Wife's story

  My wife does not want to remember the whole ordeal, it is history to her, to be forgotten, so this account is written from my poor, damaged memory.

  In spring 1993, off the coast of Africa somewhere, a cargo boat with smugglers and refugees broke down, and the Chinese refugees from this boat were brought on shore where they had to call relatives for money to pay for hotel rooms, etc.   About 100 Chinese from this boat were eventually brought aboard the Golden Venture cargo boat which was passing by with another load of Chinese. After they departed Africa there was a hurricane (12 April 1993), during which something on the Golden Venture broke and it was tossed about by the hurricane and most people got very seasick. The Golden Venture crew fixed the problem and control was regained.

  During the hurricane the Chinese prayed and lit incense. One mans' incense ashes stayed on and did not fall down during the hurricane and the cup that his incense was in did not fall down, so all the Chinese were convinced that Buddah was with them. Wife was extremely seasick and didn't know anything, two other ladies took care of her; she lost a lot of weight.

  Later on in the trip the two sets of smugglers had a running gun battle on the Golden Venture, for control.

  Wife came to the United States on June 6th of 1993 on the Golden Venture (GV) which grounded in New York City.   I.N.S. people told me anonymously that it was handled very badly and was a 'disaster' for I.N.S.

  Wife could not swim, so when the Golden Venture grounded in New York City she stayed aboard and was eventually brought ashore by boat. She put all her clothes on and stuffed all her possessions into her pockets and carried her bags. When she got on shore a female officer (she has no idea if it was an I.N.S. officer or Police officer or whatever) took her possessions and loaded them into the back of a car; she took off her coats also because it was hot. She didn't have shoes on so she asked and was allowed to get her shoes out of her bag. No receipt was given and she never saw her possessions again, they were stolen. I filed an I-387, several times, wrote letters, made many telephone calls, etc. and finally received a letter dated 20 Sept. 2002 from Russell A. Ezolt, Special Assistant to the Regional Counsel stating that "this claim must be denied." and no reason was given for not repaying Wife for her stolen possessions, most of which were new or handmade.

  Wife spent a few days in jail in New York City, then was moved to Washington DC for about two days, then jailed in New Orleans, LA for about two years, then jailed in Bakersfield, California for about two more years. In the Louisiana jail she was tested for Tuberculosis, but not given an Xray, and given a six month course of antibiotics.

  In the Bakersfield jail she was denied medical and dental care, given only Tylenol for dental pain. The Bakersfield jail did have a dentist who would pull your teeth out for a set price per tooth, but would not or was not permitted to provide any other services. I saw a few of the other Chinese ladies at the jail when Tim or Terry Palmquist would visit them at the same time that I was visiting Wife. Wife told me that the Chinese ladies didn't like the jail food so they would use money from relatives, or from the Palmquists for those who didn't have any relatives to send them money, to buy dry noodles to make soup. They needed hot water to put on the noodles and the only hot water available was from the sink or showers which they said was black and smelly.

drawing Wife drew this mouse-parade while in the Bakersfield jail.
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