Immigrants detained in Oklahoma claim they were tricked into signing voluntary deportations
Tulsa, OK - La Semana had the opportunity to conduct an exclusive interview with José Villa, the Mexican consular official in charge of visas and follow-up of cases of inmates in the prisons of the state of Oklahoma.
Villa said the consulate has found cases of harassment by immigration agents when a new Hispanic prisoner is detained, and that the agents pressure Mexican nationals to sign their voluntary departure or deportation papers. Villa said some agents have reportedly said to the prisoners, “Sign this document – it is only the rules of the prison.”
“In general issues that have nothing to do with immigration, the ex officio lawyers who are the ones assigned by the state resort to this method, telling them to sign and that their sentence could be less than if they fought for their case, and thus they end up signing and it is contradictory,” Villa continued. “In conclusion, if you do not understand what the document says, do not sign anything until you are with your lawyer. There are cases of prisoners suffering from diseases such as mental gaps, for example, that of a person from Tabasco, Mexico. We were finally able to find his relatives after more than two years, and they did not know anything about each other. I personally traveled to Tabasco to look for these relatives and corroborate the information that said person gave me until finally we could verify that it was about the same person.”
“In this and many more cases like this we have managed to provide support to our fellow citizens for free,” those in charge of the Department of Protection and Legal Affairs of the Mexican consulate in Little Rock, Arkansas affirmed. (La Semana)