The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #581   Message #564815
Posted By: Joe Offer
04-Oct-01 - 05:57 AM
Thread Name: Origins:Deportees-seeking original Woody recording
Subject: RE: Deportees
Well, Karen, the Immigration Service was only one of many agencies I serviced. It was lots of fun doing clearances on astronauts and political appointees, and I got paid to spend weeks in the national parks, clearing law enforcement park rangers.

The employees of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) have a dismal, frustrating job. Generally, they're overworked and underpaid, because they're not a "glamor" agency. A large percentage of the employees are foreign-born or have foreign spouses - that helps, because they have to be able to speak at least two languages.

The Border Patrol is a separate law enforcement division within the INS, and their working conditions are generally better. The daily bus starts way up in Northern California, and drives four or five hours to the Border Patrol Sector at Livermore, just southeast of San Francisco. From there, it's another three or four hours south to Bakersfield, where some detainees are temporarily housed in the county jail (a federal subsidy of impoverished Kern County). From there it's four to six hours to El Centro or San Diego. The drivers go from one stop to the next, and then go back on the northbound bus.

I don't know how the actual deportation takes place. I know that some are flown to Central Mexico or beyond, but I think that many just are escorted as they walk back across at the border crossing to Mexicali or Tijuana (and some of those go back to the States the very same night).

The INS recognizes that most of the detainees are not criminals, and their treatment is generally humane - but still pretty dismal. Yeah, I occasionally came across employees who were abusive - there are a few bad apples in every bushel, and it was my job to try to cull them out.

Now I'm retired, goofing off full time - but I had 25 very interesting years working as a federal investigator. I felt like I had my finger on the pulse of California all that time (with occasional trips outside the state).

-Joe Offer-