the dollar vigilante blog
A Message From a US Escapee
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[Editor's Note: The Following is from TDV's Brazilian based correspondent, Tekoa da Silva]
In 2006 I was woken up and pulled out of bed at 3:00 a.m. It must have been a Sunday or a Monday morning, I can’t remember. My bedroom door burst open with a loud voice yelling at me to get out of bed. When I opened my eyes, all I saw was a flashlight beaming in my face. I was taken out of my bedroom, and into my kitchen by a person in black SWAT-looking like gear. This stranger had a machine gun and was telling me what to do and where to go in my own home.
When I entered my kitchen, I walked into a crowd of easily fifteen police and “ICE” officers hanging out and strutting around my living room and kitchen, and in the living room lay the prize, my father, a small older man in his late fifties at the time, bound, handcuffed, and held by three officers twice his size.
What occurred that night was the planting of a seed of fear into my heart. It was the evolution of a series of events which had begun years earlier. The trauma of having my home raided by ICE agents, and watching my father being hauled off in the middle of the night set off a psychological countdown which I simply could not ignore. The survival instincts which I had been instructed to ignore by the “system” for years, had finally kicked in, and told me to get the hell out - which is what I did.
In the late seventies my father immigrated to the United States from Brazil. He was 21 at the time and was looking for a bright future. I was born in 1983, and a few years after that my father was arrested for having a physical altercation with another person. Something which used to just be called fisticuffs... a mild dispute that was resolved amongst the parties involved.
Fast forward to 2004, a few years after 9/11, and a bundle of new laws were being passed targeting resident aliens and illegal immigrants. This was at the height of the immigration debates occurring in newspapers and political forums nationwide. South & Central American Immigrants (whether justified or not) were becoming political punching bags. Many Americans were looking for someone to blame for steadily increasing unemployment levels, and politicians were also looking for someone to blame - in order to take the heat off themselves, the real culprits.
It was during this political climate that a retroactive law was passed, indicating all immigrants/resident aliens who committed crimes of “moral turptitude” were now subject to immigration & deportation hearings. My father, having been in the US for over 30 years fell into this category. On a routine return trip from visiting family in Brazil, he was sequestered in New York City, and had his US passport taken away from him. He was told that if he wanted it back, he would need to go to court. So he did, in what became a few years of spending tens of thousands of dollars on attorney’s fees.
His hearings were unsuccessful, and in the middle of an appeal, our house was raided by ICE, and he was thrown in jail. He sat in there for six months before getting deported to Brazil.
My side of the journey was scary, as I was in my early 20s, my father was the only parent involved in my life and here I was marked with the permanent experience of having your house raided in the middle of the night and seeing a family member carried off by the government. There were just so many life-changing implications involved I didn’t know where to start.
As Alanis Morrisette once said, life isn’t without it’s ironies. The night my house was raided I was wearing a t-shirt from my local police department. For years I participated in citizen police academies, police department community outreach programs, and knew most of the people in the department. So while I was standing in my kitchen watching my dad get hauled off, I was wearing the t-shirt of the same organization taking part in the work. To top it off, one of the officers hauling my dad off was a former high school chemistry classmate. We had lots of fun in high school, and here we were, watching a new reality unfold.
This is an important example of how the people you know and have relationships with, may in fact, be forced to become directly involved with your “handling” should you ever find yourself in a similar situation. I was told at a later date that the local officers had no idea of their assignments for the night, and that ICE simply shows up, provides an address, and “goes to work”.
PSYCHOLOGICAL TRIGGER POINTS
With what I now know is mostly propaganda and brainwashing that the government is good... the police are good, it is amazing to look back on the events that occurred. Until an experience occurs which forces you to walk back in your memory to find out why or how something happened you don't see many of the clues. Then, once you’ve revisited your memory you may think to yourself, why the hell didn’t I see or notice what was going on? Well this was the sensation I was feeling in the years following my father’s deportation. With a clearer, opened mind now I remembered he was audited four times in the previous six years. I remembered (thinking it was funny at the time) how society & law enforcement began treating him much differently after 9/11 because he was a person of color (and maybe also because he had long hair and a beard).
After going over the event thousands of times in my mind, I began to feel that the crackdown on illegal immigrants was to a certain extent getting rid of people who served both as political scapegoats, but also in terms of getting rid of “property” from another country. Handling resident aliens seems to baffle most governments, and it just seemed the easiest way for the U.S. to deal with them, is to turn many of them into criminals and get rid of them. The question remained this. If they are intent on getting rid of all the “property” in which they do not own what will they end up doing with the “property” which they DO own?
AVOIDING THE TIDAL WAVE
In my experience I feel quite lucky because we were benefited by being one of the first. When I say this, I mean that I believe a statistical percentage of Americans will undergo the same experience with potentially far more dangerous & traumatic final outcomes. It is rumored now in alternative news sources that new systems of prison camps have been constructed and are being staffed throughout the US. Looking at the explosive political unrest in Europe, anyone with a brain can surmise this same type of social unrest will occur in the US, quite possibly more intense as the dollar collapses and armed Americans are forced to collide over dwindling supplies of “just in time” food deliveries to the most systematically sensitive food distribution system the planet has ever seen. Looking at it from thousands of miles away, the idiocy behind centralized food production & distribution is the most insane construct of dominoes man could possibly come up with.
I believe as the US slowly moves from being a social & political war zone to an actual war zone many people will be forcibly required to leave their homes and in many cases this may occur in the middle of the night much like my family experienced. While many are in disbelief of this possibility, let me remind readers of the recent bill passed by the administration which gives government the legal right to seize any property or asset within the US borders. This includes giving your luxury home to a senior officer of a local Homeland Security battalion if in fact he desires it (think Schindler’s List).
We’re in low political tide now, and the water is pulling itself back into the ocean, but it will return with a thunderous crash, and in doing so, many entangle your entire body and pull you out to sea.
My advice? Get a DAMN life jacket while you can! Come up with a plan for your family, and get moving. Research a few countries, and go on a 1-3 month research trip. Talk to the guys at TDV, and ask them about their passport & citizenship options (TDVPassports.com), look to get some of your assets outside of the country (Get Your Gold Out Of Dodge), but for god’s sake, just don’t become one of the people who years from now regretted having stayed on the Titanic. And on the bright side, by considering another country and learning a new language, you may become a more valuable employment or productive entreprenurial asset.
Tekoa Da Silva (email@example.com) is an international traveler, investor, writer, and commentator. He is the author of TDV promoted, BulletProof Shares (tdv.bulletproofshares.com) and has been investing in precious metals since 2004, and is currently exploring natural resource investments in Brazil & South America. His commentary may be found at www.bullmarkethinking.com.