Friday, October 29, 2010

Why This Happened

When I put up the “Free Audrius Kazenas” page on facebook it was attacked by Audrius’ wife. She did not do so directly, instead she placed false allegations of child abuse using the profiles of her children to hide the source and false allegations that Audrius was a murderer and criminal in Lithuania through the relatives and friends of her lover. One of her children’s profiles was used to contact those who had joined “Free Audrius Kazenas” with more allegations of child abuse. We were under assault and finally, to protect the child whose profile was being sent to countless strangers across the country, I had to shut the page down. I have within my possession many legal documents that can shed a totally different light on all allegations and make it clear as to who has done what (he has been in immigration detention for nearly two years, which has provided me with ample time to do an extensive investigation) - and if Audrius does wind up being deported, all those documents will be published and become public, but in the meantime, for the protection of all concerned and out of respect for the court proceedings that are ongoing in this matter, I must keep those documents private.

However, Audrius has a right to at least respond. He went through hell the year of 2008, cheated on by his wife, left to care for three children and countless doges without adequate funds, unable to get the dental care he needed for an infected tooth that had him in agony, unable to do anything about any of it because of his legal status in this country. That year ended for him being taken from all of us who know him well, who were trying to help him manage, and being placed in immigration detention. Nearly two years later he sits in a prison cell still for the “crime” of believing and loving the wrong person and trying to do the right thing. Men are not always the enemy, not always the perp, but why don’t I let Audrius speak for himself:

“Hi everyone, I am Audrius and I have PTSD . . . Kind of an abused opening, but I am not trying to hide behind the condition, I am not trying to find the excuses for anything I have done or why. Few days ago I found out about the comments by some people who haven’t ever met me, of what a terrible monster I am, so this is my response to them . . .

For those who are not familiar with PTSD, it’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and it means that person affected by it feels differently about some everyday situations than the person who is not affected by it. Person who denies having PTSD doesn’t know that his or her reactions to potential triggers is not normal, not the reactions that would be expected from the average person. Person who admits it has to question and crosscheck every emotion and every action he or she takes. There is a lot of general information for those of you who are interested. I want to let you know what that means to me. I have been living with what is now called PTSD since I was 17. I didn’t know that at the time, at the time there was no such thing. I was told at 17 that I had nothing to be afraid of, that I died the day I put on the uniform - it just got postponed for a little bit.

Then the rules changed and everything had a new set of rules. And according to those rules I couldn’t trust what I felt, what I thought was right. I was told I was a violent and scary, bloodthirsty savage. I wanted to be normal, regular guy, so I tried to fit in. It lasted a month. Then I found an occupation in which I was told again what is acceptable and what is not. Following the rules was much easier. I thought I finally had it all figured out, so I started bending those rules, not by much , not the rules about conduct - but simple stuff like having backup and proper planning – nothing I thought was major. Because of that I messed up and somebody died. I paid for it dearly and in the process I found out that guys who put the rules in place don’t have to follow them.

After that I came up with my own rules. Then I met my wife, a person who I thought accepted me with everything I was and was not. At the time she was married, but she told me that her marriage already fell apart. She had her share of hits and misses. We actively met the first time because my brother was dating her at the time. I felt that with her I could be myself, first time in years I felt normal. She was everything I was looking for and we were engaged before she asked her husband for divorce. When it came to right and wrong, acceptable and not, what to say and what not, I trusted her more than myself. After all, she was the first to spot what was wrong with me and to name it – PTSD.

When it came to explaining myself to other people I trusted her. After all, she was “normal” person and I didn’t want to scare people. I wanted to act like everybody else, like member of society. Before I knew it she started to change me. Some of my traits were overly “macho.” Others, like smoking, unhealthy. I had to make choice between her and some of my friends. I thought that was a natural process – adapting – and since she better knew norm of social behavior I thought it was better for me to change.

And I was trying. Never quit smoking though, and lied about it, too. I knew it was bad for me. I knew it was something my wife was not going to accept. She told me so in marriage counseling, but like Remark once said: “Bad habits are the only form of comfort available in any circumstances.” I guess he never spent time in immigration detention. LOL.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and I know my responsibilities, but I used to scuba dive, sky dive and blow things up and get paid for that. When I came here, instead I spent eight years changing diapers, mopping floors, folding laundry and being told that I was too aggressive, didn’t know how to speak, how to dress and how to act in public. I never thought much about it. I believed that it was constructive criticism and my discomfort was just me being paranoid about it. Paranoia is one of PTSD symptoms, after all.

