Immigration: What's the Answer?
July 29, 2014
West Chester, Iowa
To the Editor:
Yes, we do have an immigration problem! However, it didn’t just happen, it’s been brewing for years, all the while the American public was not made aware or perhaps did not care. I believe I am qualified to comment on immigration-related matters having served with the U.S. Border Patrol for over 30 years and retiring a few years ago as Patrol Agent in Charge of one of the most active areas for illegal alien and narcotic trafficking on our Southern border with Mexico.
In the 1980s and ‘90s our southern border came under siege as hundreds of thousands poured across our border from Central America and Mexico. Of course we did not then nor do we currently have the facilities to hold the large numbers of undocumented aliens entering our country. As soon as many of the illegal entrants had crossed the Rio Grande, they sought out the Border Patrol officers and demanded their papers which would allow them to stay in the U.S. indefinitely.
There is something definitely wrong with our system. I have a friend who had two brothers, both prominent doctors in Mexico, who legally applied for U.S. residency 15 years ago and are still waiting to hear from our Immigration Service. One of the doctor brothers has already passed away, and the other feels he, too, will die before he is authorized legal residency in the U.S.
Our current immigration laws afford ALL illegal entrants the same rights as a United States citizen. Under apprehension an illegal alien is taken to a Border Patrol station, fingerprinted, given their rights and interviewed. Toward the end of the interview process, the illegal alien is presented a form in which by signing, he/she has the option of returning to his respective native country, or indicate that he desires a hearing in front of an immigration judge. Of course immigration backlog is such that the illegal entrant is usually released, at which time he/she is allowed to proceed to their destination in the U.S. pending a future immigration hearing. Most illegal aliens that are released from custody do not show up for their scheduled immigration hearing. If by the small chance that they do show up at their hearing, an appeal can be filed delaying any deportation proceeding for years.
We do not need more immigration attorneys, judges, immigration courts, detention facilities, Border Patrol agents, fences, sensors, nor the military guarding the border.
So what’s the answer? Well, here it is, short and sweet. The law needs to be changed — you enter our country illegally, you will be deported, no appeals, no right to stay, nothing, you’re going back to where you came from and that’s it!
John C. Brinning
Patrol Agent in Charge
U.S. Border Patrol (retired)