DEPORTATION POST REVISION
December 27, 2012
On Monday, December 17, three El Parque homeowners and the President of the Board of Directors received a summons to appear at the offices of Mexican Immigration. The outcome of that appearance resulted in no-one’s immigration status being modified and the officer of immigration stated that the issue in question was of little interest to Immigration. The immigration official would not disclose the identity of the complainants. The proceedings as described to me appeared extremely strange. I posted a blog item about the dangers of deportation and may have implied that the Board and the Administrator may have been involved. Since that posting I have come to the realization that the information on which I based those implications was flawed. I have removed the item from the blog and I am posting this retraction.
I remain convinced that the circumstances surrounding that meeting are questionable. I also realize that an accurate accounting of everything that precipitated that meeting is not currently accessible and will probably not be accessible in the foreseeable future. For this reason, I am convinced that my opinions cannot be substantiated.
I have taken the blog item down, but l have many questions and serious doubts about the motivations and motivators behind this sudden interest in the immigration status of a few homeowners. I have lived in El Parque full time for seven and a half years. Immigration has never, to the best of my knowledge, officially questioned an El Parque homeowner’s status. I find it exceedingly strange that suddenly there have been several inquiries and those inquiries have been specifically directed at homeowners who have been questioning actions of the administration of El Parque.
A blog is nothing more complicated than a vehicle for individuals to freely express their opinions on various subjects. As a matter of principle, I have ALWAYS tried to base my opinions on what I consider verifiable and accurate information. In the case of the deportation blog, my emotions unintentionally overrode my principles. After the fact, I realized that my opinion, correct or incorrect, was based on information that could not be verified. I removed the blog. I DID NOT remove my interest in the subject of the blog item.
As homeowners who have been subjected to the treatment you describe, we want to thank you, Jim, for your support. We have the following first-hand information that indicates your initial post was, in our view, correct, despite your retraction (above)
1. On at least two occasions following our repeated requests for access to the El Parque financial records, beginning September 26, the Administrator told our lawyer that she would ''have Howard and Diane deported".
2. On November 15, two immigration officers called our Casa from the guard house and we invited them in. They stayed for about an hour, spoke to our lawyer by phone, and assured us there was nothing to worry about. The officers were very pleasant young men.
3. On the morning of November 18, before the matter was generally known, a member of the Board of Directors, walked by our Casa with his wife and said to Howard, who was on the front porch, ''You still here?'', and as he continued walking by Howard heard him mention "immigration" to his wife.
4. After receiving summons on December 14, the board president, Howard, and two other home owners attended a meeting on December 17 with a local senior immigration official. One of those home owners had reportedly attended a meeting in which Howard, or his attorney, was falsely accused of attempted bribery. The other home owner had been raucously damned at a general home owner meeting for his reputed association with this blog. Initially, the official spoke to the four together and indicated the immigration department did not want to be involved in internal El Parque disputes but would verify that immigration status permitted complained activities.
Each of the four then met privately with the official. In his, Howard was shown a flyer advertising “DJ Howard" and "500 pesos". He was taken aback; the “price" was absurd and we have no idea who created the flyer and gave it to the official. The official cleared Howard to continue his activities.
Howard and I have heard further information from friends, but have chosen not to include it here since it is not first-hand. However, we do not have to be Sherlock Holmes to arrive at the conclusion that the efforts to have Howard deported are directly related to the other actions taken by the Board and the Administrator to obstruct Howard's attempts to gain access to the financial records.
Thank you again, Jim, and we agree that this is no way to run a condominium!
Howard & Diane Casa #2
posted by Anonymous: 9:30 PM, December 29, 2012
Outrageous. I simply can't believe that a majority of homeowners can agree with this level of persecution and abuse. And the audio from the homeowners meeting is shocking. Sounds like firing up a lynch mob. Good grief ... is it not time for all this to end?
posted by Elaine: 1:04 PM, December 30, 2012
May this add some substantiation.
I signed for receipt of a summons delivered by an El Parque gate guard about 6 pm on Friday, December 14. It ordered appearance at the local immigration office at 11 am Monday December 17. That was for stated revision of immigration status authorizing my stay in the country.
I phoned an attorney and described the situation. He came to our home the next morning, apparently having first contacted the local immigration office. He said to expect being given a hard time, discussed likely manners of doing so, and named an individual believed instrumental to the effort.
The only reason we could envision such inquiry was assumption I was illegally working without authorization. Regulations restrict Tourist, FM3, and FM2 visas holders from working voluntarily or for pay without permits. I don’t have a visa but inmigrado or permanent resident status. Even if I was working, which I was not, it would not have mattered. Permanent residents do not need work permits. The name and address on the summons differed from that of my documents. It was as though the action’s instigator(s) didn’t check but incorrectly guessed my immigration status.
A news reporter arrived at our home with a camera man about 9 AM Monday December 17. They filmed a 20 minute or so private interview with me in Spanish as the reporter requested. We left the conclusion in limbo until the matter progressed. It now has and the reporter will be updated.
I arrived at the immigration office as summoned along with my attorney. We expected a de facto adversarial trial. The attorney remained in the waiting area as the four from El Parque, an interpreter, and the immigration delegate met in his office. The trial didn’t happen.
As Hill and Howard attested, the immigration delegate indicated the department was not interested in El Parque internal disputes but only propriety of immigration status. It was not a simple statement but a lengthy lecture. I thought of the “ ... doth protest too much …” line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Aside from that mentioned, I have no knowledge of any other pertinent contacts between persons or offices, local or otherwise. However, something appeared to have changed and it would seem there must have been initial reason followed by no reason for action over matters for which the department disclaimed interest.
