published Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Wife fears husband abducted near border

VOLUNTARY DEPARTURE


An illegal immigrant who voluntarily leaves the United States without an order of deportation “concedes removability” but may later seek legal admission. Someone who is deported can be barred from applying to come to the United States for as long as 10 years, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Krista Blas last heard from her husband more than a week ago and she fears for his safety.

Bernardo Blas Alonso is a Mexico native who lived in the United States for 12 years, eight of those in Cleveland, Tenn.

Earlier this year, he agreed to leave the country voluntarily rather than be deported and was dropped off somewhere along the U.S.-Mexican border on June 2. His wife doesn’t know where.

When they spoke June 4, she said, he told her he was in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, across the border from Brownsville, Texas. He asked if she had wired him the $45 she promised Friday evening.

At 7:30 p.m. that Saturday, her cell phone rang. The call was from an Arizona area code.

“I understand you have someone at the border; is it your boyfriend or your husband?” the caller asked her in Spanish.

“It’s my husband,” she replied in the best Spanish she knows.

“Do you want to see him again?” asked the man, who called himself Freddy and said he was in Houston with her husband.

If she did, Freddy said, she had to wire $500 to a person in Mexico. If she didn’t send the money, she wouldn’t see her husband alive again. Blas said she told the man she didn’t have any money and wanted to talk to her husband, but the man hung up.

Immigrant kidnappings for ransom are rampant in Mexico, and Blas fears that her husband may have become a victim.

From September 2008 to February 2009 — the most recent period available — 9,758 immigrants were kidnapped in Mexico, according to the National Human Rights Commission of Mexico.

They commonly are tortured until they give the kidnappers a relative’s phone number, the commission report states.

Few answers

Blas later confirmed that the phone call from her husband was indeed from a neighborhood in Matamoros, not near Houston.

But she got three more calls and the demand went up to $1,000, Blas said.

She contacted the Cleveland Police Department, which put her in touch with the FBI.

Bureau spokeswoman Stacie Bohanan, in Knoxville, confirmed that the Chattanooga office received a call and said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement verified that Bernardo Blas Alonso was released into Mexico.

Bohanan said Blas should contact Mexican authorities because the possible kidnapping took place there.

Armando Bellos, spokesman for the Mexico consulate in Atlanta, wrote in an email that Blas should contact the office of the Mexican attorney-general.

Bohanan said all cases and circumstances are different, but “there have been instances in the past where the same type of situation, after being investigated further, have been unfounded.”

Blas said she’s thought about the possibility of a hoax, but the fact that she had just changed her cell phone number and that he hasn’t called in a week worries her.

Another possibility, she said, is that Bernardo Blas Alonso tried to sneak back into America and got caught up with the wrong people. But last she talked to him, his plans were to live in Cancún, Mexico, with relatives until he could come back legally.

“He has been calling me every day or every other day for the last two months,” she said. “I know he would find a way to call me.”

Domestic altercation

Bernardo Blas Alonso was detained on March 26 after Krista Blas called the police during an argument.

Though the case was dismissed, local authorities found out he was in the country illegally and called the immigration office.

He was held in different detention centers until he was released last week from Oakdale, La.

Krista Blas, a U.S. citizen who has been married to Blas Alonso almost seven years, said they hadn’t applied for his citizenship because they didn’t meet the financial requirements. She said they were getting ready to do so after she got a raise at work, and they were about to buy a house.

“I didn’t know they would check his status for something like that,” she said about calling the police. His record also shows driving charges and another domestic and false imprisonment charge from 2005, also dropped, according to Bradley County General Sessions Court officials.

“It’s one thing after another,” she said. “I’m just trying to work and keep my family together.”

about Perla Trevizo...

Perla Trevizo joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 2007 and covers immigration/diversity issues and higher education. She holds a master’s degree in newswire journalism from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Texas. In 2011 she participated in the Bringing Home the World international reporting fellowship program sponsored by the International Center for Journalists, producing a series on Guatemalan immigrants for which she ...

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Echo said...

Ah yes, and the underlying suggestion is that somehow the United States is responsible for the 12 years that this person lived in the U.S. illegally, or that Mexico is corrupt.

If only Bernardo had purchased one of the many "assault rifles" that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms allowed to be illegally purchased from legitimate gun dealers in the U.S. under instructions from the BATFE and smuggled into Mexico to "track them" and then let them walk (meaning let this remain in the possession of criminals). Some have been traced to the murder of two U.S. federal agents and dozens of Mexican police.

Maybe some of those 1785 high power "assault rifles" which Barry Husein Obama and Eric Holder say they know nothing about, are being used to hold Bernardo captive, although I'd venture to say his bloated corpse is floating in the Rio Grande.

Illegal alien wife beaters who require police response at taxpayer expense should consider the wisdom of returning to Mexico via Matamoros, Juarez, Nogales, or Tiajuana, boarder cities where a drug war is in full pitch.

June 12, 2011 at 7:04 a.m.
Wilder said...

Perla, Perla, ever pulling at our heartstrings about the plight of the poor downtrodden illegal aliens, who are only here to make life better for themselves and us.