Couple of times my wife and I contacted an immigration lawyer to deal with my legal status, but because there was no guaranty that I would be eligible for relief, I felt it would selfish to press on the matter and we, as a family, decided it was better to wait. That was my life until spring of 2008. In very late winter, my wife started showing signs of alienation. She didn’t want to talk to me on the phone. She started spending more money and didn’t know where it went. She demanded that I pay “my share” of monthly bills, even though agreement before I came to U.S. was that until my legal status was sorted out, my wife was going to pay the bills and I was going to take care of the kids, the house and the dog breeding business.

My wife decided to take new job, which would bring in less money, but she said she would be able to spend more time with the family at home because of it. In late spring she decided that she wanted to have separate bedroom. When we first met, one of the things she said about her marriage was that she and her first ex had separate bedrooms. I asked her if that was it between us and she told me that I am being paranoid, and she just needs more space. She said I was smothering her. She said that she was tired of me wanting to do everything with her. She said I wasn’t fun, I wasn’t interested in anything but dogs and guns. I couldn’t understand it.

My wife was working far from home and was staying with her mother, with her friends or in hotels for a few days every time. When she wasn’t working or sleeping, she was going out with her friends and I didn’t have problem with that. I was at home 24/7 and all I had to socialize with was kids and dogs. I thought it was normal to miss your spouse and to want to spend time together. It’s hard to find out that the person you love is not interested in you anymore. It’s much harder to doubt what you see, hear, think. It’s scary – to think that you are loosing your mind, to think that maybe you already lost it.

Among other things, PTSD affects your physical well being. Sleep problems are common, more than average health problems. There is a reason why I listed those. How to explain what does it feel like when you don’t trust your feelings? How does it feel when your wife calls home and after talking to kids tells them that she didn’t want to talk to you? Does that mean something, or are you just being paranoid? Maybe she just had a busy day. How to stop believing somebody you trusted with your life? What to think when one day before tenth year wedding anniversary your wife drives to Boston, and when she answers the phone there she tells you that she doesn’t have money to come home - and next day, when you drive to see her, she takes you to barbershop and takes children to lunch, after which tells you that you look like shit and sends you home so she can leave? Does that mean that your marriage is over or is that being unreasonable and you can do it all over later when you have some money? How does it feel to see your wife with bruised lip and beard rash on her breast and when she says that you are imagining things you actually question yourself – are you really seeing what you are seeing or are you hallucinating because of lack of sleep and toothache from infected molar that no painkiller can touch?

How does it feel to hear that your wife is not attracted sexually to you anymore because she just got used to you – and you shouldn’t be so conservative when it comes to sex – and she just would like to sleep with other man once in a while – and sex is not such a big deal . . . and you actually consider it?

I sound like doormat, I know. Love and trust does funny things to you. Especially when you put everything you had into relationship in which other side had invested considerably less. And that’s why it was a relief to talk to shrink who validated what I was seeing. It was even greater relief when my wife confirmed what I thought in early fall of 2008. She didn’t have to pretend anymore. My stepson was 12 and girls could be left in his care when my wife had to work at night. I am not one to judge her, but in my opinion what she did was disgusting.

That aside, we have children and I was willing to be civil. It didn’t work out that way. It wasn’t the first time she slammed me with the door, but it was first time I knew what she is and it was a first time when she hit me in the face. I am really sorry about that day. I shouldn’t have stooped down to the level of that. I didn’t hit her. I wouldn’t hit a woman, even one who did what she did. When I saw her in court I thought it was last time. I thought immigration was going to pick me up right there. It didn’t work out that way. They came later.

After a few months in detention, I got a letter from her. At first I thought it was about signing papers on house in Lisbon. Then I thought it was about kids. I tried to write to her how I felt. All she got from it was me blaming her. She wrote back to me how tired she was of me blaming her and how she didn’t do nothing that she was sorry for. I wrote to her that I forgave her and that it was not about what she did, it was about how I felt. It was about me. I don’t think I ever got that point across.

She decided to visit me and to help me to get my green card because of the kids, and then - who knows. She asked me, why my plans for the future didn’t include her and kids. I told her that I never wanted for summer of 2008 to repeat itself. She, in response, tells me that she didn’t have such a great summer as I think she did, in part because I was invading her privacy, maliciously persecuting her and making her feel like she was in prison. Again, who cares about me? I offered to put it behind us, but she didn’t know if she could because now she said she was afraid of me.

