where the writers are
Sexual abuse by U.S. immigration officials rising


Over the last three years, a number of U.S. immigration officials have been charged with using their power to abuse women. In a recent case, a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services adjudicator from Garden City, New York demanded sexual favors from the 22-year-old Columbian wife of a U.S. citizen applying for her green card. Isaac R. Baichu, a naturalized citizen from Guyana, was arrested and plead not guilty to felony and misdemeanor charges after the woman recorded his demands on a cell phone in her purse. Baichu was suspended with pay by the USCIS pending the outcome of his trial.

In a disturbing pattern, immigration officials in California, Florida, Georgia and Maryland have also been charged with similar crimes since 2005, according to the New York Times. This raises a troubling question. If this many women have come forward after being coerced by immigration officials, how many more have suffered in silence? The sad irony of these cases is that many of the women involved have likely come to this country fleeing corruption and abuse only to find the same type of coercion in this land of freedom and equal rights.

At a time when our nation is experiencing the greatest influx of immigrants since the Ellis Island era, this abuse is perhaps not surprising. That, however, is no reason to tolerate it. Abetting the corruption is the immigration service’s legendary inefficiency. These sexual predators thrive in a USCIS jungle of red tape. The time has come for our elected representatives in Congress and the White House to clean up the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It is a national disgrace.

Comments
2 Comment count
Comment Bubble Tip

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Many thanks for calling attention to this crucially important story.   I appreciate, too, your mention of Ellis Island.

 My grandparents came through Ellis Island, and they would be appalled, as I am, to hear about ongoing ICE raids, as well as detention of so-called "illegal immigrants" in Florida, and elsewhere around the United States.    That families are being split apart, and people rounded up like cattle, speaks volumes about human rights abuses taking place within our borders.

Sexual predators, alas, are often not the most dangerous kind.  It's those who wear their nation's uniforms, and prey on the dreams, hope, and aspirations of those who come to this country mistakenly expecting to find equal opportunity and justice.

I'm know I'm preaching to the choir when I say that the only people who are in the U.S. legally are the native Americans, so we have no right to want to build fences, harass, and incarcerate those who come here "legally," or otherwise.

One must vote, and when he is elected, make sure that our next president, and Congress, take whatever measures they can to ensure protecting, and affirming the dignity of all those who migrate to this country. 

Comment Bubble Tip

Some firsthand accounts

Thanks for the follow up, Jayne. 

For some firsthand accounts of the disruption ICE raids and USCIS incompetence are creating, visit www.MyImmigrationStory.com

I've hosted this site for two years and some of the firsthand stories of families divided by our immigration system  are heart wrenching.