Another story that might teach us something.
Betrayal at the Border (A Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Book 7) by Mark M. Bello released in October in the Legal/Political Thriller genre.
In Betrayal at the Border, attorney Zachary Blake returns to tackle two cases that strike at the heart of our nation’s contentious immigration debate.
In Riverview, Michigan, undocumented immigrants Miguel and Mary Carmen Gonzalez are determined to realize the American dream. They find jobs at a local filler plant, have children, and lead an all-American life, that is until ICE raids their plant . . .
Canan and Karim Izady are naturalized citizens of the United States. They have immigrated legally from Kurdistan and have an American born daughter, Hana. Unable to persuade her mother to follow the young family to America, Canan and Hana travel to an ISIS hotbed so the child may meet her grandmother for the first time. With the war over, what could possibly go wrong?
Two unique immigrant families, two uniquely dangerous consequences of America’s dysfunctional immigration system. Enter Zachary Blake, superstar lawyer.
But, for the first time in a long time, Blake is out of his element—immigration law calls for the expertise of his specialist/partner, Marshall Mann. Together, two extraordinary lawyers take on a terrorist network and a broken immigration system. And master investigator Micah Love returns, racing against the clock to prevent tragic circumstances. In our politically charged, anti-immigrant international climate, will a Hail Mary be their only move?
Award-winning legal thriller author, Mark M. Bello, pits our nation’s broken immigration system against important human and social justice rights issues, spinning a tale that shines a bright light on the everyday fears of immigrants all over these United States. Can Blake, Mann, and Love prevent a Betrayal at the Border?
As Emma got older, she noticed things that provided a better understanding of her parents’ fear. After dinner, her parents often watched the evening news. Emma witnessed people protesting at the southern border to Mexico and heard phrases like ‘send them back’ and ‘build the wall.’ Video footage of arrests, family separations, and kids in cages was heartbreaking. Emma was a free American like her friends and neighbors, but she would never be free of worry that her parents might be captured. Mainstream media considered families like hers ‘undocumented.’ Over time, Emma understood the reason why her parents broke the rules and kept the family secret. Because Miguel and Mary Carmen were undocumented, they couldn’t travel, not even across the northern border into Canada from Detroit, so they never took vacations. Emma and her family never went anywhere.
While Emma understood, she was still slightly conflicted. She learned about crime in school. People who did bad things went to jail. It was ‘illegal’ to steal, to hurt someone, and to drink and drive. Mama and Papa didn’t do any of those things. They obeyed every American rule. They were decent people, good neighbors, and solid citizens. How could they be criminals?
Mama and Papa’s citizenship status was not a subject of conversation in the community. Few people knew they were undocumented because while some people embraced immigrants, others tried to make their lives difficult. Landlords were encouraged not to rent to ‘foreigners,’ and employers were encouraged not to hire them. Some communities attempted to block immigrant access to jobs, housing, education, and healthcare, a coordinated strategy to prevent large numbers from moving into those communities or neighborhoods. Citizens didn’t want ‘brown people’ swooping in and taking their jobs. Other communities embraced immigration and thrived because hard-working immigrants started businesses, worked for other citizens or independently, provided childcare service, housekeeping, or odd repair jobs.
One evening, after dinner, the newsman said President Golding was considering a series of raids on immigrants in targeted areas around the country. One of the areas mentioned was Detroit. Golding said it was time to ‘deport the undocumented in fairness to those who enter our country legally and obey our laws.’ Did those people complain or something? Emma pondered.
“Mama, what does ‘deport’ mean?” Emma asked inquisitively after the newscast ended.
“It means people who are here without proper papers might get sent back to the country they came from, hija,” Mary Carmen advised.
“What does ice have to do with it?” Emma glanced at the refrigerator.
“They talked about ice on television.”
Mary Carmen looked at the refrigerator and smiled. “They weren’t talking about ice from the fridge, hija; they were talking about immigration policemen. ICE stands for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, I—C—E. Get it?”
“What does this ICE do?”
“They find people who are here without proper papers. If people can’t prove they are citizens or have a right to be citizens, they get sent back to the country they came from.”
“Can that happen to you and Papa? Do you have these proper papers? Are you and Papa criminals, Mama?”