In early fall of 2009 we were making plans together, we were talking how when I was released it would be a good idea for two of us spend a week in some motel just two of us. When my court was delayed because of background check she started talking about me being insecure when I wanted to know her friends that she wanted to spend time with. Not to hang out with them, just to know who they are. After that she told me that she didn’t have to visit me every week and disappeared for three weeks, was too busy to pick up the phone and when my friend, who stood by me all this time tried to call her to let her know when I was going to be transferred she didn’t answer and accused me of trying to control her. When I was transferred, she was really upset when I used the one free call to contact somebody else, somebody who wasn’t evading my calls for nearly a month. When she brought kids to visit for a last time, my daughter told me about the house they were looking at and asked me if I will come to live with them. At that time my wife was dating the guy she is living with now. I knew it then, but I didn’t say nothing. I promised my wife, that summer of 2008 will never be repeated and I gave her a chance to end it honorably like a human being. I didn’t say a thing when she came again, when she offered to me to stay in the house with kids when she is not there.

I declined with the smile and told her that I will not do “open marriage” and either we are a couple or not. I didn’t know how to make more clear suggestion, without asking her to tell the truth. She was afraid of me again and full of accusations – how I embarrassed her all over town by helping my friend’s wife (my friend was injured in Iraq). While she was saying these things guy who was about to move into my house with my wife and my kids was “helping her to move” and he was “just a friend who had kids too,” blush, eyes down, blink, blink. Last time I saw my wife, she told me that after I will get a green card she doesn’t want to “hang” and she will want to get a divorce. I was pleasantly surprised. I thought maybe, just maybe, she is going to be honest. She asked about visitation schedule with the kids and I told her that I will be more than willing to work that out. She asked me if I thought I would find somebody, and I said I was going to really soon. She asked me not to exclude my stepson and I said that I wouldn’t. She asked me not to drop any new “siblings” on the kids, well, wording was a little different, but I am not going to use it. She asked me how we and the kids would deal with our significant others. I told her that we are adults and there is not reason why we can’t be civil to each other and other adults in our lives and remember that kid’s birthdays are about kids, not about which parent has them this year. She made remark that I am not making it hard and I told her that I didn’t want to make it harder than it had to be. I pretty much knew what was going on. She promised to put money on my phone account so I hoped she just was uncomfortable telling it to my face. Then I hoped she at least was going to write. It never happened.

I sent two letters to her mother’s address. One with my new address, the other – Christmas greetings to my kids – on plain paper because I was moved right before Christmas. I didn’t have money in my account and in the new prison I’d been moved to it was too late to get free Christmas cards. I found out about her “being in love” right before New Year. Because of the way I found out, I wrote her a letter, but never mailed it. After all, it’s her business who to love and I gave my word.

When I went to court on December 16 my lawyer said that my wife’s application for my green card was approved and when lawyer spoke to her she said that she is going to be in next court hearing. My friends raised money to pay the couple thousand dollar fine for being here illegally and fees for the application to be processed. After my friend paid those fees, three days before court, my wife told my lawyer that she changed her mind. I heard how she was telling people in town how she feared for her life if I am not deported.

I don’t know her current address and I don’t want to know. I miss my kids very much, but I am being accused of everything under the sun without anything to support it, so I chose to voluntarily impose on myself a restraining order. I will not jeopardize my future being able to see my children by giving her a shred of anything to use as a claim that I am threatening her. I have known that woman for number of years. I wish I could stop being cautious whenever I am dealing with her, but so far she broke every promise, every agreement she made with me. She faces no danger from me because I do not want to ever see her and if I do I will just walk away. I wasted eight perfectly good years of my life on her and that is enough.

In 2008 she cheated on me, she lied to me, she left me with nothing – she even emptied kid’s college savings accounts so she could have fun with another man while I was borrowing from neighbors to buy milk for the kids. Yes, she broke my heart and I forgave her. And then she lied to me again, broke promises that she just made and did all she could to make sure that I am sent to the country where I would be killed.

November 04, 2008, when she was crying and complaining that I was stronger, better trained and bigger than her I gave her phone and a loaded pistol and offered her to finish what she was doing to me. Her response was, “I am not you!” Yes, she is not me. She picked a coward’s way – a traitor’s way of doing it. To me, there are things that are more important than my life and one of them is my self respect. On that day I came pretty close to loosing it. I now know she thought that I was her doormat and for a few moments, before I realized what she was, I tried to prove to her that I was not – as if her opinion of me still mattered. It’s never going to happen again.

I know who I am and who I am not. I am not a traitor. If I take somebody’s side I am not going to backstab him. If I help somebody, it’s without strings attached. I think “knight in shining armor” routine to get in someone’s pants is low and pathetic. It’s using somebody’s trouble to get what you want. I am not a coward and if I walk away from a fight it’s not because I am afraid, it’s because I don’t like hurting people. I have strong beliefs about certain things and I would never change them. I know some things about my wife and I don’t use her name for a reason. She is not very honest. She is not the most moral woman in town – any town. She is not very faithful. Her last great love with my brother and both marriages has an episode with more than one man.

