In the Face of Peaceful Practitioners and the Truth, Mexican Immigration Officials Return Copies of Our Passports
(Clearwisdom.net) Before going to Mexico, some practitioners suggested not wearing clothes with the words Falun Dafa embroidered on them in order to avoid unnecessary harassment similar to that encountered when entering Iceland. Despite this, when we arrived at Los Cabos on the night of Oct. 25, due to the pressure from Chinese authorities and also because we did not have strong righteous thoughts, we encountered difficulty with the Mexican immigration officers. They required all of us to leave photocopies of our passports claiming security concerns. As a result of telling the truth and persistence in sending forth righteous thoughts, the immigration officers finally returned the copies of our passports before we left Mexico. This is just our group's story, which is just one of the many stories from many weeks in Mexico.
It was late at night Oct. 25 in the Los Cabos, Mexico airport. At first, everything was peaceful. Seeing our fellow practitioners smoothly going through customs, our hearts lightened. In the beginning, there were a few practitioners chatting, then more practitioners began coming together to chat. At this time, a Mexican immigration officer began asking anyone with an oriental face and wearing a yellow t-shirt if they were Falun Gong practitioners. As time passed, they asked all travellers with oriental faces to go into a separate office to talk.
The Mexican immigration officers said that someone who claimed to be a Falun Gong practitioner told them that there might be people posing as practitioners trying to enter Mexico in order to do harm at the APEC meeting. Thus, the Mexican immigration officers needed to check every Falun Gong practitioner who entered Mexico and had all their passports photocopied as a record to ensure the safety of the participants during the APEC meeting. They emphasized that it was for the good of Falun Gong practitioners to have their passports recorded. If someone claimed to be a Falun Gong practitioner and committed a crime, these materials could help to further investigation by the Mexican government.
We understood that their words were just an excuse. The existence of a blacklist is not normal, after all. Further, media had clarified that the blacklist was created by Jiang's regime in China. They applied pressure and again used the same ridiculous ploy as they had in Iceland. I told the immigration officer that Falun Gong is a cultivation way that teaches people to have compassion and helps them to obtain good health. I told him that studying Falun Dafa and cultivation were purely personal matters and that all practitioners are free to continue to practice or stop as they like. I asked where the name list came from. How did the Mexican government verify it? We told him that Falun Gong practitioners were coming from all over the world to peacefully appeal to Jiang's government to stop cruelly and inhumanly persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. We told the immigration officials that Falun Gong practitioners follow the principle of Truth, Compassion and Tolerance. It was impossible for practitioners to take any dangerous action as Chinese government propaganda claimed.
Since the Mexican immigration officers insisted on recording practitioners' entry information, a practitioner asked the immigration officer to give a statement in front of the practitioners' video camera. The immigration official refused. A female immigration officer said that we would be asked to leave Mexico if we refused to have our passports copied or if we required the Mexican officials to give a statement. We asked the immigration officials how they would ensure that the copies of our passports would not be handed over to Chinese officials. He claimed that they would be destroyed after we left Mexico. We asked again whether they could return these copies to us when we left Mexico. The immigration officer considered for several seconds and then he promised to go to work every day to ensure that we got back the copies of our passports when we left, and that we could find him at any time because he was the manager of the immigration office in this airport.
Due to the lateness of the hour, some practitioners asked, "Hurry up and give it to them! Everyone is waiting outside." In the end, there were only 2 or 3 practitioners who continued insisting that copies of their passports not be taken. The immigration officers changed their tone at this point, and said: "Please do us favor, and let us go home early." Seeing that all their fellow practitioners had left, and influenced by disappointment and an attachment of fear, everyone else gave in to the pressure of the immigration officers. All of the practitioners allowed copies of their passports to be taken.
Although none of us signed anything, I was reminded of Teacher's words, "When they are beaten or are being 'reformed,' and see others give in to the evil's pressure and write some so-called 'promise to stop practicing cultivation,' they also write one, which is the result of not being able to understand things according to the Fa. Can you imagine what it means for a cultivator if this stain isn't washed clean?" ("Path")
Two days later, we went back to the Los Cabos airport. After checking our bags, there was about an hour left before takeoff. Several practitioners decided to get back the passport copies before we left Mexico. We went to the customs immigration office, told the guard our intention and asked to see the immigration office manager.
The guard lied and said that the manager had not come to work that day. We fixed our eyes on the guard and said, "We know he is here, and that he works every day." A fellow practitioner began telling the clarifying the truth in Spanish. A staff person who stood beside the customs official said that it was hard to believe that Mexico would ask travellers to leave copies of their passports as records when they entered the country, especially for the "security" reason that was given to Falun Gong practitioners.
The guard went away again. When he came back, he told us that the manager was busy at the moment, but that we could come back in 10 minutes. We told the guard we would not leave until we saw the manager. The guard went again to pass on the message. This time, he asked us to wait outside the door.
We quietly waited at the door and send forth the righteous thoughts towards the office. After a while, a female immigration officer came out. She claimed to be the supervisor of the immigration office from Mexico City. She said that she was not clear about these passport copies being made as a record. If the record was important, she should have seen it, but she had not. The manager was now very busy, and no one knew when he would have time. She said that she had heard that Falun Gong's main principles are Truth, Compassion and Tolerance, but that she had also heard negative things, such as the claim that Falun Gong practitioners might take dangerous action to harm the Mexican government. She explained that the reason that the Mexico was being so careful was that they did want any incidents related to Falun Gong.
We tried again to clarify the truth, but she kept interrupting the practitioners to say that she was glad about the peaceful behavior of Falun Gong practitioners over the past several days and was glad that we had not brought any disturbance to the Mexican government. Just like Master said in "Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A.", "It's hard to save today's people. Sometimes I jokingly say to you: when you tell them that Dafa is good, after you talk to them for quite a while, they say, 'Yes, Dafa is good, I know. But the Communist Party gives me money, so I'm not against them, either.' What they're implying is, 'Even though you are good, I'm not against the Communist Party.' This is caused by the evil's propaganda in its persecution of Dafa, and it is a means they've used often to deceive the people of the world."
At that moment, we decided that all we could do was only to eliminate the evil factors behind her, so several practitioners began to send forth righteous thoughts. About 10 minutes later, the entrance door opened. We saw the immigration office manager standing by the door with a thick stack of papers in his hand. The stack of passport copies, which should not have been made in the first place, left Mexico with us.
There was now only twenty minutes or so before take off, enough for us to leave customs and get to the gate. A Western practitioner said: "This is a test of whether we would insist on telling the truth to the last minute." Another practitioner doubted that during that period of telling the truth to the customs immigration officer, they had enough time to make another copy. But I thought of something Master said, "When met with the truth, people will think things over carefully, and how people respond to all this is their own choice." ("Teaching the Fa at the Washington, D.C. Fa Conference")