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Between the Fences: Before Guantanamo, there was the Port Isabel Service Processing Center Paperback – July 6, 2010
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Hefner, a guard in the 1980s at the Port Isabel immigration detention center in the Rio Grande valley of Texas, witnessed physical, emotional, financial, and drug-related abuses perpetrated on detainees by INS officers. Hefner cites instances of gross misconduct, and laments "the men, women, and children caught between the fences of U.S. government policy and the degenerate power of its enforcers" at Port Isabel. He recalls that INS officers and security supervisors demanded sexual favors from detainees, for example, and unlawful inspections of detainee court papers and possessions. Though Hefner empathized with his fellow guards, he made efforts to stop the abuse, contacting the Office of the Inspector General, the FBI, leading state politicians, and even the U.S. Attorney General, though he doesn't know if his efforts resulted in any action. The author's ethical and political positions are clear; while we send armed servicemen and women to prison for abuse abroad, he states, we don't "...hold federal officials accountable for the same crimes within our own borders." His book is a valuable first-person account of an important and timely subject.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
During these past two years I have run into Tony and we would strike up conversations. From these interactions I have concluded that I have been talking with a gentle and humble man who would give the shirt off his back to anyone who asked for it. He is a man who I admire as he is trying to live a simple life of loving others the way his Lord loves him.
As I read Between the Fences, I was moved by the fact that the man of character that I know in Michigan is the man of character in the book. The story in the book, to me, is about a loving man and his face to face struggle with basically evil: a corrupt system in Port Isabel and very bad people in positions of authority.
Between the Fences is an awesome, informative and simple read that "is a call to action demanding that we look inside the detention centers on our own soil." It is also a wake up call for good people to really think about how they themselves would respond to evil situations that are harming lives of others. I don't know how I would respond; and I pray that I would never be in such a position Tony was in.
Someone once said all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. What Tony Hefner did between the fences gives me hope.
Equally as compelling is Hefner's personal story, woven through, as he tries to come to grips with the horrors at his workplace, and how that affects his ministry in South Texas.
Not only is this a must read, but a completely compelling one as well. You will, in the end, come to know a man of great faith, persistence, and with the inability to turn his face from what he has seen--even as he pays for it with everything, including threats on his life.
With the immigration debate going on, and a much more sensible president,
this is a timely book that shows what people go through attempting to secure a better life for themselves. This reader hopes that Mr. Hefner will truly be heard.
The book is very interesting and inspirational....there are still some "good guys" out there.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good book to read! Real page turner! The events in this book let you know what really goes on in camps for illegals. It is all true!Published on April 23, 2013 by Ariel
When recieving this book as a gift I was very excited to read it. This book made me feel so many emotions.I often asked myself HOW!WHEN!WHAT!and WHY!... Read morePublished on January 24, 2013 by Becca Ann
This is an amazing book that i could not put down once i started. Incredibly informative, and heart wrenching, it was shocking to realize the crimes that are taking place right... Read morePublished on June 2, 2011 by Cooper
In BETWEEN THE FENCES, Tony Hefner tells a harrowing tale of corruption and human rights abuses, committed by both the United States government as well as contractors tasked with... Read morePublished on November 17, 2010 by Kelly Garbato