Bridgeport attorney, drug reform crusader and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Sylvester Salcedo is urging the nation’s Homeland Security Secretary Jane Napolitano to revisit policies for “releasing persons across Bridge Number One at random hours during the day and night without coordination with their Mexican counterparts.”
Salcedo, a retired naval commander who says the nation’s war on drugs is an expensive public relations scam, returned a few days ago from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, scene of drug cartel violence just across the U.S. border. Salcedo’s letter to Napolitano claims deportation policies force “women, the elderly and children to cross that bridge when no one is waiting for them on the Mexican side, but a motley crew of predators who take advantage of them at their most vulnerable state of heart, mind and body.” Salcedo’s full letter:
Dear Secretary Napolitano:
As a candidate for US Senate in Connecticut, I recently undertook a driving trip to Laredo, Texas, beginning on Wednesday morning, February 15, 2012. On my arrival, I decided to walk versus drive across Bridge Number One into Nuevo Laredo, Mexico to share my campaign platform of “Waging PEACE on the War on Drugs” with the Mayor, Benjamin Galvan Gomez; the Catholic Bishop of Nuevo Laredo, Gustavo Rodriguez Vega; and, the Director General of the ITM (Instituto Tamaulipeco Para Los Migrantes), Jose “Pepe” Carmona Flores.
One of the most disturbing fact that I discovered during my four hour visit is that your department has been releasing deported persons across Bridge Number One at random hours during the day and night without coordination with their Mexican counterparts. While I can understand that your department has standing orders from the president and the laws of our country to deport undocumented or undesirable persons back to their country of origin, it seems to me you have the departmental discretion in directing your staff at ICE to be more considerate and compassionate in not forcing these persons, especially women, the elderly and children to cross that bridge when no one is waiting for them on the Mexican side, but a motley crew of predators who take advantage of them at their most vulnerable state of heart, mind and body. Often penniless, broken-hearted, depressed, confused and demoralized, the last thing they need is to be coaxed or coerced into the waiting hands of an assorted group of petty bandits, and perhaps worse, organized criminal enterprises that forces them into their employ for food, temporary shelter and bus fare back to their hometowns and loved ones.
May I recommend that Laredo area ICE representatives reach out and coordinate with Mayor Galvan and Director Pepe Carmona, especially his Director of Social Assistance, Feliciano Hector Morales Gutierrez (“Hector”), who is a US citizen and military veteran? I believe a short phone call and a meeting will promote better relations between our two countries in a rapidly deteriorating situation for Mexico. For these repatriated persons, to be spared this final indignity and possible physical assaults, financial extortion and other abuses by their own compatriots would seem, to me, a small price for us to undertake by a mere thoughtful consideration of not forcing them to cross that bridge at 2:30 am.
From my brief, fortuitous meeting with US Consul General Don Heflin, I know he is familiar with, and admires Pepe Carmona’s work. I would be remiss not to mention that Mayor Galvan and Tamaulipas governor, Egidio Torre Cantu are strong supporters of the ITM.
As Americans, we can be forceful, fair and firm in our immigration policies, but I don’t believe there is room to be cruel and uncaring.
Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.
Sylvester L. Salcedo, Esq.
LCDR, USNR (Ret.)
Ron Paul is to Rick Santorum as Local Eyes is to Mr. Salcedo. Immigration policies worked fine for Salcedo–he went to an exclusive prep school and then attended Holy Cross, which some call the “Catholic Harvard.” Now he wants to repeal those policies and void our war on drugs which kept him employed for years. This blog is about politics and so is this post.
You object to the US Immigration Service releasing deported Mexicans detained as illegal aliens in this country ‘at all hours of the day.’
What time of day do you think these criminals hopped the fence to get in in the first place?
yahooy: 9AM through 5PM, of course.
My sentiments exactly. They crossed our borders illegally via any means they had available to them. So now are we supposed to transport them back on a red carpet? What should Immigration have done, hired a limo?
My dear OIB friends: The point of the letter to Secretary Napolitano is just to let her know that with a mere phone call to ICE area supervisors in Laredo, Texas and a slight “tweak” of the release timing schedule of deportees back to Mexico across Bridge Number One would make, perhaps, a world of difference to some, if not many, of these individuals. I’m not asking for a 9 to 5 schedule, or limo rides on a red carpet. Just making a suggestion upon hearing on-site reports from Mexican border ITM (Instituto Tamaulipeco para los Migrantes) aide workers that it would be a more humane and thoughtful of way of conducting the cross-border release operations. Secretary Napolitano can decide what to do. I know if I were in her shoes, I would make that quick phone call based on how I experienced that crossing by myself at 10:00am last Friday.
Local Eyes: I don’t buy into your Ron Paul is to Rick Santorum as Local Eyes is to Salcedo. There is nothing, zero, zip, nada, niente to equate Santorum to me, except yes, we’re both Catholic and our surnames starts with the letter “S” … but I’m a cafeteria Catholic: pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-Theology of Liberation, pro-universal healthcare, pro-government is there to help the less fortunate amongst us, pro-regulation to protect the environment, safe water, safe food, safe travel, safe financial transactions from non-accountable predators, pro-serve in the US military and most of all, as you know quite well, pro-end the dumb-ass 40-year old War on Drugs now. Did I miss anything? Please let me know. Gracias. Will that fit in a bumper sticker?
And by the way, Holy Cross is not a Catholic Harvard, maybe a Jesuit Brown or Williams or Amherst. At least that’s what I’ve been told. You can check with Chris “Holy Cross” Matthews of MSNBC’s Hardball.
Machiavelli rides shotgun with me. He is alarmed anytime an announced candidate responds to a voter before a primary. I said, but I’m not even running. Machiavelli winked and said “that’s why I like the driver.”
LCDR Salcedo, USNR (Ret)
I guess the best way for me to offer my opinion as to your suitability to represent me in the United States Senate is to suggest you are muddled and childlike in you actions as they pertain to your ‘War on Drugs.’ I’m actually disappointed. I would think if you were to take your Senate candidacy seriously, you would do more than take an ineffective boondoggle.
YAHOOY Y. YAHOOY, Pdq
1LT USAR (Ets’d)
Didn’t you learn anything about analogies when you were in school? I wasn’t comparing you to Santorum, I was comparing you to me.
Spending 5 hours in Mexico does not make one an expert on the US and Mexico problems, especially immigration. Did you spend any time with US border officials?
Mexico can do a lot more than they are doing about immigration and the drug problem. Are you telling me they don’t know where this shit is grown within their own country?
When they put the first drug-free zone in Orange and Greenwich let me know. Then and only then will I speak in favor of that idea for Bridgeport.