Wednesday, June 12, 2013

An Apology to CBP For Yesterday's Blog Title

I've received two phone calls this morning from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  The first was from an old CBP friend who was incredulous over the events of this past weekend, which I relayed in yesterday's Immigration Insider as "My Weekend on the U.S. Border: CBP or KGB?"  The second call, in contrast, was from a very angry, semi-literate self described "CBP professional" who, between expletives, stated he had been there during my prospective investor's illegal detention and I had totally "miscontruded" (had him repeat that to make sure I heard correctly) the facts in my blog.  After Saturday, the tone and language was hardly a surprise but receiving that second call on my personal cell phone was extremely uncool.  How did he get my number?  Why did they copy my U.S. passport?  What are they doing with my personal information? 

One thing both my friend and angry caller agreed on was that my comparing CBP to the KGB was over the top.  In retrospect and with a cooler head, I agree, and I would like to apologize to the countless CBP professionals throughout the country as my words were out of line.  I had a very shocking, very traumatic, very illegal set of events unfold this weekend at the hands of a few CBP officials (along with other unidentified civilian USG officials) and I realize that the outrageous actions of a few do not represent the character and integrity of the corps of law enforcement professionals protecting our borders and Ports of Entry.   Rereading my blog, it was written by a very outraged former U.S. visa officer.   But my comparison was the equivalent of trash talking the Marine Corps because of the violent actions of a few bad Marines...and that is something I would never, ever do.  I am sincerely sorry for my words and am editing the title of the blog post to remove that very poor choice of words, and I especially apologize to my handful of friends in the CBP, all of whom are exemplary professionals.

Now...as for the individuals who DID in fact on Saturday conspire with Mexican authorities in handing over a prospective EB-5 investor possessing a valid B visa, a 100% clear criminal record, and who had not been charged with anything anywhere...no apologies to you.  You -- meaning you the supervisors calling the shots and the half dozen agents saying they were "following orders, sorry" -- live and work on the border and are acutely aware of federal procedural requirements when a person asks for asylum.  Each of you -- I don't care whether you are a supervisor or a newbie -- had a personal responsibility to step up and say "we CANNOT do this as it is AGAINST THE LAW."   You had 4-5 hours to stop the madness but instead let it continue and in so doing violated express statutory provisions relating to the prohibition of Expedited Removal in cases where an individual requests political asylum.   Those responsible held accountable for their actions when the Department of Justice ethics investigators come and visit.   And given the number of us --other prospective EB-5 investors as well as attorneys from both countries -- who witnessed Saturday's obscene desecration of the U.S. Constitution... it will be interesting to hear what you have to say.

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