comment(12)

  • Avatar
    Irma
    May 25, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    While I agree that children should not be plucked off the street or bus stations by a city transit authority or the US border patrol – it is important not to equate those actions with those of Nazis targetting Jews before WWII in Europe.
    There are number of crucial differences :
    1. The targeting of Jews was
    mandated by the government at the
    National level.
    2. The Jews in question were citizens of
    their resident country.
    3. Jews who were snatched up by the
    Nazis, ultimately were robbed of their
    possessions, homes, and even their lives.
    Yes, I agrree that something IS going on- but the head our government
    (Barak Obama) is not behind it.
    He is no Hitler.
    What is happening IS illegal and should be stopped. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Avatar
    Marisa Treviño
    May 25, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Thanks, Irma. I have to admit that I wasn’t digging that deeply for comparisons. My argument is that about the only time in history where uniformed officers combed public places in search of a particular group was during the Nazi era when even children were not spared.

  • Avatar
    Karen
    May 25, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    I don’t want to be mean, but I am starting to lose sympathy. California is strapped for cash and we can’t afford to have millions of undocumented immigrants here. People are acting like they have a “right” to be here, when they don’t. At some point, they have to go home and do the hard work of fixing their own country.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    May 25, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    “Thanks, Irma. I have to admit that I wasn’t digging that deeply for comparisons. My argument is that about the only time in history where uniformed officers combed public places in search of a particular group was during the Nazi era when even children were not spared.”
    Your definition of Nazis is so broadly convenient as to apply to many lawful police agencies, state, local and federal and even those of most foreign democracies. Our police roam the streets looking for violators of our laws, they wear uniforms and they arrest people on occasion. Are they also Nazis? No, your argument was meant to inflame the issue and demonize the government and its agents, nothing less, as you are often wont to do. Hyperbole is your game, Marisa, its deliberate, as it attracts readers and advertising. You’re motive is all too transparent.
    The fact is that these kids are here illegally, are foreigners not entitled to a presence, and will be turned over to their homeland authorities who are responsible to see to their welfare. There are no gas chambers, there is no torturing, and no concentration camps (as much as you would compare detention facilities to them). Don’t want to be evicted from this country, apply and come under the conditions specified by law, and with the permission of the American people. ICE is acting under the laws as they exist, not as you wish them to be. Obama has no authority to nullify the Code of Federal Regulations, regardless of what the ignorant advocates believe.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    May 25, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    “What is happening IS illegal and should be stopped. Thanks for pointing it out.”
    Pardon me if I don’t defer to your assessment of the legality of this action. I’ll leave it to the Judicial system to sort it out, a member of which you are not. Yours appears to be purely an opinion based upon an emotional response, not the law, i.e. “I don’t like it, therefore it isn’t legal”.
    As to the opinion that this is flawed policy, I don’t find it so. And moreover, those of us who support such acts have the law on our side. All you advocates have is emotional drivel and rants.

  • Avatar
    cookie
    May 26, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Once again I applaud you Horace and am in awe of your ability to express the unmitigated truth that leaves no door open for the advocates to be able to rebutt.

  • Avatar
    MaryElizabeth
    May 26, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    My 82 year old dad and who fought in World War ll thougt it was disgusting that these children where arresting in San Diego. He just couldn’t believe that this could happen in the US. It is really gross to do this to anyone but to actually arrest children that are on there way to school!! What has happened to our values in America.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    May 27, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    ME, just which values are being ignored? Right and wrong? Illegal immigration is not a game, where avoiding ICE is acceptable social behavior. It was wrong for these people to enter the U.S. illegally. They’re being sent back to their homeland, as would any illegal alien in the world if caught trespassing on foreign soil.
    Why is being arrested on the way to a school that they have no entitlement to attending immoral? Is traveling on a bus or trolley as sacred as a church? Would it have been alright if they were on the street after school? Just what time of day and which circumstances are acceptable to illegal alien advocates? Do the illegal aliens and their friends get to dictate this? Maybe you ought to publish a schedule of hours and places that are permissible for the authorities to apprehend such people.
    This is not a case of values for you ME, but another case of “I don’t like it, so it’s bad”. It’s the same ridiculous juvenile argument we hear every day from you advocates. Be honest and rational. What you really mean is that they shouldn’t be arrested at all, and that our laws should be ignored.

  • Avatar
    Woodruff
    May 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    “My 82 year old dad and who fought in World War ll thougt it was disgusting that these children where arresting in San Diego.”
    With all due respect to the aged and his sterling service to his country, does this man have senile dementia yet? And even if he still has his wits, I suspect that he hasn’t been spending his last days on earth contemplating in depth the repercussions of illegal immigration and the importation of millions of poor to the future of this nation. Again, with all due respect to his service, I wouldn’t put an 82 year old man in a position of responsibility in keeping our nation economically sound or socially viable.

  • Avatar
    David Sevilla
    June 3, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Horace, you are right in the political aspect rearding illegal immigration. It is against the law!!but most of th new generation of illegals age 30 and under were brought here by their parents and they were simply too young to understand immigration as a national issue. Just bcause you position is backed by the law just as was slavery and anti-abort ion at one time, bu were those things right? you have not been affected by this “reform” in any way but if you ould hav been you to would have an emotional response to all this..I think undocumented criminals should be deported but not hardworking illegals whom could be labeled model citizens if it weren’t for the power of white documents!!! Obama is a white man with a black mask!!!! but you know what you’ll never know anything exept what the pages of your books read…Just decied i’d waste my breath on you

  • Avatar
    Horace
    June 4, 2009 at 7:02 am

    “Horace, you are right in the political aspect rearding illegal immigration. It is against the law!!but most of th new generation of illegals age 30 and under were brought here by their parents and they were simply too young to understand immigration as a national issue.”
    Yes, I am correct. This is primarily an issue for the Mexican government to resolve. If these people need assistance to transition back to becoming Mexican citizens then it’s up to the Mexican government to provide it. It’s also up to the Mexican government to educate its people, but they prefer to stick it to the U.S. taxpayer to have this done. I haven’t heard of one nickel of Mexican money sent to the U.S. to provide for the education of their people or for their medical care in this country. Put the ball in their court. The burden of these people should not be put on the shoulders of the citizens of the U.S. as they too are innocent of the crimes of the parents. Giving special treatment to these children will only reward the parents and encourage further bad behavior. While it’s sad that the children should bear the burden of bad parents, this is always the case in matters involving criminals who have children.

  • Avatar
    cookie
    June 4, 2009 at 8:13 am

    David, have you got proof that most of the illegals in our country were brought here by their parents as kids? I don’t think so! Most of them came as adults on their own.
    It is merely your opinion that our immigration laws are unjust ( I disagree) but even if they are as Americans we must respect them until or if they are changed. That does not give immigrants the right to violate them either just because they think they are unjust.

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