I did not want to get into all this, because I am ashamed of what I was connected to, but allegations of a child abuse were a little over the top. And child abuse is illegal. So why don’t you press charges and have me brought to justice here in the United States instead of shipping me somewhere on some made up charges? I don’t think though it is a right thing to put a minor’s name on public controversial web page, but maybe it’s just me. However, for the future references, kids that I had in my care never had to be taken to see the doctor because of the injury. They never had an accident, they never got lost, they never dangerously fell when I was watching them. They had a lot of friends. They had sleepovers in our and in their friend’s houses. They were not isolated and locked in and there is a number of adults who knew them pretty well, some of them law enforcement officers who know signs of abuse.

It’s odd that all these allegations came out now, isn’t it? How ever I felt about circumstances in my life, what ever shape I was in, safety and well-being of the children always was a top priority for me and if I felt that for whatever reason I couldn’t take care of them properly I reached out for help and received it. People who helped me, who are helping me now can vouch for that.

I was accused by my wife that my beliefs are too extreme. She told me that she acts the way most people act. If this is true, I feel sorry for them.”

Thursday, April 22, 2010

About What Happened in Lithuania:

Note from DdeS: While trying to obtain justice for Audrius I was told by an aide at Senator Shaneen's office that they had investigated his case by asking ICE about it (sort of like asking the fox about the missing hens) and that they were assured by ICE that ICE was following proper procedure. The Senator's aid also told me that there were things I don't know about Audrius' case, that it involved things in Lithuania. Since I am the one who wrote up his request for an investigation to the International Criminal Court regarding the occurrences in Lithuania, I found this attempt to throw me off amusing, but since it was evident that this Senator's office handled investigations by going to the agency being complained about and accepting their assurances that they were following policy, I decided that avenue was not worth pursuing further, so I didn't bother to correct her. However, I did tell Audrius and this was his response:

Recently one of my friends who is helping me to get through the legal loops of ICE was told by Senator's aide that there is more to my case than she knows and because of concern about my privacy, Senator's aide can't discus things that I was hiding from my friends. I am aware of the fact that people often lie or withhold information when it suits them, so I will not take it personally. Instead, I am going to address issues that brought up this "privacy" business in a rather public fashion, so next time when questions pop up, people can be assured that I am not the one who hides and withholds information.

First, I want to address the fact that I was convicted of causing death of convicted felon, known drug trafficker with business and family ties to one of the Lithuania's organized crime families who physically stopped me from leaving the room and physically assaulted me because I interfered with his plans to commit robbery. I was convicted in a closed court without my family or my lawyer present. I was tortured in prison, my life was deliberately put in danger. I have presented the details of that incident and what has occurred since to the International Criminal Court and they are looking into them at this time.

In 2003 Lithuanian Republic filed the arrest warrant with Interpol accusing me of producing a forged court decision expunging my conviction. According to the computer printout, submitted to immigration court by ICE prosecutor, I was convicted September 26, 1992 and was sentenced to six years and six months. According to FAX from Vilnius police submitted by ICE prosecutor I was sentenced in December of 1993 for the crime that took place in October 1992 and was sentenced to four years and six months. I also have an original search warrant, issued in my name and signed by DA which states that in 1994 police officers had a meaningful conversation, meaning they offered me to surrender firearms, ammunition and explosives and after I stated that I don't have any of those items in my possession, they performed search of my apartment in my presence in Kaunas, Varpo 10, Apt 14, where, according to search warrant I lived at at the time. And these people are accusing me of a forgery! I would be willing to accept it as mistakes, but I have in my possession the request from Kaunas P.D. and the reply from Ministry of Interior database translated and notarized, the one I submitted to U.S. embassy before I "forged" the court decision and on that sheet, dates, sentence and articles of Lithuanian penal code match the court sentence. If anyone believes all these discrepancies in documents are just coincidence, while waiting for court in Plymouth County Correctional Facility, in general population, I met this guy - he is into real estate big time, and he had this incredible deal on the Brooklyn Bridge.

