What Really Happened to Victor Martinez?
Victor Martinez, $50,000 richer from winning the 2011 IFBB Arnold Europe, strolled right up to the U.S Custom window at JFK Airport on October 7th; however, he never saw the “light of day”. As of Monday November 7th, he’s been behind bars for a solid month and today is D-day for Victor. He’ll be appearing at a hearing in front of a judge that’ll determine whether or not he’ll be granted bail and temporarily released from custody. The question people have been pondering and speculating about all over the internet is: Why wasn’t Victor allowed re-entry into the United States? In the following paragraphs I’ll attempt to assemble all of the facts I‘ve gathered from my various sources and then throw in a little logic and supposition and hopefully I’ll paint a picture that’s relatively close to the truth.
Let’s go over the facts...
(1) Victor Martinez isn’t a US Citizen. He's a permanent legal resident. That means he’s allowed to reside and work in the US on a permanent basis. After 5 years of residence, he could have applied to become a citizen, but for whatever reason, he never took that step. I’m sure you’ve heard of a “Green Card”. Well that’s what Victor has. What I bet you didn’t know, and I know I didn’t, was that these “colored” cards expire every 10 years. They must be renewed. That’s an important fact that I’ll be returning to in a bit.
(2) Victor is a convicted felon. When dealing with I.C.E. (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement), I am told a person’s criminal history, or lack thereof, comes heavily into play. That along with what they do for work, their education, and what they contribute to society. Obviously, having a criminal past won’t help his cause, but since it’s been many years since Victor has been in trouble; hopefully they’ll take that into consideration.
(3) Victor’s been held for one month. The length of time is significant because it points strongly toward the US government attempting to deport Victor. The only reason he’s still being held in the USA is because he must have lawyers working to keep him here. Otherwise, he’d be in the Dominican Republic right now. The US government CAN hold Victor for up to 90 days, but the deportation process is usually much faster.
(4) Victor has no current charges pending. No federal or state charges of any sort have been charged against him. If he had got caught with drugs while crossing the border, it would certainly be in the computer by now.
(5) Victor went to India to compete at the Sheru Classic. We flew on the same flight, and he was right in front of me in line at US Customs. I witnessed him walking through, no problem.
Now, let’s return to that “Green Card” issue. Apparently, the reason Victor was able to go to India and return was, at that time (September 25th), his Green Card was in good standing. Apparently, it expired shortly thereafter. Victor took a gamble that he’d be able to return to the US with an expired “green card”. Normally, allowing this document to expire isn’t a huge deal. It’s not like Victor’s permanent resident status expires with the card. However, you are required by law to carry a valid card with you at all times to prove your status. If Victor had applied before he left; even RIGHT BEFORE, he would have been issued a temporary card at the time of the filing and he most likely would be sleeping in his own bed right now.
The issue is re-entering the US with an expired “Green Card”. It’s not like getting into a dance club with an expired driver’s license. This is the type of thing that gets checked. Now, combine that with Victor’s criminal history, and consider the fact that he’s one of the most muscular men on the planet,... you see how it could be a huge problem. That being aid, it’s possible that Victor was apprehensive about renewing his green card since this might have been the first time he’s had to have it renewed since the felony convictions. One of the very few ways it’s possible to have the renewal process declined is to have been convicted of a criminal act.
Today’s hearing is pivotal, and if he doesn’t get bail, it’s a safe assumption that Victor is going to be deported. If he is granted bail, then it’s seems likely the US government will allow Victor to renew his card. If it’s denied and he’s deported, an I.C.E. agent will fly with Victor back to the Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominic Republic, and he’ll be dropped off at customs. I.C.E. is pretty secretive about when these flights are, and who knows about it so chances of me catching a “last word” with Victor are slim to none. I.C.E doesnt even inform the local authorities. Only the air traffic control room staff is informed as the plane is landing! If this happens as a result of a felony conviction, Victor will not be allowed back into the US for at least 10 years, and possibly never.
If you think that means the end of Victor’s bodybuilding career... You’d be wrong. With 9 pro contests outside the US this coming year, he could do 5 more shows than the 4 he competed in this year. Obviously, it wouldn’t allow him to do the two biggest shows, The Olympia and Arnold, but there’ll be plenty of contests and prize money available for him.
Victor Martinez has survived his mother dying, a serious injury, and his sister being murdered. And it seemed like Victor’s luck was starting to change, but now this. I’ve have the opportunity to hang out and talk to Victor, and he’s a mellow, easy going, guy. You wouldn’t think he deserves all the misfortune that he’s been forced to endure. They say we “make our own luck”. . . I sure hope Victor can transform all the thorns in his life into roses!
I know I speak not just for myself, but Dave Palumbo and the whole RxMuscle family when I say I truly wish Victor Martinez good luck at his hearing tomorrow morning.