Feathered Bastard

Raul Castro's Treatment by Border Patrol an Argument for BP's Elimination

I despise the United States Border Patrol. One-hundred miles from the U.S. Border, the entire U.S. border, they are a law unto themselves, in what the ACLU refers to as a "constitution free zone," that encircles the entire contiguous United States.

They regularly treat U.S. citizens with contempt. This, despite the fact that the average Border Patrol agent is as dumb as a bag of hammers. And Lord help you if you have a little melanin in your flesh. The assumption will be that you are a criminal until proven otherwise.

I've seen the way these green goons treat people at Border Patrol checkpoints, whether an individual is white, brown, black or whatever. They run wild on the Tohono O'odham Nation, acting like a federal police force, though the O'odham's have their own police force, obviously.

In the desert, they regularly collaborated with baby-killing neo-Nazi J.T. Ready, despite evidence that Ready and his fellow swastika-lickers were unlawfully detaining and restraining migrants. 

Hey, by any means necessary, right? That should be the BP's motto.

If you're a member of the press, obtaining standard info from them is a major pain. The MCSO is more forthcoming, for crying out loud. Far more forthcoming.

So the BP's recent treatment of 96 year-old former Arizona governor and ex-U.S. ambassador to Argentina Raul Castro is certainly no surprise. Stopped at a BP checkpoint on I-19, they handled Arizona's only Hispanic governor as a "nuclear threat," apparently because he had received a medical treatment the previous day that involved some radiation.

Here's part of the account given by his traveling companion Anne Doan for the Nogales International:

We were sent to secondary inspection and were asked to step out of the car. When they asked the governor to stand under the tent, I asked if he could remain seated in the air-conditioned car because it might be too hot for him. The agents said he could not and that they had a fan under the tent.

I explained to the agent he had undergone a medical treatment the previous day and it must be the solution that set off their system. They said he had to stay under the tent, in 100-degree hear, while dressed in a suit. They offered him a chair. I felt totally frustrated and I was worried about the governor.

I explained that he was a former governor and ambassador a true statesman and that he was 96 years old and that he shouldn't have to be going through this. They knew it was the medical procedure that was coming us on their radar.

At that point I was begging them to leave him alone. They brought out a document for him to fill out and sign. They had a machine they ran up and down his body front and back. Finally they released us and as we were walking back to the car they stopped him and said they had to see his identification. We were standing out in the sun, by this time, and Gov. Castro reached for his identification and showed it to the agent, they registered the information they needed from his identification and they released us, again.

I was helpless and overwhelmed by the incident. I felt the agents had no regard for the governor's background or age or physical condition. I was embarrassed as I watched the governor being needlessly treated like a nuclear threat, especially because they knew he had just had a treatment at Tucson Heart Hospital the day before. I felt he was being disrespected as a senior citizen, much less the amazing statesman that he is.

After all of this chaos in the Arizona heat I thought it was interesting that the agents never asked me for my identification, and I was driving the car. Maybe I was the nuclear threat.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons