Illegal immigrant finds turning himself in is no easy task - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Illegal immigrant finds turning himself in is no easy task

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Helmut Mayer was born in Germany.  

In 1997, Mayer said he came to the US on a temporary VISA.  He has a driver's license, a Social Security number and has worked for years as a cab driver in Pasadena.

But the 56-year-old has fallen on hard times and blames some of it on his illegal immigrant status.

"I try to do the legal thing but I can't get no help from nobody," Mayer said.  "I have a clear record; I have no criminal record; I have a good work history."

But what he doesn't have is any luck at getting the government to take action.  On July 13, he decided turning himself in might help him get the ball rolling to get legal status.

"First, I called immigration and couldn't get nobody to talk; it was all recordings," he said. "So I called the FBI.  The FBI couldn't help me."

Then he said he called the US Marshall's Office after his failed attempts to talk to a live person with immigration.

"Apparently she put me on hold and she called and five minutes later, she came back and said she got somebody on the phone but there ain't nothing she can do about it until Monday," he said.

Monday morning, he decided to go to the Pasadena Police Department to turn himself in and once again, he said, he was turned away.

"Because this is federal, we are a city.   We have nothing to do with that.  You need to go," Mayer said he was told by the cop at the front desk.

Pasadena Police told us the same thing.  Anyone wanting to turn themselves in for being in the country illegally is told to contact immigration.

We contacted Immigrations and Customs Enforcement on Mayer's behalf and were told it would take at least 24 hours for them to verify Mayer's information but even then, they probably wouldn't tell us anything.
While most people don't want anybody to know they are here illegally, Mayer is the complete opposite and all that seems to be getting him is the run-around.

"It's frustrating; it's really tiring; I'm worn out," Mayer said. "I've turned into a really poor excuse for a human being.  I'm really down now."

An ICE spokesman said people here illegally can turn themselves in to their office at 126 Northpoint, but illegal immigrants can only turn themselves in during regular business hours, Monday through Friday.

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