The information on the website has the following as the first sentence. This was
what broke my heart; "This is a true story of how in one day with no warning
two, American children Dereck and Sandra McClurg lost their single mother to the
Department of Homeland Security on July 01, 2004."
Let's just imagine for a moment the following scenario...a beautiful young
33 year old woman, a White South Africaaner, permanent resident in the US for
over 15 years, owner of a successful business and a gorgeous home, with two
children born in the USA, one failed marriage and a new love in her life with
plans for a future together and talk of a wedding. And Penny, 6 weeks pregnant,
filled with hope with her new man and new relationship. She had committed a
crime, years ago, but she had done her time and paid her debt to society--the
only blemish on her past in the middle of a life that she had worked so hard
to make successful while giving back to her community in thanks by doing the
work she does. Everything seems fine and love and the future are looking rewarding.
No one seemed to know about the danger lurking...
This same woman gets an official document stating that she must meet some governmental
officials at Tampa International Airport at Airside F. Not for anything serious,
she is assured that the meeting will be a simple one, just to answer a few questions.
This young lady goes to the appointed meeting. No one at this particular office
within the airport knows why she is there. She has waits for five hours. Since
the office does not seem to know the purpose of why Penny was asked to come
and has no record of any appointment with this young lady, she is asked to come
back the next day and she does this in good faith. The next day she is escorted
from Airside F by a Homeland Security Official and she is told that all of her
questions will be answered at her next destination. The official cannot tell
her where she is going, only that she is being officially detained. She is not
permitted legal representation. There are no charges recorded or filed. There
are no provisions or custodial plans made for her minor children. Instead there
are Human Rights violations committed. She is carted away to Turner Guilford
Knight County Jail Immigration Unit in Miami in handcuffs and shackles.
And the situation spirals downward. Several days later, Penny asks to be seen
by medical personal as she is concerned about her pregnant condition and the
stress brought on by her sudden detention and her requests are ignored for several
days. A few weeks later she starts to miscarry. On July 15th, 2004 she is taken
to Jackson Memorial Hospital and sits in the waiting room in an orange prison
uniform and in shackles and handcuffs and two guards present at all times. Doctors
and Triage make no notice of her until she starts to hemorrhage in the waiting
room after hours of sitting there with no medical attention. She is then given
a DNC without an anesthetic.The anesthetic is given to her AFTER the medical
procedure to kill the pain. She is dragged to the DOC truck after the procedure
and taken immediately back to the holding facility. To this date, she has never
had a follow up appointment with a doctor.
You are thinking, she must have committed a crime that she has not done time
for or is guilty of some kind of some sort of terrorist activity. Otherwise,
you say, this could NEVER happen in America! Oh, REALLY? Well, it HAS!
Penny has been detained with no specific charges since July 1, 2004. The official
reason for her detention is for what is called a "deferred inspection."
This resulted from a cruise Penny took in June of 2003. She had left the States
and then re-entered within a 4 day period. Legally she should have had her resident
alien card taken at that time and substituted with a temporary card to be updated
to a more permanent ID card later. This did not happen. Instead, she was allowed
to leave and re-enter within a short period of time during those dates, again
in September of 2003 and then again in May of 2004.
It would seem that something like this could be easy and simple to rectify
by checking paperwork. It would seem that all of this could be taken care of
with Penny on the "outside," taking care of her children, being with
her family, working and being a productive member of her community. It would
ALSO seem that this is a government screw up that Penny is being held liable
for, and in the process it has destroyed her life and the lives of her children,
fiance and family. Penny is aware of many other stories about women who have
been abruptly seperated from their children in the same way she has been.
Penny has been told by legal counsel that if she is allowed and chooses to
be deported, she will probably never again be able to return to the States.
If she chooses to stay and fight, her detention could be indefinite. Penny has
been a permanent resident here in the US since 1991 when she was 15 years old
and to her knowledge, her status has and had never changed.
This has been a nightmare for her fiancee, Eric and her children and father
who are taking care of her business and home. Eric, her financee is a 10 year
Navy veteran and is appalled at how this case ie being handled and worried about
his fiancee, her medical condition and the stress that she is under. He and
Penny's father are taking care of the children. No governmental agency has ever
checked on the status of the children and their situation to this date. One
can only imagine the repercussions of what would have happened if there was
not anyone to take the children. They would have been swallowed up by the State
with no way for anyone to trace their whereabouts. This is not in accordance
with American standards, for no one to have a voice for these children and to
check on their care. Eric wants the world to know that these kind of atrocities,
those of the 'DISAPPEARED," that one would think could only be happening
in the Third World are happening right here in the USA.
Penny says that in every way this is NOT a holding facility for illegal immigrants
but is a jail and all the daily procedures are the same; lights out, lock down
four times a day, formations and searches. She sees visitors through glass,
wears an orange prison uniform, has been temporarily detained in holding facilities
that have been smeared with feces, has been refused medical care and is given
unpotable drinking water and spoiled food. She is in contact with Eric as often
as she can be, by phone, letter and when he can visit her. Penny's detention
has been a surprise to everyone who knows her. Eric has tried desperately to
get the news out and has contacted government officials and media and no one
has picked up on Penny's story.
Please help Eric, Penny and the children!