Friday, October 26, 2012

Into Harm's Way

About a month ago, I watched the SAPD stop a woman in front of our house.  He was busy on his radio, and she was removing the third clear trash bag full of cans from the back seat while she balanced her toddler on her hip.  Soon the tow truck arrived, and I watched her abandon the cans in favor of the car seat as she carried her child toward the bus stop.  Without a license or insurance she’ll never see her car again.  It could have been much worse.

Had she been deported, after a legal wrangle, she could well have ended up in Tamulipas, the US' current favorite destination.  As bad as things are in Mexico, they are much worse in Tamulipas State.  From Stratfor:  In the past few months, Tamaulipas state experienced a sharp increase in homicides -- from 87 reported in August to 128 in September, according to Mexico's Executive Secretariat of the National System of Public Security. Military operations often lead to violence in Tamaulipas state, but the state is also experiencing a turf war involving Los Zetas, the Gulf cartel and a Los Zetas splinter group led by Ivan "El Taliban" Velazquez Caballero until his recent arrest. These dynamics are likely behind the state's reported increase in violence.

The LA Times reports that deportees arriving in Tamulipas are often searched for phone numbers with US area codes.  Such discoveries often occasion “secuestros” or kidnappings in which deportees are held until US relatives pay a ransom.  Since an obvious ploy is to transpose the area code for a Mexican one, the ploy doesn’t work, and a deportees only recourse is often to pay protection, just to leave the bus station in safety.  What happens to women in such circumstances in unthinkable.

We have often participated in discussions and movements to counter the traffic leading to involuntary sex slavery.

It’s a tragedy that an uncounted majority of such crimes are engendered at the service of saving American tax dollars and serving American domestic policy.  Sending waiters, mechanics and homemakers into harm’s way because we’re done with them is the most vile shortcoming of our Bishop’s political agenda.

We have consistently demonstrated a willingness to spend millions in order to determine how and with whom Protestants conduct marriage ceremonies.  I remind you there has never been a “gay” Catholic marriage.

What we have, however, is a virtually unbroken silence when our co-religionists are delivered into the hands of kidnappers and rapists and murderers.

Help me implore the California Bishops to ask the INS to explain why so many Catholics are being sent into harms way.  Begin with your Pastor.