As most bodybuilding fans know, Victor Martinez is currently being detained by the United States Department of Homeland Security. The major question in everyone’s mind has been WHY?
The first thing we need to get out of the way is a short lesson on ‘Bodybuilding Journalism’. In Bodybuilding magazines, there is no such thing as journalism. If you read a story detailing a bodybuilder’s legal troubles, it’s because someone has an axe to grind. If you read an article glossing over a bodybuilder’s legal troubles, it’s because the publisher has been ordered not to disclose the details of those troubles or because the publisher has that bodybuilder under contract. If you can’t find an article about a bodybuilder’s legal troubles, it means that those troubles are true and the publisher/website has been threatened with press pass extinction if they mention the story.
Whew! Glad we got that out of the way.
So when you read an article from MD Publisher Steve Blechman glossing over Victor’s troubles, you can be 100% sure that it’s SPIN. And when you read an article from RX writer Aaron Singerman detailing Victor’s legal troubles, you can be equally sure that it’s RX owner David Palumbo grinding an axe against his former boss Blechman and Victor’s sponsor Muscular Development. Unlike most in the Bodybuilding industry, Aaron actually conducts some due diligence by making phone calls and learning a few facts before publishing an article. However, in Victor’s case, Aaron was led astray by either an ignorant or deceptive source.
Here is the real deal regarding Victor’s situation:
Victor was detained at the airport upon returning from Europe following his Arnold Europe victory because he was detained by DHS (Department of Homeland Security); however, don’t mistakenly assume that this has anything to do with terrorism — DHS absorbed both the US Customs and US Immigration Departments. Victor was questioned by DHS officers and then ordered to be detained at an ICE facility (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) known as Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny, New Jersey.
About Hudson County Correctional
Hudson County Correctional’s ICE Facility currently houses about 350 immigration detainees. Unfortunately, it is easy to become depressed inside Hudson County Correctional. Detainees held there live in rooms that hold 65 detainees, separated from the normal jail population. The available outdoor recreation space is a caged unit attached to a dormitory door. Communal televisions turn off at 9 pm. And by all reports, the food available to detainees and inmates alike is nutritionally sufficient, but absolutely awful.
By all accounts it is a degrading and demoralizing atmosphere.
First, let’s make an assumption based on all of the facts before us. Victor Martinez is NOT a citizen of the United States of America. One could previously have assumed that Victor was a U.S. citizen based on his participation (and victory) at the NPC US Men’s Nationals back in 2000; however, that assumption would be wrong. No United States citizen may be legally detained at an ICE facility. Therefore, Victor is not a U.S. Citizen.
We can assume that Victor, in fact, was a Permanent Resident (Green Card holder). A Permanent Resident (PR) is permitted to leave the United States and travel freely as any United States citizen would be. The only difference is that a PR may only remain outside of the United States for up to two years (consecutively) as opposed to no limitation on the length of stay for a US citizen.
From what we know, it appears that prior to 2011, Victor Martinez had not left the United States since before his convictions. This makes perfect sense. A PR who has a criminal conviction for a drug-related offense will encounter scrutiny upon seeking renewal for his green card and an investigation may lead to deportation proceedings at that time. Furthermore, Victor should have been aware that regardless of his green card status, upon re-entry to the United States he would come under scrutiny for his criminal convictions.
Which brings us to a major question: How was Victor Martinez able to freely return to the United States without incident after travelling abroad this year for both FIBO and the Sheru Classic in India?
The answer, my friends, will be posted on Friday in The Real Victor Martinez Story: Part II. And yes, it’s a real SHOCKER!