The implication is that all of Mexico is a very, very dangerous place and returning an illegal alien to Mexico is the same as a death sentence.

A more accurate piece of journalism would point out that the violence is mostly confined to specific border regions, and besides, who cares what happened to this guy, given his resume?

June 12, 2011 at 8:29 a.m.
Wilder said...

BTW Perla, have you heard about all of the illegal aliens that are fleeing Georgia as a result of Georgia's new immigration law? According to an article in Dalton's newspaper, a lot of them are moving to Chattanooga as soon as school is out; that would be about now.

What does this mean for Chattanooga? The ERs should be gathering up more chairs for their waiting rooms; the same goes for the office that administers Tenncare. The schools should be drawing up plans for either expanding exsisting schools or building new ones.

Of course, a lot of Spanish speakers will have to be hired for all public facilities, and more bilinguals to interpret in the hospitals, courts and etc.

When the tourist stop coming, Fraizer Ave. should be an ideal location for the mercados that relocate from Dalton. And, I think Coolidge Park will make excellent soccer fields. No need to fund the construction of those. Maybe Dalton can convert theirs to more softball fields now; you can never have enough of those.

You might also want to make sure that you have uninsured motorist coverage on your auto, and you might want to buy a bigger car too. Those SUVs and P/Us can cause a lot of damage.

Be prepared to stop going through drive thru windows at all of the fast food establishments; you will have to get out of your car, go inside and point at the menu.

And, when you think the news couldn't get any worse, Alabama just passed a tougher immigration law than Georgia or Arizona. Chattanooga might just become the El Paso of the East.

June 12, 2011 at 9:09 a.m.
Veritas said...

When all the ILLEGAL ALIENS leave Georgia (the sooner, the better) they will come to Chattanooga and Perla Trevizo will have more sob stories to write about and they will be closer to home. Perhaps she could adopt two or three of them. I personally hope this ILLEGAL ALIEN never returns. Adios amigo!

June 12, 2011 at 9:42 a.m.
nucanuck said...

I'll bet Perla finds local intolerance as sickening as I do. In my early days there was anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish, and of course anti-Black sentiment. The more recent addition of anti-Muslim and anti-Hispanic hate gives a fuller spectrum for our home-grown HATERS.

Good ole boys never were.

June 12, 2011 at 2:25 p.m.
Wilder said...

@ numbnucks

You left out the anti-good ole boy sentiment of foreign-grown HATERS, which I find sickening. You obviously don't practice what you preach.

Us good ole boys(LOCAL CITIZENS)are never going to buy your ludicrous argument that we are somehow obligated to tolerate and financially sustain people who have a different culture, don't speak our language, openly display their disdain for us,and our rule of law, and not only maintain their allegiance to another country but also claim our country was stolen from theirs.

Almost everyone is aware that illegal aliens are here because the business sector's lobbyists literally purchased the inaction of our corrupt politicians.

Their ablility to circumvent our immigration, labor and tax laws, and callously saddle their fellow citizens with massive social and economic costs, has apparently paid big dividends.

Anyone who thinks the business sector(in Dalton, that would be the carpet cartel), has a humanitarian bone in their body is delusional.

The good ole boys should reserve a large portion of their contempt for the employers of illegal aliens and the bottom feeding politicians who enabled them.

June 12, 2011 at 4:03 p.m.
Wilder said...

Just a little info for the good ole boys in Chattanooga.

The Militant

A socialist newsweekly published in the interests of working people Vol. 75/No. 23 June 13, 2011 (lead article) ‘Legalization for all undocumented now!’ Georgia law is blow to workers’ solidarity by Rachael Fruit

“To win this fight we need to take to the streets,” said Arturo Perez, who helped build and organize a May 1 rally here demanding that the governor not sign the bill. The Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights has announced protests for July 1.

Supporters of the Militant visited Dalton, a city in the northwest part of the state, May 28 to talk with workers about how the capitalist crisis and attacks on workers’ rights are affecting their lives.

Dalton, known as the “Carpet Capital of the World,” is a city of about 30,000 with more than 150 carpet plants. More than 90 percent of the functional carpet produced in the world today is made within a 65-mile radius of the city. Half the population is Hispanic.

Workers from Dalton were among the largest groups participating in the May 1 rally. “ ‘themilitant.com”

June 12, 2011 at 4:44 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Wilder, your indictment of the system I can agree with, hating poor workers from anywhere, who want to work, is misdirected. US rules and lack of enforcement have allowed illegals to be treated as semi-legals. To hate them is pure intolerance.

June 12, 2011 at 6:26 p.m.
wifemom1127 said...

To Perla: Thanks for believing in me and my family and publishing a beautiful & honest story. I am extremely thankful. To everyone else: My husband is bi-lingual, pays his taxes, is not on any public assitance, took care of my family, goes to church, has a driver's license & is a great guy. He only had two small instances which had landed him in jail & they were not that big of a deal. He's not a "wife-beater" and he's not the stereotypical hispanic. He couldn't get his Visa cause I myself didn't meet the financial requirements. The government makes it unattainable & unaffordable. People should be more open minded to see all sides of the story & not be so judgmental when they don't know the whole story. He was the best dad he could be to my kids for the last 8 years & took care of them. Their biological father is American, is over $60,000 behind in his child support & never calls them ever... he's also made 4 more kids of his own and is on all kinds of government assistance... and he's American. So you people should think about that one for a while... instead of jumping to incorrect conclusions.

