I sent this letter to Rep. Derek Kilmer (WA-06). Similar letters were sent to Washington Senators Maria Cantwell (up for re-election) and Patty Murray.
Rep. Derek Kilmer
1520 Longworth House Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Rep. Kilmer,
Let me introduce myself. I am now retired in Mexico. I lived in the Vancouver, BC area for 30 years prior to that. I am also a US citizen, and do my voting in Washington’s 6th district because of a family connection. So, I am a constituent of yours, although a not very well connected one.
I’ve also been involved in PEN International for several years, and it’s because of this organization that I learned about the case described below.
I think it’s likely that you’ve heard about Cedella Roman, the French tourist who accidentally crossed from White Rock, BC into Washington and was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for two weeks. I’m writing to tell you about a similar incident that happened on June 18 on the Mexican border.
It’s about two Mexican journalists, Hérica Martínez Prado of France Press Agency (AFP) and the newspaper El Heraldo de Mexico, and Luis Christian Torres Chávez [Facebook] of Xinhua News Agency. They were arrested by the US Border Patrol while taking pictures at the detention center for migrant children in Tornillo, TX. They were detained for 16 hours, then released after they signed a "voluntary deportation". They are now banned from entering the US for five years. This is in spite of the fact that both of them had valid B1/B2 Visa Border Crossing Cards; Sra. Martínez’ card was valid through November 11, 2020.