The others from El Parque were dismissed, leaving me alone with the interpreter and delegate. He asked for my immigration documentation and I presented a photo copy of my inmgrado card. He entered its file number in his computer and referred to the screen while asking for my birth date, age, education level, retired profession, and current address. I responded as in Inmigración records.
The delegate stated I was ok and asked if I had any declarations to make. I asked “Why am I here?”, He replied there were complaints about me but did not state their nature and refused to reveal their source.
My wife's and my feelings on receiving the summons were best described by Mr. Hill in his original but now withdrawn post
“… I would like the homeowners to close their eyes and imagine that they, personally, for whatever reason, under whatever circumstances, are being deported from Mexico. Deportation would bring tremendous difficulties to ANY homeowner. Now imagine further that you have divested yourself of EVERYTHING in the U.S. or Canada and you intend to live the rest of your lives in Mexico. You are being deported from your only home and everything you have in the world. Can you picture that in your mind? …”
Those feelings are now increased rather than lessened despite alleviation of immediate concern. The November 17 home owners meeting taught us depressingly well the minds of many we live among. Now we also know the depraved actions that may be taken to maintain whatever it is some fear losing. Deportation was tried but failed. What might be next? Projecting that is frightening to say the least.
Yes, this is posted anonymously. Just ask around.
posted by Anonymous: 10:55 AM, January 01, 2013
A CONVENIENT EXPLANATION FOR THE HOMEOWNERS
I have been extremely puzzled by the fact that our President of the board and John Prichard were summoned to the immigration office for the hearing regarding the immigration papers of George and Howard. Since the Administrator and the board were supposedly not involved in any action against George or Howard, how would immigration even know who Bruce and John were? I considered many scenarios and none of them were pleasant. I have finally arrived at one that will please those homeowners who want to hear nothing but good stuff but say nothing but bad stuff
MAAAAYBE Bruce and John were summoned as witnesses to the sterling characters of George and Howard. YEH!! THAT’S THE TICKET!!! As president of the board that was duly elected to support, protect, and represent all El Parque homeowners, it is only logical that Bruce should ride to the rescue of George and Howard. That could explain why the immigration office was not able to deport George and Howard. I suppose John was there to provide moral support to his fellow homeowners and bear witness to their good character.
Is everyone happy with this scenario? I wish I had thought of it sooner. I wouldn’t have wasted my time posting comments that were logical and made some sense.
posted by Anonymous: 7:18 AM, January 04, 2013
I am pleased that Howard and Diane have put forward an explanation of what they have been doing, but I'm very concerned about the deportation efforts on the part of the board and the administrator. It looks pretty clear to me what's been going on.
I spoke with friends (NOT in El Parque) who are retired Canadian lawyers about the "audit" issue. They didn't believe me when I told them what had been going on until they took a look at this blog. To make a long story short, they both said that there should be no problem with a condo homeowner seeing the financial records of the condo. They said that it is normal in Canada and the States that a person who has money invested in a condo should be able to make sure that the money is being handled properly. They also had a book about condo law in Mexico (in English) that says there's a legal obligation to give a homeowner access to the records. Also, an "audit" is just a way to have a professional look at the records. It is apparently a good idea to have an audit every 2 or 3 years just to make sure things are being done properly.
I don't know what to do about the bad-mouthing and rudeness and deportation efforts. But if I can vote against all this at the AGM, I will.
I am elderly and I don't want a bully coming to my door to yell insults at me, as happened to a friend of mine, so I will sign this blog entry "anonymous".
posted by Anonymous: 11:14 AM, January 06, 2013
I'm also worried. I don't often look at the BLOG. Today my eyes were opened. It's time more people take time to read what has been happening to our neighbours.
Renters should also take time to read the BLOG, you may say you don't give a damn but maybe you should.
posted by Anonymous: 9:14 PM, January 06, 2013
My wife and I are retired Canadians looking for a rental or purchase of house in a gated community in Lakeside. I asked our real estate agent whether there were websites for particular communities and she mentioned that she thought El Parque had a blog or something. After searching, I found this blog. I have no way of knowing what is true or not and I don't know the "players", but I think it is worthwhile telling you that I have absolutely NO intention of investing in El Parque. Frankly, if the blog is a realistic example of the interactions in the community, my wife and I intend to stay far away from the place. I have asked my real estate agent to avoid looking at properties in El Parque. I hope you people manage to sort out your difficulties, but from what I've read, and heard, I somehow doubt that will happen any time soon.
posted by Anonymous: 7:42 AM, January 07, 2013
Oh my. I'm not feeling very hopeful, either. I just wish everyone could sort this stuff out, soon.
posted by Anonymous : 12:02 PM, January 07, 2013
The slogan used to be “Mexico begins outside our gate” as once shouted at a owners meeting. However, bounds of our imagined domain have grown. We now document complaints of barking dogs and dusty machines to our North, a Western theater showing other than silent films, the adjacent restaurant’s music, Southwestern casino patrons screaming, Southern goats and cows that bah, moo, pee, and poo, and the circle closes with halting raucous union gatherings to our East. Homeowners bucking pretended exclusivity were advised “Get the hell out of El Parque” at a recent owners meeting. Applause set the scene for deportation attempts. Will we now also try to deport those bothersome Mexicans outside our gate?
posted by Anonymous : 5:21 PM, January 27, 2013