29. My Deportation to Poland
My Deportation to Poland
My Deportation to Poland is the continuation in a series of hubs about my life of rebellion, dabbling in the Occult, drugs, crime and prison to life-changing conversion through Jesus Christ. Click here to read it from the beginning. In this hub, I will discuss my deportation to Poland after completing my 9 year federal prison sentence.
Not a Chance
As I mentioned in my last hub, when I got near the end of my federal prison sentence, I had to go to immigration court in order to face deportation to Poland. I think I had something like a six months left on my sentence when the proceedings began. Even though I had lived in the United States for most of my life, there was practically no chance of me beating my deportation case.
Several factors play a part in determining whether or not one is deportable, and whether or not one can beat a deportation case. For example, if you are not a United States citizen and are convicted of a felony, you are deportable. If that felony, however, is not drug or gun related, and does not cause you to be incarcerated for over 5 years, you have a shot at beating your deportation case. Since I was convicted of felony drug and gun charges, and had already been in prison for over seven years when I was called upon by ICE to undergo deportation proceedings, I didn’t stand a chance.
Test of Faith
Only a miracle would have been able to rescue me from deportation; and believe me, I prayed! Unfortunately, it was to no avail. They deported me … for life! They made it clear, several times, that I could never legally return to the United States. Now, that didn’t affect my faith; and I didn’t start doubting God or anything like that. I have learned that sometimes God says "no" in answer to prayer. So off I went to Poland, my place of origin, which was practically foreign to me since I had lived in the United States ever since I was three years old. They were practically deporting an American to Poland. I didn’t even speak Polish that well. I still don’t speak Polish that well (howbeit, much better than at the time of my deportation).
I was transferred to Mira Loma Detention Center in Lancaster, CA after receiving my deportation order. There were guys from all over the world there, awaiting deportation: South America, Africa, the Middle East, Russia, Armenia and China, just to name a few. Most guys, like myself, were there for the short term, just waiting to be removed. Other guys had been there for years, appealing their deportation order.
There wasn’t much to do there. Gambling was rife. There were poker tables in each housing unit. Inmates played there, nightly. Bets were made on sports games, also; and there were some other methods of gambling. The jail actually allowed inmates to carry cash, which made gambling easy. There was a limit to how much you can have on you, however. It was something like $70. The rest was supposed to remain on your books (account); but it seemed like hardly anybody followed that rule.
The Gift of Tongues
There were some religious services in Mira Loma Detention Center. I attended some Pentecostal service on Saturday. That was the closes thing to Sabbath services they had. They were interesting. A Pentecostal pastor ministered to us. He was heavy into the gift of tongues. Every time he preached, he would call inmates up to the front to receive prayer from him and be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
I remember this one prisoner who fell straight to the ground and began uncontrollably babbling after receiving prayer. However, this is not biblical. This is a demonic counterfeit of the true gift of tongues. The Holy Spirit comes to give us understanding and control over our lives, not cause us to lose control and fall to the ground writhing, babbling in a language no one can understand.
Surprisingly, I did not see one inmate deny prayer from this pastor. They were becoming demonically possessed, without even knowing it. One time, he pointed to me and said, emphatically, “You, come up here!” I just shook my head side to side and whispered, “No.”
There was money to be made in Mira Loma Detention Center in running a store. That is when you resell items purchased from the canteen. We were allowed to shop at the canteen once a week. However, were limited to the amount that we could spend, so food ran out quickly. Our limit was something like $80. That is not a lot in jail, where everything is extremely over priced. I even ran a little bit of a store, myself.
I got caught off guard with my store, though; because the day after I maxed out my shopping limit, and had my neighbor do the same (I paid him a few bucks so that I could use his account, because he had no money), I got called to be deported. I thought, what am I going to do with all of this stuff I bought!? I acted fast. I dumped everything on my bunk bed and hollered, “Sale!”. I was instantly wheeling and dealing with about 20 inmates, gathered around my bed, and I sold all of my merchandise within approximately 5 minutes.
They don’t tell you your deportation date when awaiting deportation. They say it’s for security reasons. I was in the detention center for about 5 weeks before being called to “roll it up” (pack up and go). I was taken to a room to change into some prison issued clothes that I had received (blue jeans, a white t-shirt, and some funky Velcro shoes); and then I was loaded into a minivan to be driven to LAX. I flew from LAX to Chicago O’Hare, and from Chicago O’Hare to Warsaw, Poland.
There was a plain-clothes officer waiting for me, to escort me at each airport, to make sure that I made it onto the plane and to my destination. In the interim, I was allowed to use an officers cell phone to let my family know that I was on my way to Poland. After landing in Warsaw, Poland, a Polish official in a military uniform took me into his office and questioned me. He asked me about the reason for my deportation and the duration of my incarceration. I suspect the United States didn’t share that information with Poland.
Freedom, at Last
After being questioned, I was set free. My father was waiting for me at the airport. He was in Poland on work related matters. It was an amazing coincidence. He hadn’t been to Poland for maybe 10 years. Yet, at the time of my deportation, he received a contract to do a job there from a Polish associate of his. I’d like to think that God had something to do with that.
The good thing about being deported to Poland is that I have no criminal record in the E.U.; and I didn’t have to report to a probation officer upon my release. I was completely free! However, the challenges of freedom are just as great, or maybe even greater, than being imprisoned. At least in prison I always had a place to sleep, food to eat, and a job. That’s not guaranteed in the real world.
I have been free from prison for over a year now, with no stable employment. It’s tough out here. I had some difficulties finding work in Poland, so I made my way to England. I spent four months there with little success, so I returned to Poland. I’m lucky I have some support from my family. There’s no telling where I would be without them. At the writing of this hub, I'm still without stable employment. I am hoping my writing will help supplement my income. In other words, please share this story!
In my next hub, I will speak about some of the challenges I faced while readjusting to society. Click on the link below to read it.