Glenn Atkinson came to the United States as a legal immigrant from Canada. He is the poster child for doing everything the right way, yet he was treated horribly by the immigration system, waking up one day surrounded by a swarm of agents ready to haul him off to a detention center. He wants Senator Ted Cruz and other Congressmen like Senator Jeff Sessions to know that he agrees with Cruz’s philosophy that “a path to citizenship for those who are here illegally is profoundly unfair to the millions of the legal immigrants who followed the rules.”
Glenn Atkinson is a visionary businessman, with big ideas to build a business and provide jobs for Americans, but he cannot even get a work permit because his paperwork is still messed up, arising from a simple misunderstanding on the part of the border officials. Civil rights were grossly violated in an illegal arrest and 90-day detention of this immigrant who came legally, according to Before It’s News. A government attorney admitted in court that, “I can’t even determine why the second N.T.A. [Notice to Appear] was filed in the first place.” There is audio of those court proceedings. Though he was cleared of any wrong-doing in the summer of 2012, the government has yet to correct the mistake so that Glenn can move on with his life.
Ted Cruz has been a vocal opponent of President Obama’s Dream Act and his plan for an executive order for amnesty. Senator Ted Cruz said in a press release that immigrants deserve better than what they are getting from this current administration. Atkinson couldn’t agree more.
“Immigrants deserve a system in which they will be welcomed to the United States safely and with dignity. The solutions are really quite simple: Secure the border, end the amnesty and implement a system that celebrates legal immigration.”
Glenn Atkinson obtained all the proper paperwork while he was still in Canada in order to cross the border. He filed the extension and change of status paperwork after he arrived, and paid all the necessary fees, to remain legally. The treatment that he has received since arriving in America has been called shameful and embarrassing. People coming the wrong way are often given a free pass, rewarded with access to free medical care, food stamps, housing, and other benefits paid for by tax-paying citizens, while people like Atkinson who make every effort to do it right face persecution from a system wildly out of control. Atkinson refuses to take advantage of the tax-payers, and very much wants to earn his own way, but until justice actually happens, he cannot even renew his drivers license or work.
On March 10, 2010, Glenn says he woke up to what looked at first like just a simple misunderstanding. He was staying at a friend’s home in Corpus Christi, Texas, when there was a pounding on the door. About a dozen armed U.S. Marshals surrounded the home. They had an arrest warrant for a young Hispanic man who had apparently lived in that home at some point in the past. He didn’t live there now. The agents wanted to search the house, and his friends cooperated, as no one there had anything to hide.
When they got to Glenn’s room, they demanded his paperwork. Glenn had obtained an extension a few days before and had the temporary documents with him while he was waiting for the permanent ones to come in the mail. He was completely legal, but the agent seemed very angry when he came in. Not wanting to fuel his anger, Glenn cooperated when the Marshal insisted that he take him in to the processing office to “make sure everything checked out.”
Glenn was certain that it would all be cleared up when they made sense of all the paperwork. He told the friends he was staying with that “this is just a big mistake and I have all the documents to show I’m legal, so there’s nothing to worry about.” He told them that they could come pick him up when they were done.
That never happened.
During an interrogation, and without anyone reading his Miranda rights, Glenn told Raging Elephants Radio that he was intimidated into signing some documents, all the while the agent kept his hand over parts of the papers while he demanded, “Just sign the f***in paperwork,” and “sign here and here.” Atkinson wound up spending the next 90 days in the Willacy Detainment Facility, until someone among the powers that be finally realized that he never should have been there, and released him.
“I am not the only one that has been held in detention illegally. There were many others inside the detention camp that had similar circumstances for their being detainees. America is not being helped if people are being unlawfully detained or unlawfully imprisoned because Americans have to pay for these incarcerated individuals with their tax dollars. I came here to help this country (and myself of course) by creating opportunities leading to jobs, and business opportunities leading to charitable donations, while try doing the right thing by God.”
Atkinson reports that at one time he was told that if he paid a bond of $34,000, he could get out. There is an entire network of people that make money off of this system, he reports, because the laws and practices are so confusing. People who are unjustly detained are forced to pay lawyers to sort out all the mess, and even they have difficulty making sense of the contradictory laws. He believes that “most lawyers don’t want it to change because that’s how they make their money.”
In July of 2012, a judge ruled that his case, which never should have come before the court in the first place, be “terminated with prejudice.” That means that the matter is done with, and it can never come to court again. It should have been cut and dried. He should have been able to resume his life at that point.
But he hasn’t.
Though the case has been dismissed, the government has yet to get his paperwork corrected so that he can work legally, get a drivers license, and obtain insurance. Glenn Atkinson remains in limbo, hoping that someone with the power to get this straightened out will do so, so that he can get busy building the business of his dreams and help get people working.
Senators Jeff Sessions and Ted Cruz and others oppose amnesty for those who come to the United States illegally. The poster child for doing immigration right agrees, yet he remains a political hostage. The system is badly broken when the borders are open to illegal immigrants, including terrorists, pedophiles, and people unwilling to wait in line, who can jump ahead of people like Canadian-born Glenn Atkinson, who do it the right way. People like Atkinson deserve to be celebrated by the United States of America. The injustice that he continues to face is certainly not the American dream that so many still hold dear. That needs to change.
[images via Facebook and screenshot from YouTube]