The following account is from Adam McLane. He is a San Diego internet and digital marketing entrepreneur and a christian pastor. Like many in the border city, he was a frequent visitor to Mexico. As a result, he witnessed the humanitarian crisis unfolding at the border and felt compelled to aid the refugees. He occasionally posts updates on his Facebook page. He posted the following testimonial on June 22, 2019.
With all the chatter about mass deportations about to begin… You need to know what deportation looks like from the other side.
For most, ICE intentionally moves them to a place they have no support system. So if you are from California they’ll fly you to Texas or visa versa.
Don’t listen to the media. For most, they aren’t returning you “home” to your country… most they are just going to take to a port of entry with Mexico and dump them. Literally, lead them down a hallway, open up a gate, take off the handcuffs…. and push them into Mexico.
That’s what they will do to poor people who can’t afford lawyers or are significant enough to draw media attention. Even if you’re not Mexican, even if you have family somewhere else, even if you’ve never been to Mexico. That’s what they are going to do: Dump you on the streets of Tijuana or Juarez or Mexicali.
If you’ve got some money you might be able to get to a hotel. Or grab a bus to another city. Or get to the airport and buy a plane ticket somewhere.
But in Tijuana, they are welcomed to the streets. Literally on the other side of the border is a canal where you see recently deported people. (Many are soon to be departed from this life.)
Desperation sets in quickly.
So does depression. “My life is over.” It isn’t, but it’ll feel like it is.
So does the opportunity to self-medicate with alcohol or marijuana or meth.
And there lies the real danger. Alone, without family support, without resources, without a place to live, without friends… without hope.
The warning lights are blinking red— DANGER— but you are vulnerable, and the wolves are there for the kill. Someone befriends you. Offers you a safe place to sleep. Maybe a way to make a little money.
Newly deported people are among the most vulnerable people in the world to recruitment.
Vulnerable to fall into addiction.
But also vulnerable to get recruited into gang life.
When ICE takes off those handcuffs and kicks you out of the United States you are desperate: You likely don’t even know it but that nice person who offers you help might be affiliated with a street gang or cartel.
And that help might be freely offered but it’s not free.
And that life they conscript you into? It doesn’t last long.
So please don’t think about deportation lightly. It’s not about righting a legal wrong. US immigration policy has been broken for decades.
This won’t fix anything.
It’s ultimately about sending people, a lot of them, into a gauntlet of suffering. Will they be OK? Hopefully, most will be OK. But a lot will end up on the streets. A lot addicted to drugs. A lot will end up dead.
When that gate closes behind them and ICE sarcastically tells them to have a nice life— the clock is ticking on their lives.
Sadly, a lot will end up involved in organized crime, ultimately making things worse both in Mexico and the United States.
Literally, deporting people solves no problems in the United States. And it creates a lot more in Mexico. But even worse? It ruins real peoples lives.
Deportation is an injustice.
Pray for the deportees.