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Friday, September 28, 2007

Illegal Immigrant Loses Savings

U.S. Customs Seizes $59,000 From Illegal Immigrant
For 11 years, Pedro Zapeta, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, lived his version of the American dream in Stuart, Florida: washing dishes and living frugally to bring money back to his home country.

Two years ago, Zapeta was ready to return to Guatemala, so he carried a duffel bag filled with $59,000 -- all the cash he had scrimped and saved over the years -- to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

But when Zapeta tried to go through airport security, an officer spotted the money in the bag and called U.S. customs officials.

"They asked me how much money I had," Zapeta recalled, speaking to CNN in Spanish.

He told the customs officials $59,000. At that point, U.S. customs seized his money, setting off a two-year struggle for Zapeta to get it back.
Okay, ignorance of the law is no excuse, and I think illegal immigrants should be deported when they are found and we should be doing more to find them and to secure our borders against them. With that said, this man should get back all of his money less the taxes that he admits he did not pay, and then be sent home. Anything else is cruel and unusual, and just plain unfair.

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