Deported! Leaving Mexico the hard way: Part 1

in adventure •  11 months ago


"Tell me the truth! Are you legal or illegal!" the immigration agent shouted in Gela's face. Actually, Gela quite clearly had permission to be in Mexico, as she'd just entered a few days before. The agent didn't realise that he was holding my passport. After scrambling the papers around in a confused manner, he turned his attention to me.

"Come on - come with me! People are in a hurry to get where they're going!"

-Hang on, I'm going to call the embassy.-

"No, no, you're coming with us!"

Gela said she would come too, and they refused. The people around us started to protest, noting how ridiculous the whole thing was, how they'd prevented me from calling the embassy and prevented Gela from coming along.

They let me collect my stowed luggage, Gela gave me a hug and told me if I control my emotions, I can control my reality. I assured her everything would be okay, and we got on a 15 seater van with mesh on almost all the windows.

-How are we all?- I said to the 5 Salvadorians in the back, as I put my luggage on the front seat.

"Not so good," the man responded.

Half an hour down the road, the van pulled into a truck stop so the agents could get some coffee. They asked the Salvadorian woman if her young child had eaten so they could get him something.

A minute after walking away, the agent came back and locked the door. Whoops.

While they were inside, I reached over to the front seat and took my phone out. I posted on Facebook saying I'd been detained by immigration and was being taken to Mexico City. I also took out my travel towel and gave it to the child next to me so she could stay warm.

After a nice relaxing meal, the agents returned, and gave the young boy a piece of pan dulce. They asked me for my passport in Spanish, and I feigned ignorance.

"What's up with this fucking dickhead?" one of them said.

I had to ask myself if I really wanted to make enemies of the people currently controlling my fate. I took out my passport and handed it to them.

We got to the immigration centre in Iztapalapa and we were waiting for authorisation to enter. An agent from the centre came out to watch us.

"Where are you from?"


"Hm... What did they pick you up for?"

I shrugged.

"How long have you been in Mexico?"

-I'd prefer to speak to the embassy before I answer any questions.-


He said fair enough, then he started making conversation talking about kangaroos and the Sydney 2000 Olympics, and asking if Australia was a dangerous place, if there was any threat of terrorism. Later I realised, by making conversation, I'd unwittingly responded to three key questions about seeking refugee status in Mexico. Oops.

We got inside and they catalogued my things. As I was unlinking my tripod case from my backpack, I started whistling "Cielito Lindo" or something similar. One of the agents stood over me and said "Are you high? Are you on marijuana? Do you have marijuana with you?" I laughed and told him no. For some reason having someone still be cheerful while being detained by immigration was disturbing to them - perhaps just because it was unusual, or perhaps because it communicated a subtle, but clear, message of rebellion: You might control my physical presence, but you will not control my soul.

To be continued... Part 2 Part 3

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"Are you high? Are you on marijuana? Do you have marijuana with you?" I laughed and told him no. For some reason having someone still be cheerful while being detained by immigration was disturbing to them

Hahaha, this was great.

if I control my emotions, I can control my reality...You might control my physical presence, but you will not control my soul.

This is a super powerful message that cannot be taught by mere words, thank you for painting this lesson in a beautiful manner. Our minds are controlled by how we react to situations, and if we can find the positive in each instance then we can be free of the torment of Maya.

Great post, I look forward to reading the rest of the story.

Wow. I intense situation my friend. I'm glad you are able to keep a clear level head through this whole thing. Kill them with kindness I always say!

Good luck and be careful. I'm interested to find out how this story ends.


Thanks. Yes, a little kindness can go a long way, even with people who aren't being so kind to you.

Wow, that is nuts! Sounds like mexico may already be seeing increased immigration?


Yes, seems like it's due to Trump's influence.

Following for the rest!

good travel, enjoy

Upvoted and also resteemed :)


Much appreciated. Im glad you liked it

I really don't understand, are you just a tourist or are you planning on staying in Mexico? Because if you are just a tourist the most common reason for the cops detaining a foreigner who isn't latino is to see if they can get a mordida (bribe) Now if you have been there for longer than your permit then you could have some other type of trouble, but knowing cops around these parts (Mexico and Central America) I'd go with the bribe.


They weren't looking for bribes. For some reason, the immigration dept in Mexico is the only one that isn't. I'm not sure why or how they're above it, but they are. Many people in the centre had tried to bribe them and got nowhere.


