Illegal Dishwasher Loses $59,000.00 to US Customs

          Basically, Zapeta was in America for 11 years making minimum wage.  Living modestly, he scraped together $59,000.00 to take back to Guatemala to buy land and create a better life for his family.  When he tried to go home, airport security spotted the money in the bag and detained him.  You’re legally required claim anything over $10,000.00 for international flights, and Zapeta’s money was seized.  He has received $10,000.00 in the form of gifts and donations since then, but the government has given him until January 2008 to leave the country.  In the mean time, he may legally work to earn enough money for his own ticket.

          Where to begin?  While I do believe our policy on illegal aliens needs to change, this is just insane. Charge him back taxes (he admitted to not paying them), fine the employer for hiring him to begin with and not taxing his wages, and then give him what is left to take home.  This man was not sending his children to our schools.  He was not making babies and having his wife deliver them in our hospitals and giving them all medical care at the expense of taxpayers.  He was not running drugs or heavy arms into or out of the country.  I can think of far worse things than busting your ass for minimum wage to take home to your family.  Seriously.  He wasn’t trying to smuggle his family into the US.  He was trying to go home and make a better life in his own country…  He might have taken a job from a 15 or 16 year old, but how many American citizens do you think would have kept that job for 11 years?  How many American citizens do you think would have kept that job after taking on other responsibilities and seeing only a $.25 raise? 

          The employer is also HUGELY at fault here, and yet, you see no mention of them.  If this man worked there for 11 years, I guarantee he is not the only person employed there who is not a legal citizen.  They are just as guilty of a crime as he is.  What is happening to them?

          My final question…  How exactly did someone see $59,000 in a bag?