Undocumented Man in Coma After Taser Incident With Border Patrol

Posted by admin on Apr 14th, 2011

by Asraa Mustufa. Thursday, April 14 2011, Colorlines

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in Arizona tased an undocumented man into a coma, and two ICE officers are currently guarding his hospital room 24 hours a day, ready to re-deport him should he recover, the LA Weekly blog reports. Jose Gutierrez was a longtime L.A. resident and film engineer, married to U.S. citizen Shena Wilson, with whom he had two children. He was brought to the U.S. as a child and has never returned to Mexico since. On March 21, he was deported by the L.A. Immigration Court, and on March 30, his wife received a call from the Mexican consulate in Yuma, Arizona, saying that there had been an incident at the San Luis point of entry in Arizona.

When Wilson went to see her husband at the St. Joseph’s hospital in Phoenix, he was in a coma and had taser marks all over his chest and arms, two black eyes (supposedly from a head injury) and a tooth was out of place. Part of his skull has been removed to relieve pressure.

CBP claims that while at the second inspection at San Luis, Gutierrez “got scared and tried to run back” to Mexico, and became combative with CBP officers, who then attempted to subdue him with a taser. They have refused to provide any additional information or allow access to a surveillance video.

Wilson is skeptical of the account, saying that her husband had no history of violence and she expected him to try and return to see their five-month-old daughter, who was in the hospital.

“They tell me, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll move him back home,” Wilson told the LA Weekly blog. “But he’s lived here all his life. I’m like, ‘Stop calling it his home.’”

Under President Obama’s health-care bill, Gutierrez is ineligible for medical care in the U.S. because of his undocumented status.

Jorge-Mario Cabrera of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles said that Gutierrez remained undocumented after marriage and the birth of this two U.S. citizen children because citizenship is increasingly difficult and expensive to obtain, and many are frightened to apply in Arizona, amid the state’s extreme immigration policies. Cabrera’s organization is calling for CBP to cover the medical bills associated with Gutierrez’s coma and injuries.

Guiterrez and his family’s shocking ordeal follows other media reports in recent weeks of transgressions by federal immigration agencies. CBP wrongfully deported four-year-old Emily Ruiz, who was fortunately reunited with her family last month. ICE agents in Detroit surrounded an elementary school in order to target undocumented parents dropping off their children. Deportations, especially those of non-criminals like Guiterrez, have surged to record numbers since Obama took office, part of a failing strategy by the Democrats to embolden enforcement in order to make space for broader immigration reforms.

Interestingly, Guiterrez wrote a song with his band FZ10 called “ICE” about the criminalization of immigration America.

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