Friday, January 6, 2012

How Could Immigration Officials Mistakenly Deport Black Teenager to Colombia?

When I first heard the news report that a fifteen year old, black teenager from South Dallas, who spoke no Spanish, had been deported to Colombia, South America, I assumed this must be a bad joke.  But when I learned that the story was true, something far more sinister churned in my historian's gut.   The Fugitive Slave Act was passed in 1850, to return runaway slaves to the South.  Bounty hunters scoured the northern states, kidnapping freed men and women, burning their identity papers, and selling them into slavery in the South in order to make huge profits.  I'm not saying that U.S. immigration officials have turned into bounty hunters, because I have come up with no evidence yet that these agents are profiting financially from deporting American citizens of non-white ethnicities to Latin America.  But what I am saying is this.  That predatory spirit still lives on.