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Where to Draw the Line at Northwest Detention Center

Every day US Immigration Bonds is contacted by the loved ones of detainees being held in immigration detention centers throughout the country.  Our company exhaust every option for seeking one of the four immigration bonds (also known as ICE Form I-352) for detained but many times there is just nothing that can be done.  This is where America still has a glitch in the system for immigration procedures.

Ramon Mendoza Pascual, a detainee in Northwest Detention Center, entered the US illegally 20 years ago from Guatemala to seek a better life. Although Mr. Mendoza had integrated into our society as a construction worker and carpenter, he was arrested last September for driving under the influence.   Married with three children, all of whom are US citizens, Mr. Mendoza entered our fragmented immigration system when the charges were dropped but a previous DUI conviction from 2007 landed him in ICE custody. 

Mr. Mendoza has deemed a “danger to the community” by an Immigration Judge and consequently was denied bond.  President Obama has made multiple statements requesting that deportation should focus on criminals and not break up families.  But this request by the President could cause some uproar because how do we measure that fine line? At what point does an individual’s family ties outweigh his ‘danger to society’? It is understandable that some view Mr. Mendoza as a danger to society because drives under the influence and could hurt someone, but should this restrict Mr. Mendoza from the opportunity to post an immigration bond. Why hold him indefinitely while the U.S. taxpayer bears the burden of his expense because he is not a citizen?  Does he impose more of a threat as a drunk driver than a U.S. Citizen?  Wouldn’t revoking his license be a justifiable punishment rather than deportation?

After 9 months incarcerated complaining about the size and quality of meals being served to the detained immigrants, Mr. Mendoza has been placed in solitary confinement at Northwest Detention Center after participating in a hunger strike with 19 other inmates. Most have been returned to the general population but Mr. Mendoza remains in solitary as ICE officials believe he may attempt to intimidate other detainees into joining the hunger strike. 

There are so many ICE detainees with similar stories. Many immigrants, like Mr. Mendoza, have become part of our society since childhood and are not familiar with the country they will be sent if deported.  The question remains, what are our lawmakers going to do about all of this?  It is obvious that comprehensive immigration reform is needed but how are we ever going to get there when our government cannot even pass a budget?