Monday, October 20, 2008

The call to Immigration (Issacs experience)

This is in Issacs words. He is the one who experienced the treatment so I will put his words on this one also.

November 04.

Amanda used to work night shifts at Barnes & Jewish hospital on the weekends, so on Friday November 12th 04, some friends and I decided to meet at church to go to a coffee shop that night. On our way there, a police officer pulled us over because the car was missing the license plates. The officer began to ask each of us for ID’s. I forgot my wallet at home that day, so i couldn’t identify myself. Since i wasn’t in the system, they arrested me. I was brought to the local police station in Hazelwood, by Officer Nick Lawrence. (I can’t believe that i still remember his name) he then called immigration. They told him to keep me in custody until they could pick me up the following Monday. I would have gone mad if god wouldn’t help me through that time. I spoke to Amanda once or twice a day. The officers brought me McDonalds 3 times a day. I was in a holding cell that was meant for 24 hour holds. The lights were always on and it was the weekend, so nobody was at the station. I was on my own, most of Saturday and all Sunday. By Monday morning, the officers arrived to take me to the immigration building downtown. They chained my ankles and wrists. I felt incredibly numb and as though i was in a state of mental shock.

Once downtown, they put me in a holding cell. I was then interviewed by a local immigration officer who took my information and my fingerprints.

I was officially on a removal procedure; I was to be deported.

At this point, I had two options. I could’ve sit in jail until my deportation or pay a 3,000 us dollar bond. Amanda gathered her funds and still did not have enough money to get me bonded out. She then turned to our church community and they pulled the money to help pay for my release. This process took a couple of days, so I spent two nights in federal prison, about an hour from St Louis.

I have never been in prison before, so being there was incredibly frightening.

God looked over me and protected me. I was next to real criminals who were doing time for bigger crimes.

Finally, the process came through and Amanda was able to bail me out.

I felt like I was born again. When we got into the car, we just sat and stared at each other for a while and held each other. Thank god for his mercy.

She gave me a picture album she had made with pictures of our friends and us. It was beautiful.

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