June 12, 2011 at 6:44 p.m.
Wilder said...

@ numbnucks

Intolerance is not synonymous with hate; that's your contrived and inaccurate definition.

If I'm intolerant of a neighbor's dog that barks incessantly, it doesn't mean that I hate the dog, or the neighbor. What it means is that the neighbor has the responsibility to not allow his dog to bark, and if I choose not to tolerate it, I will take some action to resolve the problem.

If the neighbor adopts your methodology, instead of doing something to quieten the dog, he will accuse me of intolerance, and hating his dog. In other words, the one committing the offense will attempt to turn the offended into the offender.

The huge influx of illegal aliens diminished numerous quality of life measures for Dalton's citizenry. That isn't debatable; it is a documented fact, and I have personally experienced it.

Everyone in Dalton is fully aware of the identity and status of the little group who knowingly recruited and employed tens of thousands of illegal aliens, and that their sole motive was personal financial gain.

I can tell you with complete honesty that I have never encountered anyone in my generation from Dalton who thinks that what the carpet cartel did was necessary, or in any way benefited any of Dalton's citizenry beyond the offenders.

In other words, by your definition, we are all intolerant good ole boys, and hate mongers.

For whatever it is worth, you meet my definition of a fool.

June 12, 2011 at 7:56 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Yep Wilder, I'm a fool and you're a freaking genius...how could I have missed it.

June 12, 2011 at 8:31 p.m.
Wilder said...

Don't know numbnucks, it should have been obvious.

June 12, 2011 at 9:05 p.m.
Echo said...

How intellectually LAZY is it to classify every dissenting opinion as "hate"?

First off, what's wrong with hate? Where is the problem with hating that which is objectionable?

Second, if you have a problem with hate, do you hate hate? That would make you....a Hater! It's a conundrum is it not? How can you live with yourself? You can't? Step into traffic.

June 12, 2011 at 9:22 p.m.
tsquared said...

Wilder, your poorly disguised racism is rather offensive. This was a story, at the heart of it, about a man whose life is very likely at risk. Whatever my opinions on legal vs. illegal residency, that is a tragedy. It is no less sad that this happens to a man named Bernardo than if it happened to one named Bernie. This is a human being. If you want to fault the author for bringing politics into this, that would be understandable. Did the author possibly impose her personal bias into the story - probably. And yet, at the heart of the story, a man is missing and his family is grieving. This man and his family will be in my prayers tonight... as will you.

June 12, 2011 at 9:28 p.m.
HannaBeckman said...

If this article is correct, why is'nt this woman married to this illegal alien being charged with harbouring an illegal alien? A 4th degree felony. Perla, do some honest reporting, contact the local D.A. and police, and ask them why she has not been charged! As for this B.S. of kidnapping, willing to bet this jerk is married to a Mexican, and has kids too. And his wife, what a serious case of denial. Been arrested for spousal abuse in the past, along with other crimes, and she says..He is an excellent dad???? So lets see a follow-up on pending charges, or just SHUT UP with your very slanted writings.

June 12, 2011 at 9:31 p.m.
brokentoe said...

Well, if nothing else since 9/11 all the racist bigots came out of hiding. How were y'all lable to keep all that racist hatred under wraps for so long without exploding is a miracle.

June 12, 2011 at 10:09 p.m.
brokentoe said...

Well, if nothing else since 9/11 all the racist bigots came out of hiding. How y'all were able to keep all that racist hatred under wraps for so long without exploding is a miracle.

June 12, 2011 at 10:10 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Maybe the dregs of the local gene pool feel threatened by outsiders of any type.

June 12, 2011 at 11:14 p.m.
wifemom1127 said...

To HannaBeckman: You don't know the whole story obviously. My husband got arrested once because of having an argument with me that didn't involve leaving any physical harm to me at all. He went to 6 months of anger management classes & was a changed man. He had a driving / insurance issue & resolved it and is an insured, licensed driver now. He only had minor things on his record like anyone else. He's a super dad cause he played with my children, bought them what he needed & loved them for 8 years when their birth father (American) abandoned them. I can't get arrested for "harboring" because we filed to get his visa twice & he was only denied because I myself didn't make $26,000 a year that the government requires. You obviously don't know the process & how difficult it is to be approved for a visa - doesn't mean we didn't try. And like I mentioned before, he paid his taxes yearly & followed every other law of the land. I was just waiting to buy a home & get a raise & then I was going to reapply for his visa. He got returned to Mexico only because he didn't have his visa & because our lawyer stole our $2,500 and ran basically. He had a clear record when he was taken out of the country. You have no clue what my family is dealing with, missing someone who meant a lot to them. Why don't you get a soul, you poor sad creature?

June 15, 2011 at 8:44 p.m.
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