Sunday, March 16, 2014

Seating in the Hot Seat

We just got back from an awesome family get away to Garner State Park. It was a last minute trip but it was well worth it. The boys got to hike, and fish, and play!! Brad and I got to get away from the world for a little while and to come together as a family!! We truly had an amazing time! It was our first time to Garner and I promise you it will not be the last!!Anyhow, on our way back home we decided to swing by good old Laredo and pay my mom and friends a (short) visit. It was nice to look through old pictures and to reminisce with our friends and family about the old times and to catch up!! We had a lot of catching up to do!! On our way back home we have to go through the check point and tons of memories flooded my mind about the check point.  Brad asked all the kids to get down from the camper and get in their seats with their seat belts and he asked me to open the blinds on the RV. As we waited in the long check point line we saw tons of 18-wheelers and there we saw the Texas Hold'Em campaign sign. Texas Hold'Em is a Border Patrol initiative that aims to reduce the trafficking of contraband in commercial vehicles such as tractor-trailers, buses and freight carriers by using existing state laws to revoke the commercial driver's license of a person convicted of a smuggling-related offense. According to the Texas Transportation code, a person who holds a CDL is disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for life if convicted of using any motor vehicle during the commission of a felony. Just alone in the Laredo border they have revoked 455 CDLs. Crossing the check points or border is not something I do very often these days and but it was somethings I did almost on a daily basis when I was a kid until we moved to Laredo, Texas.  I was very familiar with Immigration Agents and Border Patrols; they were supposed to be to me like the mailman is to you. Unfortunately, I did not view the IAs and BPs as my friendly mailman, and it was not because they were not nice or friendly it was because I was taught to fear them instead of respecting them. Growing up I remember always getting all pumped up to cross the border. We had to get our border crossing card ready, and get our seat belts on because wearing seat belts were not enforced in Mexico. I also remember hiding the unpitted avocadoes under my seat and possibly some bottles of rum or tequila to avoid paying the tax. I guess some memories don't go away, they are just store in a very far away file and then years later they come flooding back.  Now, years later I realize why I feared these men and women who are only their job, and a good job they do, I am grateful to have these agents protecting our borders!! I feared them because I was always seating in the hot seat, although crossing unpitted avocadoes, pork lard, or tequila bottles may only get you a very small fine, I knew it was wrong and it was illegal but how did I argue that with my mother.  You don't!! I remember wanting to bust out and tell the BP or IA "We have avocadoes or a bottle of tequila under my seat!!!" when he would politely ask, "Do you have anything to declare?” I just wanted the lies to stop, I did not want to lie anymore, and I was fed up with it!! I don't know why my mom thought it was really worth it, it wasn't, it never is, but people still do it. It’s dumb and all it does it makes that kid that seats in the hot seat feel awful about themselves.  This time crossing the check point was a completely different experience, my heart was not pounding and my hands were not sweating it was great to see those men and women in green suits and see the dogs walking around the cars. My kids had a completely different experience than the one I had growing up. We had nothing to fear because we had done nothing wrong. I have learned over the years that honesty is always the best policy and that law enforcement should not be feared but respected!!

No comments:

Post a Comment