An American citizen rotted for 3-1/2 years in a federal detention facility awaiting his fate from immigration authorities as to whether he would be deported. Meanwhile, 90% of the over 100,000 immigrants who will cross our border illegally this year won’t bother showing up for their immigration court hearing and will simply skip town for parts unknown.
Jamaican-born Davino Watson, who legally enter the United States with his father, followed immigration procedures and eventually became a naturalized U.S. citizen, according to Reuters.
His troubles began, however, when Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a so-called “detainer” request after he was arrested on an unrelated drug charge. This resulted in his transfer from the New York jail where he was serving an 8-month sentence on the criminal matter to a Buffalo, New York immigration detention center.
Watson isn’t the only person wrongfully detained by immigration authorities. Reuters reported:
Watson’s case is the latest example of U.S. citizens and legal residents suing the government after being ensnared in a system meant to improve immigration enforcement.
About two dozen suits have been filed since the system was put in place in the late 1990s, but Watson’s lawyers say his case involves the longest detention. The others allege unlawful detention periods ranging from a few days to several months.
Watson has now filed a lawsuit in federal court against the U.S. government and individual ICE agents, alleging that they ignored his repeated claims that he was a legal citizen.
“We are all at risk if this can happen,” said Mark Flessner, one of Watson’s attorneys. “If there isn’t a procedure that allows citizens to be immediately released without any kind of due process it just points to the broken system.”
The system is broken in more ways than this one. An estimated minimum of 135,000 mostly-teen undocumented immigrants who will illegally cross the U.S.-Mexican border this year will disappear into the landscape. The Washington Examiner reported:
House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who on [June 25] held a hearing to raise national security concerns about the new wave of illegals, revealed [the following day] that many of the teens are placed with relatives, including parents who are in the U.S. illegally, and then ignore court orders to appear for immigration hearings.
Once they are picked up by immigration officials, “they are given a court date, expected to return, a year or more later,” said the Virginia lawmaker. “The overwhelming majority of them, more than 90 percent, do not return for their hearings and as a result we have a problem,” he added.
It’s a crazy system when Immigration authorities detain American citizens for extended periods but then give illegal immigrants a free pass. The federal government has entered Alice’s rabbit hole, and it may take some time for it to find its way out.
The following video, posted by National News Channel, illustrates the seriousness of the problem of illegal immigration. It’s description reads:
A Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer has amassed a collection of stunning photographs that illustrate the plight of Central American immigrants as they make the dangerous journey as they attempt to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in search of a better life.
Their plight has now become our national security and public health problem, as well as an enormous financial burden.