While we were in Tucson, AZ we had a opportunity to go across the border to Mexico and visit few organizations that help immigrants who just recently been deported by the US government. One organization help immigrants get clothes or stuff they need. Another organization helped paid half for bus ride to take the immigrants back home after they got sent back into Mexico. There was a church who set up a housing place for immigrants to spend a night and have free dinner.
We got to talked to few immigrants as we waited for dinner being prepared. All of us did mix of different things to fill our time at the church. Few of us did a hacky sack game, some played a guitar , some danced, some talked and listened to the people. I talked to a young man with a help of my interpreter Stevie. The young man had a cell phone and showing me pictures of his large family and his job. As he was showing me pictures, he was speaking so full of love and peace, no anger. I never seen so many pictures or videos in my life that was coming out of his cell phone. When dinner was ready, I sat beside a immigrant woman and immigrant man in front of her. Stevie joined us as well. After dinner, all the immigrants left and went to their sleeping area. We talked to a guy who was in charge of the shelter and did Q/A with us. I got to see the guy's office and he had a cross with Bob the builder on it.
The next day we went to church and head back to the US. Oh yeah, we got stopped when we crossed the border because we had a friend with us who just came from Germany to do internship at borderlinks in AZ for few months. Correna was questioned and the border police just wanted to know why she was here, etc. After 12 mins, they let us go to US.
Monday morning we went to a place called CrossStreets ministry in Tucson at 6:00 am which help homeless people and provide them food and jobs if a opportunity arises. Few of us serves the food and rest of us just talked to people. I served little then started taking photos and talking to people.
I met a man who is around 63 years old. He volunteer now at the church and volunteered at other places. He told me his story of trials he been through of drugs, drinking, and being homeless. He been sober since 1989. He said he stopped because he realized he have better things to do than doing drugs. So he try to be a example of helping people and giving them encouragement. He is homeless now but that don't stop him from helping other people. He said "It drives me crazy when people get angry or complained cause their free food is not warm or whatever it don't suit them." I was just like them but now I am pleased of what I get and I hope of my actions now will be seen by other people around me. When he was young ,he went to school to learn to be a computer programer but didn't finished due to his bad habit. Now he goes around Tucson and volunteer at places and sometime get a temporary job for a quick pay.
We got to listened and talked to "ICE" agents around lunch time.
(Immigration and Customs Enforcement is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security)
Work on counterterrorism. Lead task forces. Training to detect narcotics and weapons smuggling, border violence.
Landscape - vast, hot dangerous. Majority of work is related to narcotics, addictions, human slave labor, etc.
Cyber crime investigation. Child abuse, sex crimes. Developing intelligence on gang members. Prosecution of illegal, alien gang members. Money laundering, commercial fraud. Identify criminal orgs producing counterfeit goods. Ready for the challenge? Recruitment bit.
Customs investigated narcotics smuggling, money laundering, customs fraud, and illegal exports. Stemming the flow of firearms going to Mexico. The purpose of the organization of ICE: border patrol, officers at ports of entry.
Up above is overview of what ICE agents do. I can't show questions and answers due to their request . it was interesting and they really didn't answered a lot of our questions about the deaths in desert. Its seems like they were only limited to say what look good for their government.
http://www.ice.gov/index.htm Check it out.
Well that is pretty much the overview of what we learned while we were in AZ.
Starting this week, I am switching jobs at PATH but working at two different position on different days. On Tuesday and Wednesday I will be working with Path in Hollywood with outreach team. We be reaching out to homeless people out in the street and I will be doing little filming / photo taking while I am out there. On Thursday and Friday I be back at Path Mall in LA taking those photos / videos and making into a video story to post on the PATH website. Please pray for the neighbors and the community house as it continue to grow.
God is Good!