Thursday, August 25, 2011

Just call me "Mr. 411"

As a result of all the articles I have written on many subjects, my name shows up in many Google searches. And, as a result of that, I get many telephone calls and many e-mails.

Just this morning, a man called, thinking he was calling the Tollway. He was calling about a missed toll yesterday. He does not have a transponder and had found himself without change at an unattended toll booth on an exit. The only thing you can do is to go on through. Well, I suppose you could sit there for an hour or two until a trooper came along... I gave him the phone number for the Tollway and also told him how he could pay a missed toll online.

I am happy to help, when people call me.

I've gotten calls for Turning Point, DCFS, YSB, CAMHCO, and I don't know how many other organizations. And I've gotten emails regarding immigration detainees at the McHenry County Jail. My knowledge about immigration issues has gone way up in the past 18 months.

Sometimes I get more deeply involved and might go to court hearings month and month with someone who is being worked over by the legal system. I have seen cases dismissed as a result of my involvement. I'm not a lawyer, but I can certainly "educate" a person about the system. I can advocate for them, and I can teach them how to advocate for themselves.

Recently I was contacted by a German woman searching for a Nigerian friend with whom she had lost contact over a year ago.He has been a "guest" in Hotel Nygren at $90.00/day for the past three months. I helped her establish commissary funds for him, telephone contact and email communications. I even went over to the jail to visit him. He hadn't had any visitor since coming to Hotel Nygren in May. His criminal charges in Chicago have been resolved and his short sentence completed.

I won't go on a long rant right here about the huge waste of money by our Federal Government on housing Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees who are awaiting court appearances and decisions and who are not flight risks. (Or, even if they are, so what, if there are no serious Federal criminal charges against them? If they flee the U.S., they are gone, and we don't have to spend $90/day to house and feed them.)

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