And finally, talking about how violent and dangerous I am: I spent close to ten years in U.S. I came here to be with my family because I believed I was needed here. When the woman I was married to sabotaged my attempts to legalize my status I thought she was afraid to be left alone with three small children. Later I thought she was afraid that if I was in U.S. legally I would leave her. I thought with time she would see who I really am. I am not blaming her for what she is. I should have known better. When I caught her having an affair, lying and stealing not only from the money needed for the care of the household, but also from our children's savings accounts I had a thing or two to say and I said it loud and eloquently. I even used a language that I, as an officer and gentleman, shouldn't be familiar with. Once we got past the stage where it was "all my paranoia and PTSD" I was civil and even charitable. But when someone who, for our tenth wedding anniversary, took whoever she was involved with at the time out on a date to Boston while I was borrowing money from neighbors so I could buy milk for our kids, when someone like that decided to commit assault and battery against me by slamming me with the door and then headbutting me in the mouth - as much as I despised her and was disgusted by her I did not even spit in her face. I restrained her in rather soft way and as the result I was the one with the bruises. And after that I contacted the police and I went out of my way to avoid any contact. And yes, I am truly sorry for that incident because for a minute that day I allowed her to drag me down to her level and that will never happen again.

I believe I have addressed issues that I was supposedly hiding according to Senator's aide and if not, I would love to know what else I am "hiding." I have no problem having an open conversation and I own up to everything I have done, even things I am not proud of. You don't have to like me, but this is who I am. I have strong opinions about certain things and I am not afraid to argue about them.

I can be harsh and seem difficult sometimes; to some my expectations are unreasonably high, such as integrity and professionalism for law enforcement officers. To my excuse, I met quite a few of them who met my criteria, some of them in Lithuania including those who paid a highest price for what they believed in. Some of them I met recently in small Northern New Hampshire community which I would be honored to call mine. Guys, if you are reading this, it is a privilege and honor to know you. I expect loyalty from my friends and give my loyalty to them. I put duty first in everything. I don't like to point fingers, but I hate when dishonorable person is trying to use my strength and my honor against me. So publicly - to whom it may concern, my friend, Deborah Sherman de Santos is hereby given right to access all of my private and legal information and make it public if she so chooses. She has a publishing rights to my writings and she has a power of attorney over my possessions.

Dated 04/18/ 2010 and signed by Audrius.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How it Stands Now

My hearing date is drawing near, and after over a year in detention, it seems that I will finally get the answer I've been waiting for for so long. I will not appeal the final order if I am ordered deported. I don't think I have reason to. I don't care what happens to me when I am placed into custody of Lithuanian Republic, which will happen if I am shipped back. I don't think I want a deferral of removal under CAT because that would mean that removal proceedings can be resumed any time ICE feels like it and even if I pay taxes, I can't collect Social Security or get medicaid. Back in September, I would have been fine with that because back then I had family, as messed up as it was. But things change, people get tired of waiting and want to go on with their lives now, or at least in the "foreseeable future." My crime was desire to be with the woman I loved and kids I adored. I have done bad things in the past and I paid heavy price for that in my past, in faraway land. I felt disappointed with country that I helped to create and protect by often putting myself between oppressors and young Lithuanian Republic. I never asked for anything.

Then I met a young woman who was living in U.S. and fell in love. I was fascinated with the way she described country she was living in and envied the way she was proud of it. It wasn't even an option for her to move to Lithuania, so I decided to follow her. Soon we were married and had a daughter in addition to her son from previous marriage. I didn't try to conceal my troubled past when I applied for visa, because both of us believed that people in charge would look into the whole story. We were wrong. I was denied and at the time it seemed that we can't be together. I made a choice and came here without inspection. When I was coming to U.S. I knew that I will never have a career, normal job, my own bank account, my credit history, I won't be able to buy and register car in my name or a house. All of that had to be done in my wife's name. I grew up in country where men are responsible for supporting their families financially. I was wearing uniform until the day I left Lithuania. I was teaching future NCOs.

When I became my wife's dependent I left behind not only something I loved to do, I had to leave my pride, part of who I am. When I did that I think part of me died. But being able to hug my kids was worth to me much more than I lost. Unfortunately, what I lost was important not only to me. For eight years I was hiding under my wife's shirt and grinding my teeth, but working really hard not to show it. My wife, my kids were more important to me than my pride and I proved that more than once. It still is, but that hardly matters anymore. I got dragged into the open and now I will hear how terrible is the crime that I have committed - pursuit of happiness of my family who all are U.S. citizens.

The system wore us down. My family, my friends, my neighbors, everybody who was helping me. It is an emotional and financial strain. It is hard to fight when you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is easier to be sentenced for committing a crime. Then at least you know what did you do and how long the punishment is. For me, it's a fight for a price, for a chance to be with my family, while being a man, maintaining my dignity and self respect. My neighbors wrote letters to a judge, telling him what they know about me, as a father, neighbor, human being. I hope that community asking to let me return to them is enough of a proof that I am not a threat to that community. If not I have lost.

