Thirty-one-year-old AgustÆn Perez of Driggs, Idaho, came to the United States in 1982 to make $4.50 an hour working for a potato farmer in nearby Ashton. He got his green card in 1990. When we interviewed him he was in the midst of remodeling a Mormon church in Jackson. He is preparing to sue federal immigration officials over the way they treated him during the Aug. 28 raid. Some excerpts from his interview follow:
"I went to Jackson to visit my sister. I went to see because I
heard immigration was in town. I thought I'd better see if the
family was okay. I saw the local police; they were searching my
sister's trailer. So I didn't stop. I stopped at my
sister-in-law's. I get out from the car and walk toward my sister's
place. I walk to my sister's and I almost get in the trailer.
"This guy, he says, "Stop,
don't move." I say, "Why?" He said, "Hands up behind your head." I
said, "Why? I didn't do nothing." He started screaming and points a
gun at me, and says, "Don't move," and I say, "Why?"
"The other guy walked around
and grabbed me and pushed me hard against the trailer. It hurt! My
brother-in-law was inside; another woman was inside. She watched
everything, and my neighbor was watching, too. They saw him point
the gun right at me.
pissed off. I said, "Go ahead, pull the trigger. If you're gonna
pull the pistol on a person, use it!" I didn't think they were
going to kill me, I just thought they were trying to scare
"Afterwards, they said,
"Why didn't you say you had papers?" and I said, "Because you
didn't ask me!'
advantage of the Spanish people because they think they're smarter,
or what do they think? That we're less than anybody else? We come
here and we take nothing away. We come here to work because we need
it. We pay taxes, we spend our wages here.
"I'm tired to see so much
corruption from immigration and the police. I don't care about the
money. I just want some justice; that's it. The way they treated
me, I don't like it at all."