Friday, March 21, 2008

The Devil You Don't See

One of the most remarkable things about the undercover investigation described in "An Agent, a Green Card, and a Demand for Sex" is the role that digital audio and ubiquitous recording devices played in this story of a corrupt U.S. federal immigration agent who bullied a terrified female Columbian immigrant into providing oral sex in his car under the duress of threats of deportation of herself and her family members. From the New York Times story, readers can click on a link to excerpts from the actual audio file that the woman recorded using her cell phone of his wheedling, bargaining, and pleas for affection. The story is another interesting example of the multimedia journalism of Nina Bernstein, who has lately embraced working in the genre.

The website for the Immigration and Naturalization Service does not yet appear to acknowledge that this abuse of federal power took place, which apparently involved another victim as well, who was taped by prosecutors after this first woman came forward. The INS does, however, feature an enraged response to a New York Times editorial, "Fit to Print," from current director Emilio T. Gonzalez.

(In the interest of full disclosure I should also probably admit that I looked up to Nina in college and gratefully took rides from her in what I remembered to be a very posh car.)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is what happens when government agents feel like monsters. They practice abusing power thinking that they are protected by their leaders. I have not seen one ordinary USCIS office yet and I will never will. They all think that they are GOD. Sorry God, you know I believe in you.

2:57 PM  

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