In recent years I've lost a lot. If I loose this one I stand to loose my family, my life and some illusions. My father used to use American Constitution as an example to the statement that when you do something right, you don't have to redo it. It's sad to see that people who swear to protect that Constitution after taking an oath see it now as little more than toilet paper. Once I believed that American society was built on family values. Now I am being punished for living by that.

Even with all that happened to me, I don't think it was a mistake to come here. Whatever happens to me from now, even if I will have to die for what I did, I will know that my wife and kids will remember that nothing, not fear, not pride, could stop me from loving them with all I had, even if it wasn't enough. I hope it will comfort my children that they will know that their father didn't look for the excuses why he couldn't be with them and was there for as long as he could. I hope that next man that my wife falls in love with will never have to make choices that I had to make, because it's hard, even when you make a right choice.

I hope it is over soon. I would rather be dead than in prison and, no, guys and girls, I am not giving up - just, if I loose now I don't really have much of a choice. I filed a complaint to International Criminal Court against a country in which Russian saying, "When there is a person, there is a problem. Where there is no person, there is no problem," is rather popular and which issued two international warrants for my arrest under false pretenses and based on false information, half a year after I left that country for good. I just hope it won't take them too long before I will get "shot in attempt to escape." [Audrius is referring here to a tendency in Lithuania for troublesome people to be "shot while trying to escape prison," "commit suicide," or "drown" while fishing . . . in a three piece suit]And I don't want to be "protected" in jail in U.S. After all, this is supposed to be land of the free. And when I go I will go unbroken and without fear for nobody can take from me what I have left. People can lie about things I have done, but they can't change them. They can ignore what I am saying, but they can't shut me up. They can imprison or kill me for what I say, but they can't make me say opposite, unless I agree to.

I will know soon. God bless you all.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Trying To Understand

The way to understand this is: ICE puts people who are in deportation proceedings in detention, so those people can be found easily and ICE doesn’t have to chase them all over the place. Taking somebody’s freedom to be with his family, to pay car payments or mortgage, resulting in foreclosure, not to mention other “minor discomforts” just for somebody’s convenience, seems overboard to me. The rest of it I don’t even know why it is done. What reasoning is behind keeping us in prison, making us wear prison uniforms, denying us medical care? Where does it stop? It is done in the name of American people, and I keep wondering if the American people don’t know or they don’t care. We are not merely collected into someplace where ICE knows where we are. We are locked up in prisons, denied the most basic care (I am not eligible for dental care, even though I have insurance through my wife). Our ability to see our families and for them to see us is limited to accommodate our jailers, who can lock us in cells whenever they feel like it.

There are legally enforceable standards of conditions for keeping convicted criminals, but not ICE detainees. Does this mean that high crime of being born outside U.S. is more dangerous than murder? Or does it mean that convicted rapist is still a human being, and immigrant is not? Is that what American thinks? Is that what America is? And to those who argue about the fact that people who cross the border illegally should pay the price, people who are locked up with me, entered U.S.A. LEGALLY. They had either ASSYLUM or LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENT status. Those who broke the law, COMPLETED THE COURT SENTENCES and those who are already ordered deported are in the U.S. only because ICE is keeping them here.

As for me, I am here because my family is in U.S. My wife and children are U.S. citizens. I have been in U.S. for nine years. In those nine years I have three speeding tickets. I never collected or applied for welfare. I never took a job from an American. I was taking care of my kids and running my wife’s business. Twice U.S. Embassy in Poland took my money and gave me false information, or plainly speaking, lied to me. When the person does it, it is called “fraud;” when INS does it I don’t know; I don’t speak “INS.” I entered the U.S. illegally almost a year after my second application and only ten years later I found out that my application “was lost.” Today, entering U.S. without inspection is civil offense, like speeding ticket. Back when I did it, it was level 8 offense according to federal sentencing guidelines. Level 8 offense, according to those same guidelines, carries punishment of 0 – 6 MONTHS. I already spent more than twice that, and I can’t even be charged with it, because of change in law and statute of limitations. I am not complaining. I just want to know what I am being punished for, what we all are being punished for and by whom?

I would like to know what authority do those who are doing this to us have, because it is against God’s law as well as the Constitution of these United States. I am a practicing Christian, so I pray for those . . . people . . . for lack of a better term, and I know they will need my prayers, because not that long ago there was a group of people in service of the state who thought they had a right to jail, torture and kill people based on what nation they were born in. Didn’t end too well for them . . .

