Immigration reform, or the lack thereof, has many faces now. One is the faces of the students starving in front of Senator Charles Schumer’s office . Another face is that of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, a Mexican who was killed by U.S. Border Patrol using a baton and a Taser, last week.
Hernandez Roja was killed while being deported. Officers claim that he had become combative and were required to use force against him (hmmmm where have we heard that claim before). The San Diego Medical Examiner’s report listed the cause of death as heart attack, with methamphetamine abuse and high blood pressure listed as contributing factors. Border Patrol abuse is not apparently a contributing factor.
Witnesses on both the U.S. and Mexican side of the border have stated that they saw officers kicking and beating Hernandez Rojas.
Mexican Federal Deputy Norma Leticia Salazar reacted to the death at the border:
“This type of conduct, as well as anti-immigrant legislation such as the Arizona law (SB 1070), promote attitudes that result in physical attacks against vulnerable people”, said the federal deputy, “Such actions will not be tolerated by Mexican legislators”, she emphasized.
Given President Obama’s recent decision to send National Guard troops to the U.S. Mexico border instead of signing a moratorium on deportations and raids until there is comprehensive immigration reform, we can probably expect more Hernandez Rojas and more excuses.