A petition signed by over 134,000 people submitted on the White House’s We-The-People-Website finally garnered a response, an unwelcome one to be sure. The White House’s response implies they are going to take a wait-and-see approach:
The response “The U.S. State Department continues to provide extensive consular assistance to Mr. Tahmorressi, and will do so until his case is resolved,” indicates a bureaucratic brushoff. While no one should expect an armed incursion to return Sergeant Tahmorressi, this response does not bode well as adequate treatment for a veteran of two foreign wars.
Meanwhile, as of today, Andrew Tahmorressi is still incarcerated. This story began in Late March of this year.
On March 31st Sgt. Andrew Tahmorressi was arrested At Tijuana’s El Chaparral Port of Entry for illegal possession of firearms. He missed the last exit before arriving at the border crossing ‘’while driving to meet friends to eat Mexican food in San Ysidro,” Tahmorressi said.
Tahmorressi further stated ”he tried to stop at the automatic crossing gates, but was waved through, and then guided to an inspection area.”
“They say (Mexican officials), ‘What have you got back there?’ I said, ‘A whole lot of stuff and three guns.’ I said, ‘I didn’t even mean to be in Mexico.’”
He was soon surrounded by soldiers and civilian law enforcement officers, and taken into federal custody.
As it turns out, this situation is not all that uncommon. According to The U.S. State Dept. other U.S. citizens have faced arrest for unintentionally violating Mexico’s weapons policy.
Tahmorressi served four years in the Marines, including two tours in Afghanistan, became a section leader and had been promoted to sergeant by the time he was discharged honorably in November 2012.
Recently California Senator Joel Anderson(R) has refused to attend a dinner honoring Mexican President Pena Nieto, stating “I do not have an appetite for foreign officials who deny U.S. citizens their basic human rights.” “I am concerned that our military would feel betrayed if it appeared we condoned the harsh and unfair treatment of Sgt. Andrew Tahmorressi.”
‘’We believe the evidence supports Andrew’s claim that he mistakenly entered into Mexico,” wrote the congressmen. ”One of the most compelling pieces of evidence is a 911 call Andrew made at the border checkpoint, where he stated he was unaware of his location.”
Looking at this photo one could see how missing the last exit could happen as only a portion of the signage is in English.
It may seem easy to decipher to those who live in the area, but to me, one who has never been there, it would be quite confusing.
Secretary of State John Kerry has had conversations with Mexican Officials regarding Tahmorressi, but the content and progress of those conversations are not known.
While these talks will hopefully continue, President Obama has yet to mention Sgt. Andrew Tahmorressi’s name in public, much less taken questions concerning the jailed marine.
There are websites, beside the official government petition website, collecting signatures demanding the release of Tahmorressi and a couple of Facebook pages.
Sgt Andrew Tahmorressi remains in Mexican custody as of this date. And though thousands of Mexicans enter this country illegally every year, Mexican President Pena Nieto has refused to release Tahmorressi.
And the White House has done little to help this veteran.