My career as a Border Patrol Agent, spanning over 25 years, allowed me to see many things that most people can only imagine.
Every Law Enforcement Officer receives a bit of job satisfaction when a criminal, preying on the innocent, is incarcerated due to that officer’s efforts. During my 12 years working the in the Spokane Sector of the United States Border Patrol, I received this type of job satisfaction on several occasions.
One of the crimes I investigated in this area is that of Reentry after Deportation. The law, 8 USC 1326, pertains to aliens who have been deported or removed from the United States and illegally reenter our country.
Ms. X, a single mother raising several sons, works for the State of Washington in one of the myriad of social programs that the state operates. Many of her clients are people illegally within the United States. I seldom receive calls from individuals in this line of employment. She did call and asked that I arrest her ex-husband.
Ms. X explained to me that her ex-husband served several years in prison for raping a teenage girl. After serving his prison term, he was deported to Mexico. She told me he did not stay in Mexico for long and now lived back in Washington State. She emphasized the personal fear she felt of her ex-husband. She also feared the bad influence he provided to her sons.
I ordered the A-file on her ex-husband. This is the official Immigration File created for every alien entering legally or illegally into the United States. I read the reports describing significant events in her ex-husband’s life. Some of the reports stunned me at their graphic description of violence committed by him.
He had originally crossed illegally into the United States from Mexico and obtained status as a Lawfully Admitted Permanent Resident. He met and married Ms. X and began a family, living the much sought after American Dream.
He began to have trouble with the law. In a domestic argument with his spouse, he turned violent and assaulted her with a 2X4 board causing extensive bodily injury to her. After his conviction for the assault he spent his first term in the Washington State Penitentiary system.
After release from prison, he partied with some friends in the Yakima Valley. He met and persuaded a 14-year-old girl to go with him. He took her to a vineyard and, again showing his violent side, brutally raped and beat her. I read the report of this incident and my stomach turned.
Again he was arrested and convicted of this brutal rape and sentenced to prison. During this prison stint, he was set up for a hearing before an Immigration Judge who ordered him deported from the US. Upon his release from prison, he was deported to Mexico.
Reentry After Deportation is a simple crime to investigate and to prove. After an alien is ordered removed or deported by an Immigration Judge, a Warrant of Deportation is completed which includes his photo and his fingerprint. If the deported alien reenters into the United States illegally and is arrested by an agent, his electronic record will show that he is a deported alien.
We worked this type of criminal case on a regular basis as they provided for long federal prison terms and were easy for the US Attorney’s Office to prosecute.
I testified in front of the Grand Jury, a panel of citizens from the area, and described the facts of the case. I presented plenty of evidence leading a reasonable person to believe the subject was deported to Mexico and returned illegally. The Grand Jury issued an Indictment for his arrest.
We missed arresting this subject by minutes and he went into hiding. I worried that he would hurt his ex-wife before we could locate him, but with the help of local law enforcement he was soon arrested.
Every federal judge has sentencing guidelines with a range of incarceration time that he must follow when issuing his order. In this case, the Federal Judge stayed at the top of the range and mandated this subject to a Federal Penitentiary for 84 months for the crime of Reentering the United States after Deportation.
This is a much longer jail term than he received for the rape of the young girl. Under the federal system, an inmate can get “good time” off their sentence of around one month per year of service; assuring he would serve over six years without the possibility of release.
A short while later Ms X contacted me. She thanked me for my help and asked about the fate of her ex-husband. I explained that he was sentenced to prison for 84 months; that he would spend a minimum of six years before being eligible for release and then he would again be deported to Mexico. If he returned illegally, he would face 10 years or more in prison. She was very thankful and relieved.
I had performed my duties and by doing so, this woman could continue to live her life without the fear that her ex-husband brought to it. Her opinion of the US Border Patrol changed for the positive. I felt an enormous amount of job satisfaction!