No, I’m not kidding. Thursday, around 11:15 AM, The Pink Flamingo, my 82 year old mother who is in fragile health with a pace maker and my 88 year old father with Alzheimer’s were with me when we drove through the Border Patrol checkpoint 3 miles out of Tombstone, going toward Benson, on Hwy 80.
I’ve been telling you, for years, that this thing was going to get out of hand. Now, we hear about Border Patrol agents in Nogalas, detaining the 96 year old FORMER GOVERNOR OF ARIZONA, in 100 degree head for over a half hour.
Raul Castro and his wife were detained for nearly 45 minutes, forcing the 96 year old man to stand outside his vehicle in the hot sun. It was explained that the FORMER GOVERNOR OF ARIZONA had been hospitalized the previous day for cardiac tests.
It was explained that he was the FORMER GOVERNOR OF ARIZONA. I guess the agents didn’t give a damn about that. If they were anything like the one who intimidated my 82 year old mother to the point where she turned pale, and was shaking, then I can fully comprehend what went on.
The person who intimidated us was about 30 years old. The Hispanic BP agents we’ve encountered at the check-point in Alamogordo are great. They are very polite. This guy, Anglo, was, like my mother said, more like a wanna-be Gestapo agent. She was terrified.
Raul Castro had undergone some nuclear testing the previous day. When this happened with my father, about a fourteen months ago, we had the paper with us explaining the situation. The BP agents saw us coming! The detector picked up the nuclear isotope in him, even before we arrived. They couldn’t have been nicer. Because they did not have the isotope on file, they were required to email Homeland Security about it. My father filled out paperwork. (We quietly explained he was being tested for Alzheimer’s). The agents were apologetic and terribly polite. We pulled over to the side. They did their little detector thing all over the car, and then had us wait – in the shade, until the isotope could be confirmed.
The process took maybe 20 minutes.
But, what happened to the FORMER GOVERNOR OF ARIZONA was racism, noting more and nothing less.
“…“It’s traumatic, to say the least, for an old man,” said Castro’s wife, Patricia.
She said the Border Patrol officials need to use “more common sense” when they encounter elderly people who have undergone medical procedures.
Anne Doan, a family friend from Nogales who was driving Castro to the birthday luncheon in Tucson, wrote a letter to the Nogales International newspaper recounting the incident and blasting the Border Patrol for its treatment of Castro.
“I felt the agents had no regard for the governor’s background or age or physical condition,” Doan wrote. “I was embarrassed as I watched the governor being needlessly treated like a nuclear threat.”
In the letter, Doan said that after Castro was sent to a secondary inspection, the former governor was told to stand under a tent. He was wearing a suit, and the temperature was 100 degrees, but agents refused Doan’s request to let Castro remain in the air-conditioned car, she said. “The agents said (they) could not and that they had a fan under the tent,” she wrote.
After being asked to sign documents, they let Castro leave, she said.
“I feel less safe knowing that time and money is being wasted by agents who must check a box or file a paper knowing full well that there is no threat,” Doan wrote.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials confirmed in an e-mail that they stopped Castro on June 12 for “a possible trace of radiation.” Policy requires agents to “identify and resolve all sources of radiation regardless of the circumstances,” which officials did in this case, according to the statement. Conflicting with the account of Castro and his companions, officials say Castro was “delayed” only 10 minutes, from 11:42 a.m. to 11:52 a.m.
The Mexican-born Castro was governor of Arizona from 1974 to 1977. He was the state’s first and only Hispanic governor. He and his wife retired to Nogales after he served as U.S. ambassador to Argentina. He also served as ambassador to Bolivia and El Salvador in the 1960s….”
The Pink Flamingo was driving the parents’ car (which I am not going to identify) through the BP check-point we have crossed many many times. The young agent was physically intimidating. Usually, they will stop at the window and ask if you are an American Citizen. At the one in Alamo, if they know you, having seen you before, it’s hello, have a nice day, and drive on through.
The little jack-booted, goose-stepper ask each one of us, individually, if we were American Citizens. My mother was terrified. As we left, she was pale, shaking. “I never thought this would happen to us, in our very own country. I was afraid he was going to ask for our papers the way they did in some foreign country.”
Now, do my parents look like they are here illegally? Granted, my mother looks like some of our English relatives, but still, why the H-E-Double Toothpick would an agent even bother intimidating them?
My very real problem with this is, if someone would do that to people who obviously look quite elderly and obviously look like they belong here, are driving an expensive car, with expansive jewelry, clothing, and handbags, what would they do to someone who was just little Juan Valdez?
There is something very, very wrong here. This agent was terrifying. When someone like that has too much power, and is very much capable of abusing it, it is a recipe for disaster. These are the kind of people who say they were ‘just following orders’ when they massacre innocent men, women, and children.
Thursday morning was the first time I have been terrified and intimidated in my own country by an out of control bully. I immediately filed a report with Congressman Steve Pearce. I have the paperwork which is to be filled out, for him to file a complaint with the BP.
This is not acceptable.
On Wednesday, my mother was having cardiac incidents all day. Her pulse was something like 58 for well over an hour. I thought I would be taking her to the ER, but she was careful. We kept an eye on her, plugged in the oxygen, and would not let her do anything. She was in bed by 8:30 that night. The last thing I needed was something to terrify and harass her, not in her physical condition.
How dare they do this to my mother in the United States of America. So much for that whole Land of the Free, Home of the Brave thingie. When a two-bit, goose-stepping little jerk can harass senior citizens like this, within our own country, then there’s not much left, is there.
I do hope people who support hard-core immigration reform sleep easier in their beds. The nation is now safe from 82 year old soon to be great-grandmothers with heart conditions and 88 year old men with Alzheimer’s. They talk about what Obama will do to this country? These people were empowered by conservatives.
Please, sleep well.