Saturday, January 2, 2010

This Is Who I Am

I was trying to make sense last night with all that is happening to me, as well as thousands of other people, with the way we are seen, the way we are portrayed, the way we are treated. It crossed my mind that maybe, just maybe, all that is happening is just one big misunderstanding. I hope that getting to know me would clear it up a little and would help people to see that we are not so different after all. From the publications in the newspapers, from the opinions aired on internet, sometimes – rather often to be honest, it seems that people like me want to challenge American government, law enforcement, and very much American way of life.

I have great respect for the principles on which United States was built. I grew up in the house in which American Bill of Rights was considered a perfect example of legislation. At the age of 10 I knew that American Constitution was written 200 years ago and didn’t have to be rewritten. But I grew up in country under Soviet Union rule. My father, a hard man, sometimes cold man – a retired military officer, always believed in speaking his mind and right to bear arms in the country which did not give right to ANY INDIVIDUAL to own firearm other than smoothbore shotgun and to get permission for that, you had to jump through more hoops than you would have to to get a permission to own a fully automatic weapon in Washington D.C. He would have done much better in his career, military and political (later on in life) if he just learned to conform or not to have an opinion, but I don’t think he could. I have great respect for military people who put their lives on the line so other s can live the way they chose to. They deserve every bit of it.

Sometimes people who are in charge of soldiers abuse power given to them. Soldiers put their lives on the line to protect life, freedom and dignity of people who can not protect themselves. I don’t praise the soldiers because I was a soldier, I became a soldier because I believe soldiers deserve respect. I know about power over men’s lives, like everybody who had a command in combat. I am an officer and (I hope and pray) a gentleman, and thank God and my father I was ready for that responsibility before it hit me. I will never forget the advice my father gave me upon my commission. He said, “Son, always remember, as an officer you are walking under God, not above man.”

Recently, my wife of eleven years told me that I see everything in black and white. The thing is, I don’t. I see everything in color, and some of the things that I see happen to be black and some white. I pity people who see the world in the shades of gray, not judge them, but I don’t want to be judged for my ability to see in color.

I have great respect for judicial system and law enforcement. Courts and police protect individuals like soldiers protect the nations. It is hard, underpaid, under-appreciated work, which exposes one doing it to the worst side of human nature. I have great respect for the job that DHS was created to do. I don’t think that there is justification for targeting unarmed civilians for whatever reason, people who do that are terrorists, regardless to their personal loss or suffering. And if you resort to terror in retaliation to terror, you are terrorist, just like the guy that you are trying to get. You are not “avenger” or “freedom fighter” just because other guy came up with this first.

People who know me, know my position on drug dealers and traders in human flesh. For the rest of you folks, that part before, when I wrote about hoping and praying to be a gentleman, I am trying to revise vocabulary I used for these subjects in private conversations. I just didn’t manage to come up with adequate substitutes yet, but please be patient with me. After all, English is my fifth language. These things are two of those clearly black things and I don’t care how poor your parents were or if you had any at all; it does not give you permission to destroy and take somebody’s freedom, dignity and life for personal gain. I have nothing but deepest respect for office which has as a task to protect us from that. Yes, I am talking about ICE.

Those are the offices which I respect and admire, I would be honored to be part of any of them, those are ideals that I risked my life for in the past and without hesitation would do that again. And because of respect that I feel for those offices, bending or breaking laws that one swore to protect, when accepted honor, responsibility and power given to him by people he swore to protect, to me is nothing but treason. When somebody comes up with the explanation why he had to break the law he swore to protect it sounds to me like the explanation of the deserter, who left the battlefield because “people were shooting at him.” And I am not saying that coward or liar or thief doesn’t deserve to live, I am saying he doesn’t deserve respect commanded by uniform. And I earned the right to pass an opinion on valor in 1991, as a company commander, facing Russian made T-72, with nothing to stop them but our 5.6mm rifles against their 125mm main guns, and outnumbered about 1-3, because other people on the field felt that it was too dangerous for them to be there.

I earned the right to pass an opinion on integrity more than once, and if anybody doubts it, I challenge you to inquire from people who know me personally and I believe that more than one person will have something to say on my behalf. Again, I do not assume high moral authority or absolute righteousness. I speak as the person who has accumulated some experience in life and doesn’t like to be portrayed as somebody he is not. I don’t call to abolish DHS. I am not saying that America has to change immigration laws and policies or open borders. I am not an American citizen and even if I was, I would not be for that. This country has a great Constitution and Founding Fathers started it on great principles.