That really is a new one for me, I'm from Honduras were the police learned about bribery from Mexicans I think they are famous all over the world for it, so this would be the first time ever I've heard of a whole department not being in that business. Of course I don't doubt there are honest cops in Mexico but over all they are corrupt.


Yes, a lot of Mexican cops are looking for tips, so it was surprising to learn that this was a whole other thing.

Life gets real really quick when you have to deal with immigration officers of any country - sounds like you managed yourself like a champ. I've been pulled off of a bus that had just entered Panama as I failed to get all the necessary stamps several miles back at the border - bus said it would wait for a few of us to high-tail it back to the CR/Pan border and get things sorted... the bus was still there amazingly (along w/ my luggage).


That's a little miracle right here haha.

Won't they let you stay in Mexico on an Australian passport for 90 days without any questions asked? @churdtzu


Yeah... 180 days actually. But I'd been there for 900 days

Dude you must be one cool cucumber to keep such a calm head during that. I would be pooping my pants in a terrifying anxiety ridden rage fit if it were me! Can't wait to read the rest of this series!!!


Thank you sir. I guess I've had a bit of practice. Just remember the number 1 rule: whenever in doubt, breathe and breathe deeply.

Soooo, if you answered yes to any of those terrorism questions, they would have let you stay? That's good information for those of us considering future trips to Mexico. ;-)


Haha. During my stay in the immigration centre, I could have filed for refugee status, and I was actually considering it at one point. It would probably mean that I'd be in the centre for a month or longer, so it's not something to enter into lightly.

Later, someone did tell me about an asylum seeker from the US whose reasoning was, he couldn't get work in the US. He was approved.


Did he use the "fact" that "illegals" were stealing his job as evidence? LOL


Aha, probably not mentioned. It was a strange story. Apparently he walked all the way from NYC to Vera Cruz.

I'm so glad you are safe now, Kurt and will be looking for your next posts. Staying calm in such a situation was a big achievement. I'm not sure I would be able to maintain.

I may find out as I am in Thailand on a series of Tourist Visas. Apparently, random people with multiple visas are being held in airport detention regardless these days.

I will find out my fate in about two weeks as I travel outside the country and attempt to return. If it all goes bad, the experience will be good for posting on steemit at least!


Yes. Having spent a few days in the hot springs probably didn't hurt my mentality.

Good luck with immigration, it'll probably be fine. It looks like a lot of countries are being stricter these days. I'm thinking about applying for a visa there so I can stay 60 or 90 days instead of just 30. I don't like asking permission just to be, but it looks like it'll make things easier.


Definitely get the visa first if you have a Mexican stamp for overstay. And your onward flight proof.

I think I will be fine too. I just read about 20 pages of a thread about it. I got to see photos of immigration detention even! It's nicer than some hostels for sure.

So the advice is - don't get in line with a woman official. That is my take away from all my reading :)

But if you stamp in you can still get the extra 30 days here. 1900 thb and easy.

Control freaks gotta control freak.

Rule #1 when dealing with any cops anywhere: Say nothing, ESPECIALLY in "polite conversation."


Yes. Fortunately I don't think it really changed much in this case, but it's definitely a lesson people can learn from.

I bet your Spanish fluency helped you out a lot in the center.


Yes, a lot of the Indians were coming to me asking me to translate to the guards by the end. I also gave a few Spanish lessons and English lessons.

Glad to see that you have your freedom back and that you are well @churdtzu. I was wondering when we'd hear from you again!

It is really amazing how you were so cheerful despite the situation dear! This surely was very disturbing for them!

Intriguing story awaiting the next part. Traveling is great all these brilliant stories.

Wow, how long had you been in Mexico before IMN picked you up? You have 6 months from the time that you enter with your passport?...(your plane ticket would of had the entry date...but I guess you were past the 6 month mark?..or if so..are they buying your plane ticket back to Az? LOL..Maria sends una saludos...hope all works out OK...Stay in Touch, Bro...Rattlesnake & Maria.


Hi Rattlesnake. Yeah, I overstayed my tourist card and not by a little bit. The last time I entered Mexico was October 2014. Yeah, they paid for my plane ticket back to Australia so at least that's one thing I didn't have to worry about.

Saludos desde Maitland, NSW!

"What's up with this fucking dickhead?" What's up with the absence of professionalism? Are you really a government employee or just some street thug in a stupid looking costume?


Well, they're Mexicans. They just love saying "pendejo". But yes, they are thugs.

What an exciting read, I hope everything worked out. Sorry I got to this later, IOU a few upvotes