“That’s a difficult question to answer. Papa and I came to this country a long time ago. We arrived legally and followed all of the rules, but our papers expired before we could become citizens. We were supposed to go back to Venezuela, but you were just a baby, and it was dangerous back home. Here in America, Papa had a good job; we had a nice home, and lots of friends and relatives in the area. We couldn’t possibly go back to the old country.
“We decided to stay and try to work out our paper problem later. As the years went by, the government made it more difficult for us to become citizens. We were caught in a trap. We weren’t supposed to stay, but we couldn’t go back, either.”
“What are you going to do? The newsman on television says ICE is coming to Detroit.”
“I don’t know, sweetheart. Papa says everything will be okay. Maybe they won’t come to Lincoln Park. Maybe they will only come to Detroit. All we can do is hope and pray.”
“From now on, I’ll say a special prayer at bedtime, Mama.”
“Oh, Emma, thank you! That makes me feel so much better. I’m positive God will listen to you. You are my special little girl!”
Emma almost burst with pride. She would pray extra hard tonight. Mama and Papa were counting on her.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
As an attorney and civil justice advocate, author Mark M. Bello draws upon over 40 years of courtroom experience in his Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series.
A Michigan native, Mark received his B.A. in English Literature from Oakland University and his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. After working extremely high-profile legal cases, Mark wanted to give the public a front-row glimpse of what victims face when standing up for justice.
Combining his legal experience and passion for justice with a creative writing style, Mark not only brings high-quality legal services to his clients but captivating novels to his readers.
When Mark’s not writing legal and political novels, he writes and posts about fairness and justice in the civil justice system on his website, Legal Examiner and NotFakeNews. In his spare time, Mark enjoys traveling and spending time with his family. Mark and his wife, Tobye, have four children and 8 grandchildren.
For more information about Mark, please click here (https://medium.com/authority-magazine/lawyer-and-author-mark-m-8e59acf7b054)
For those who do not know him, who is Zachary? Tell us about him and why he’s a good protagonist for your stories.
Zachary Blake first appears in my debut novel, Betrayal of Faith. He is failing, both personally and in his business. Once a highly successful attorney, the young lawyer lets success go to his head. He ignores his practice, his partners, his wife, and his children. He spirals into a life of alcohol, gambling, and strip clubs. As his life spirals downward, his partners kick him out of his practice, his wife divorces him and takes everything, and Zack finds himself accepting juvenile and criminal assignments and screwing those up. He shows up in court, one day, hungover, half drunk. He’s chastised by the judge, removed from the assignment list, and laughed out of court by his colleagues. He returns to the office a broken man, physically and mentally. The man who once was Detroit’s King of Justice with a key to the executive lounge in his office building is now, for all practical purposes, an alcoholic bum.
He’s sitting in his office feeling sorry for himself and gets a call from an old client. Her sons have been molested by a priest, the church is covering up the incident, and she needs advice. Zack’s initial inclination is to sell her and her kids out for a quick buck, take the money and run. When he tries to do just that, the client fires him, the wake up call he needed. He pleads with her, begs to be permitted to continue the case. He can do it her way, he promises. True to his word, he resurrects past skills, cleans up his act, tries the case, and obtains a record twelve figure verdict.
When the second book is written, Blake is engaged to his former client, is at the top of his game again, and begins a period in his life where he leverages his wealth and fame to take on a variety of “Goliath” type defendants, beating each one of them and exposing their avarice, dishonesty, and willingness to do anything for political or financial gain. Zack becomes a substantial hero, a vocal advocate for social justice, taking on the likes of an evil, bigoted, dishonest president of the United States (Book 2, Betrayal of Justice), a white supremacist and a small-town police force (Book 3, Betrayal in Blue) a racist cop and police department in a cop on black shooting incident (Book 4, Betrayal in Black), a greedy, evil gun manufacturer and a negligent school district in a school shooting incident (Book 5, Betrayal High) a wealthy sex offender and appeals court judge, the president’s choice for a seat on the United States Supreme Court (Book 6, Supreme Betrayal), and, finally, the U.S. Government and its broken immigration system (Book 7, Betrayal at the Border).
At each step along the way, Zack resolves his clients’ case, in record numbers, and turns these “David v Goliath’ cases in the civil and criminal justice systems into “Goliath v Goliath” endeavors, taking on causes pro bono, representing and donating to charities, doing well by doing good. Zachary Blake, now married to his former client, stepfather of her two boys, is a force to be reckoned with, and, truly, America’s “King of Justice.”
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