But I am disgusted by the choice of ways and personnel DHS employs to implement their policies, which have very little to do with the official reason for it to exist. I am disgusted with people who treat us worse than a criminal even though they know the reason why we are locked up. I am disgusted by their statement that they are just doing their job. After all, slave runners were just doing their jobs too. And some of the slaves were sold to collect restitution for their crimes. Guys who worked in Nazi Germany concentration camps were just doing their job too. Very important job, keeping people who were not worthy of living in the best country in the world under check and accounted for.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hi America, How Are Ya?

Surprised? I know, I know. You passed me on the street, were behind me in line of Dunkin Doughnuts drive through and never noticed me. You thought I was one of you, but I'm not. I am an alien. You suspected we exist, but you always thought we only can be spotted somewhere in Texas, Arizona desert or one of those places that sound like Timbuktu to you. But we are here, right in your back yard and front yard too. I know, it's hard to believe, but it's true. See, we are not like you. We can and do turn invisible, and that's why border patrol can't stop us with all their helicopters, night vision goggles, walls and fences with minutemen behind them.

We can blend in with the environment, be it a desert, forest, suburbia or concrete jungle of inner city. You let us loose and two days later we have job, apartment and a bank account. Two months later we have a car, driver's license, are paying taxes and going to school. Two years later we have mortgage and credit score in the upper 700s. Fiscally we are so much superior to you that it makes any kind of competition unthinkable.

How many of you can walk through the desert for more than a week with a limited amount of water and forty pounds of stuff while evading superior military power which has an air support, IR detectors, dogs, mobile patrol and limited amount of SF operators - big scary looking dudes. Us, we don't look like much, but men, women, children and women with children do that and not as a part of exercises, when worst that can happen to you is going to be failed test. They do that for real! Five foot nothing woman weighing 110 - 120 pounds soaking wet with two children, boys 5 and 7, with 40 pounds payload, plus water for all three of them for a week, 120 miles to cover in late April across Arizona border.

How many of you can stay on the inner tube in the ocean waiting for currents to take you to shore for days trying to evade Coast Guard cutters and drug trafficking speed boats - the ones that Coast Guard is after? How many of you have discipline and determination not to call out for a passing boat days after you ran out of fresh water, days after you were lost at sea, to get off that tube into shark infested waters to make your visual scan signature smaller because that's what makes the difference between failure and achieving your goal?

How many of you can survive in sealed container for 3 weeks without fresh water and bathroom facilities?

But we are not fighting you. We can co-exist and you would benefit greatly from that co-existence. Wherever we move in landscaping improves greatly in the short period of time, construction becomes better quality and more affordable, cars and streets become cleaner. We are better with the plants, animals, building materials. We have superiour technology and that's how we make more with less.

I understand your fear and desperation. I would be terrified too if I was put into the position where I would have to compete against somebody so much superior. I understand the fear of loosing your job to one of us, fear of loosing your woman to us (once you go alien, you never go back, you knew that, right?), fear of us getting on your welfare system so you have to support us . . .

So let me relieve your worst fears. We don't want your job. The jobs that we take, you would not be able to survive on them. Remember our fiscal superiority, the stuff, "How many of you can . . .?" We not just "can," we did it! Some of us more than once. And most of the jobs that we "took from Americans" require that kind of fiscal abilities if you want to afford car, mortgage and tuition. Can you take those jobs back? Absolutely. Can you make the employers to pay American employees kind of wages that would satisfy American standards? Gee, I don't know . . . Can you afford to pay $15 - $20 for pound of strawberries? $75 for pound of beef? $25 for loaf of bread? What is going to happen to farmer when he can't sell what he produced? So that's how those industrial jobs got to China! You can take those jobs from us, but without us they are going to disappear into thin air. And together with them a lot of "American" jobs, union jobs.

How about welfare . . . I don't want to be on welfare, never did. When I applied for a "greencard" one of the first documents that I had to sign was a promise that I will not ask for any kind of help from anybody! But that's not about me. Do you know anybody who is on welfare? American citizen? Ask him or her how may affidavits certificates and certificates of certificates does it take to get on that.

I have kids. For them to be enrolled into public school they had to have birth certificates, social security cards and proof of citizenship from one of the parents. And we own two pieces of real estate in town! We are paying property taxes to support that school! Do you know how many parents pay tuition in other town just to avoid those questions? Does that look like welfare to you?

How about women . . . Do I really have to address that? Cause you had exactly that same shit with blacks for very long minute now . . .

Look, if you just be honest with yourself, you need us more than ever. You have some serious problems and we can bring a lot to a table to help to solve them.

We come in peace.