A few folks are upset with the fact that in early 2019, I flipped the bird to the GEO Group sign and used the hashtag “#fuckice, so let’s talk about it?
Last year, I visited my brother-in-arms Jose Segovia-Benitez three times in ICE Custody. Jose is a United States Marine Corps Veteran who served two combat tours and ultimately suffered a traumatic brain injury due to an IED blast in Iraq. Jose has also been diagnosed with severe PTSD. I worked tirelessly to keep Jose from being deported to El Salvador, a country he left with his mother when he was just 3 years old. I worked closely with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D-CA) office, but they did not act in time. Last fall, I even flew to El Salvador for the purpose of getting Jose settled into a safe place since he is in great danger as a U.S. Veteran in El Salvador.
Currently, the United States has deported more than 3,000 U.S. Veterans. It is predatory recruiting promise to offer citizenship for service—rarely does that process work the way it is supposed to. You can read more about that on my website. The U.S. Military has no business making promises about citizenship to recruits, since they are not the governing body over naturalization in the first place.
Jose suffered greatly in ICE custody for those two years. They refused to allow the VA to enter to treat him. In fact, Jose was downright tortured in ICE custody due to extreme neglect. If you are not horrified by this kind of treatment to a disabled combat veteran, then we have a different value system.
I am also disgusted by the family separations at our border. The primary purpose of detaining children in ICE detention centers was to act as a deterrent to keep people from coming to the U.S. to seek asylum, which is a lawful process here in the U.S. To me, when someone comes up with the idea of snatching a child out of its mother's arms, you need to go back to the drawing board. That is not what the U.S. stands for.
I watched Jose suffer for too long. If you saw what I saw inside that facility, you would be outraged too. Deporting U.S. Veterans is the most unpatriotic thing I have ever heard of. It’s immoral.
Here is what I believe:
Brandee Dudzic, Candidate for Columbia County Commissioner, Position 1