From Pine View Farm

Guarding Our Borders 4

Department of Homeland Security, La Migra Division, protecting us from the threat posed by 82-year-old Haitian preachers; it started on October 29, 2004 and ended four days later:

Excerpts of from the AP story follow. Click the link to read the whole thing.

When he stepped off the plane, he showed the immigration officer his tourist visa, which didn’t expire until 2008. He’d made plenty of trips to the United States without trouble, had his throat cancer surgery in New York years before. He often visited his brothers in that state, both American citizens now. His niece, Edwidge, was an accomplished author with a home right here in Miami.

But the customs officer had asked how long he planned to stay, and the reverend told him the God’s honest truth.

“A group that is causing trouble in Haiti wants to kill me,” he said.

“They burned down my church …

“I fear for my life … ”

He explained that he might need temporary asylum.

(and he was hustled off to detention; his medicine was confiscated and the prison doctor prescribed him something different.–ed.)


Rev. Dantica took a chair next to his lawyer inside Krome’s asylum unit. A hearing officer was readying to ask Pastor why he had fled Haiti and believed it too dangerous to return home.

From a speaker phone on the desk, a Creole interpreter asked Pastor to move closer so he could be heard more clearly. Rev. Dantica leaned in when suddenly …

“Oh my God,” John Pratt thought.

Pastor was vomiting uncontrollably. Bile covered the desk, his face, the front of his detention uniform. He’d dropped his voice box, which was rendered inoperable. Slumped in his chair and barely conscious, Pastor couldn’t communicate.

Medics arrived, and took Pastor away on a stretcher. Inside the urgent care unit, medical personnel started an intravenous line, ran three electrocardiograms to check Pastor’s heart and found a replacement voice box. His abdomen was swollen and tender to the touch. All signs seemed to point to a bowel obstruction, the staff physician concluded.

Rev. Dantica was put in leg restraints and placed in an ambulance.


He died alone — at 8:46 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2004, in the criminal ward of a strange hospital, a guard outside his door.

Related analysis here.



  1. Karen

    August 1, 2006 at 8:46 am

    Back in 1991, I was sent with a group of people to El Paso, for cat duty. There had been massive hail storms through there. One of the appraisers that went with us was a black girl. We walked over the border to Mexico, & coming back I was teasing her, because she didn’t bring her purse, so she didn’t have her id with her. She told me then that she was worried about getting back home, because her cheek bones were really high, her skin really dark, & she could’ve been easily mistaken for Haitian, & denied entry. I didn’t understand it then. Reading this, I do now, & she was right to worry.

  2. Frank

    August 1, 2006 at 7:55 pm

    I am a Southern boy. I grew up under Jim Crow. I know a bigot when I see one.

    Bigotry is with us, everyday, everywhere (but, thankfully, not everybody).

    And the most dangerous bigots are those who are not even aware of their bigotry.

    The Aryan Nations types don’t scare me. They out themselves.

    It’s the “nice” people who just don’t want “those people” in their neighborhoods, because, you see, they are just “not like us . . . .”

  3. Opie

    August 1, 2006 at 11:06 pm

    You were doing OK until the “but, thankfully, not everybody” part. There aren’t many sins that are universal but bigotry comes as close as any. Heck, I think there’s more bigotry in the world than avarice, just to pick one example.

  4. Frank

    August 3, 2006 at 6:22 pm

    Well, you may be right. But I do not believe that everybody is a bigot.

    I can believe the everybody may struggle with prejudices that he or she absorbed during his or her upbringing, but that very decision to struggle with them, rather than give in, removes that person from the list of bigots.