U.S. border guards allowed a Mexican soldier who mistakenly crossed the border to return without consequence — despite the fact that Mexico continues to hold a U.S. Marine sergeant who made the same error, the mother of imprisoned Andrew Tahmooressi said Tuesday.
Jill Tahmooressi, whose son has languished in a decrepit Mexican jail since March 31, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV
that as she left a July 9 court hearing and crossed back into the United States, border guards told her how they had showed mercy toward a lost Mexican soldier.
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"A Customs Border Patrol actually looked in the car hoping he would see Andrew with me and he said, you know what, last night a Mexican military by mistake crossed the border with his rifle, and we just sent him right back,'' she said.
"So, the fact that our friendly neighbor to the south is not as accommodating and forgiving as we are is frustrating.''
Andrew Tahmooressi, who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, says he accidentally drove into Mexico from the San Ysidro, Calif., port of entry after becoming disoriented.
He was charged with gun violations after Mexican authorities found three firearms — all legally registered in the United States — in his vehicle.
His mother said that the first two lawyers her son hired were useless.
"Andrew's already spent all his life savings on attorney No. 1 and No. 2 that did absolutely nothing. They did a disservice, in fact,'' she said.
Compounding the lack of movement in her son's case is that the White House has done very little to help, Jill Tahmooressi said.
"There's been silence for the most part from the White House . . . I did a WhiteHouse.gov petition [and] had only 30 days to reach 100,000 signatures, which requires a response from President Obama,'' she said.
"Total silence, though . . . We achieved the 100,000 signatures by the good will of the great American public, but still no answer.''
She said the U.S. Consulate has been working diligently to protect her son's rights behind bars.
"They make sure that Andrew has pastoral services, that he has a toothbrush, that he's got money in his bank account down there in Mexico so he can buy a Snickers bar, because his food and his protein source is very limited in jail,'' she said.
Tahmooressi, 26, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition that may have contributed to the disorientation that caused him to become lost and cross the border.
"I asked the State Department to increase their visits because I'm worried for him. There's a psychiatrist who comes and visits him, but they do not know how to treat foreign-combat PTSD,'' she said.
"This is Mexico, and they do not send their military to war . . .I give him as much inspiration I can by telling him about what the American people are doing . . . and that keeps him at least hopeful.''
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