Phoenix anarchists supported Martinez and his illegal return across the border. No to all borders and controls on movement.
Illegal immigrant demonstrates ease of re-entering U.S.
May 8, 2006 09:04 AM EDT Email to a Friend Printer Friendly Version
An illegal immigrant who was jailed in Arizona and deported to Mexico has since returned to the state.
It took Efrain Martinez, who spent 42 days in jail for lying to police,
less than a week in late April to be convicted, deported and return to
Border officials and immigration experts said such rapid border recrossings aren't uncommon.
In March, Martinez was accused of shooting at former Mesa council
candidate JT Ready. Ready, a concealed weapons instructor and member of
several civilian border patrol groups, said Martinez fired at him first.
Martinez has said he never fired a gun at Ready and was misidentified.
He was charged with assault and threatening and intimidation, but those
charges were dropped when he pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor of giving
false information. Authorities say Martinez gave a false name.
While immigration officials don't keep statistics on illegal re-entries,
most people know that returning immigrants back to the border can
sometimes be like pouring water into a bucket with a hole in the bottom.
"Every day there are hundreds crossing, and some of those hundreds were
removed a matter of hours before," said Russell Ahr, a spokesman for
Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "Once they go right back out into
Mexico, they are out of (this) country's control, so a lot of them turn
right around and try to get back in."
There is a logical reason for the problem, said Nadia Flores, Texas
A&M University professor and a researcher for Princeton University's
Mexican Migration Project.
"If the person is deported to the border town, and the person has
nothing, they have no money or they have nowhere to go, the only thing
they can do is to come back," Flores said.
Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration
Reform, which favors limiting immigration, said some immigrants accept
voluntary repatriation because they know they can sneak back into the
country again quickly.
"If you weren't just across the border it would be more of a problem to get back," Mehlman said.
Ahr said Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents typically take
deportees as far as the Nogales checkpoint and watch them walk into
Mexico to make sure they are fully repatriated. Not much stops them from
simply turning around and coming right back, he said.
As for Martinez, the 33-year-old is unapologetic for being an illegal immigrant.
All he cares about is moving up the social ladder: Finding a good-paying
job, meeting the right woman, having children. He said he wants to go
to Florida soon.
"They cannot impede me from trying to have a better life," he said