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Deported from America to Africa
deported from a USA hospital to Kenya
Although its now nearing two years, my deportation from America still hurts and it seems like it happened yesterday.
It was on March 31st 2014 after mid-night, (California time). I had been on a long hunger strike at San Diego Hospital protesting against cruel and inhumane treatment that I as a foreigner had faced through the USA injustice system and Courts. I had not eaten or drunk anything in twenty seven days. I was being force fed through IVs. As if it was not enough that
I dreaded deportation
I had spent five years in California State Prison for my first offence of lighting a little rug on fire where nobody got hurt and additional seven months in immigration jail representing myself for an asylum case, I was again facing deportation. I didn't want to get deported. I wanted a second chance. I felt like I had served more than enough time in prison for a small mistake that had been blown into something so big. I was hurting, crying, begging, apologizing and praying everyday to remain in the United States so I can start a new life there. I knew that I had nothing in my home Country to return to, both my parents were dead, my brother sick, my sister a divorced single mom, there was no way I could survive if I was returned to Africa. After all, I had only gone to the United States with one intention, to get a better life.
"Where am I going to?" I kept asking but nobody answered me.
I remember a stretcher being rolled onto my hospital bed and a tall Hispanic immigration official telling me to either role on the stretcher alone or I will be moved there by force. I had no idea what was happening. I asked " where am I going to?" and they said "you are being transferred" "to where? I asked. to which I received no answer. I didn't move and I was roughly thrown on the stretcher and all my IV's disconnected.
There was an ambulance team and at least four immigration officials from San Diego. As they rolled me out of the hospital I kept asking where I was going to and nobody answered. Later when I had been put inside the ambulance, the immigration guys got on a different vehicle. That was when one of the ambulance staff looked at a piece of paper and read it and told me that my final destination was Kenya.
My soul was now "resting in peace" I had lost the five years+ legal battle
Very strangely I felt a sense of peace. I had lost this battle. It was like I died and my soul was now "resting in peace" After 5 years of pain, abuse, being beat up by police men, hunger-strikes, courts, disappointments, I had lost the fight. I suddenly went very quiet and never spoke again until I saw my family crying by my bed side at Matter Hospital on Dunga road south B in Nairobi Kenya.
But it was going to be a long journey before we got to Nairobi. We first went to a small Airport where I was put on a small private jet to Houston, TX. Here I turned a deaf ear to all the conversations that were going on. I only remember those guys discussing how expensive that private jet was.Then, I remember arriving in Houston and it was freezing. Like a suck of potatoes I was thrown outside and left to freeze to death. The immigration officials, the pilots and medical staff who were deporting me laughed and said how deportation was always "so much fun" for them.
They even hired a breathing therapist to deport me on a US military plane
Then I was thrown inside a military plane. In total, there were at least 10 people getting paid to deport me. There was a doctor, a nurse, many pilots, 4 immigration officials, a breathing therapist.The United States Government was willing to pay more than $ 1,000,000 to deport one harmless girl instead of spending less than $10,000 to put me through college or help me start a new life after overpaying for my debt to society.
I remember that there was another sick guy who was also being deported to Congo. He was put in "my" military airplane later on. All the deportation staff were partying, talking very loudly, excitedly and they didn't give a damn about weather I was "breathing" or not. They were getting paid to party and drink and vacation to Africa. During the more than 24 hour flight, I was never even offered a bottle of water, arriving at Jomo Kenyatta international Airport when I was completely dehydrated and tired. remember I had not eaten in 27 days.
The plane stopped in Congo for a short while and then the trip to Nairobi began. This was when the officers deporting me got very excited about their "free vacation to Africa." They kept saying they were going to "party at Carnivore when they arrived not even considering that I was homeless in my own Country after being away for nearly 10 years. They confirmed that they would be sleeping at the most expensive hotels in Nairobi and they laughed and joked and mentioned all the delicacies that they would try. They also warned each other about what not to eat, where not to go and what not to drink. They were in heaven! they were deporting me.
I'm still keeping the bloody hospital gown, the only piece of clothing I was deported in.
Did I tell you what I was wearing? a bloody hospital gown that has no back! I was being deported with no panties, no bra. My butt was bare naked and the gown only covered the front of me. and they found this funny too at-least until I arrived at Jomo Kenyatta international airport when they got embarrassed and tried to force me to wear jail clothes.
"Dont touch her anymore! we are on Kenyan soil now"
I was so quiet but broke my silence at the Airport in Nairobi when I felt that my privacy was being violated by 6 -10 strong men trying to force me to wear American jail clothes in my Country. I started screaming. "no! leave me alone! go eat at the carnivore! go stay at Hilton and Serena hotel! and leave me homeless and dead! go dance and toast cheers to my tears! I have been naked on this plane for over 24 hours! get me out naked! let my Countrymen see who and what the real American government is!" They started kicking me and beating and handling me very roughly until the Kenyan immigration officials arrived in the Airplane running and commanded all of them to stop. " Its enough! we are in Kenyan soil now! I order you not to touch her anymore" and all the excited team froze. Immediately the Kenyan official called the American investigative unit to investigate my abuse and torture by the US government. The Kenyan red cross was also called to rush me with an ambulance to an emergency room.
Upon seeing how I looked, Matter rejected me and kept saying that I should be taken to Kenyatta National hospital (the worst gvt hospital in Nairobi) This was until they realized that it was the white man who was paying for my medical bills that they became very friendly.
how my hunger strike ended
Finally my brother arrived and found me fully covered in a white bed sheet. He assumed that I was dead and started shaking me and crying. That was when I lifted my head, smiled and told my brother "Im not dead, do you have Tilapia? I want to eat."
I will be writing more about this story. My ultimate goal is to find a publisher for my book that tells it all "Incarceration in America, from an immigrant's perspective". My official website is www.mercelineonyango.com