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URIEL HOFFMANN/BOWIE GROWLER Cartoon from the Bowie High School student newspaper The Battle at Bowie High Continued from cover returned home, many of these workaday immigrants return through or around the Bowie Campus, across the highway and through the fences, down the concrete apron concrete, across the river and up another apron to get back into Mexico. These daily immigration rituals are as old as the history of El Paso and Juarez. Bowie is one of a number of crossing places where people illegally enter the country, according to Border Patrol Chief Dale Musegades. “They come to shop, steal or work,” Musegades said, adding that 250,066 undocumented immigrants were detained in El Paso last year, some 6,000 in this south El Paso neighborhood. That is why the Border Patrol has been working around Bowie since the new Bowie High was built 20 years ago. “The Border Patrol has been there for years and we haven’t had any problems,” Musegades said. “Until this year,” was understood. The problems at Bowie, Musegades contends, started with the arrival of a new principal, Paul Strelzin, and the increased activism of one Bowie High School teacher, Juan SybertCoronado. “I don’t have a problem with Bowie students. I have a problem with one principal and one teacher,” Musegades said in an interview in his East El Paso office. Paul Strelzin agrees with Musegades, in part: the Border Patrol has a problem with a principal. But Strelzin believes the Border Patrol has a much larger problem with students, faculty and parents in the Bowie community. A number of interviews conducted on the Bowie commons, in houses and apartments around the school and in Bowie High School administration offices suggest that Paul Strelzin is right. Strelzin, who seems by nature a students’ advocate, has become an outspoken critic of the way Border Patrol agents treat his students. He also has questioned Border Patrol tactics, which he claims allow immigrants to enter the country so they can be caught, thereby increasing numbers of detentions. “Put a few officers and vehicles on the south side of the campus, along the river, and these people won’t be crossing our campus,” Strelzin said. “But if you keep them out, you don’t have those big [detention] numbers to justify those budgets.” Musegades also says he has a problem “with the media, who got this situation all stirred up.” \(Just how serious all these problems are will now be determined by a third party: Federal sees it, the Bowie Bowie High controversy began in July, shortly after Paul Strelzin moved to Bowie from an El Paso junior high school. Soon after he began working at Bowie, Strelzin asked his secretary, Grace Hernandez, about Border Patrol vans and officers on the campus, Hernandez said, and she, and then other faculty members began to tell stories about encounters with officers on or around the campus. Strelzin placed a call to Musegades \(who in an interview described the high school princiEl Paso Times editorial page editor David Crowder said he picked up on complaints about Border Patrol officers at Bowie in comments at a city council meeting and called Strelzin to inquire. Strelzin was in a hurry, Crowder wrote, so “I clicked on my recorder and let him talk.” Judging from Crowder’s August 23 column, Strelzin’s angry conversation was at least 800 words long. Strelzin said he had called Musegades. “I gave him some accusations and complaints that I had heard. … He told me he didn’t believe they were true,” Strelzin told Crowder. Strelzin, as reported in Crowder’s column, told Musegades of a number of incidents involving teachers, students and Border Patrol agents. Students are stopped frequently by’ agents “harassing them, stopping them on the campus in the parking lot, [asking them] what’s your name, where do you go to school. And I find from teachers who will come right out and tell you point blank, that they’re … they’ve told these people ‘Listen, this is my student.’ But the Border Patrol agents do not want to hear that.” Strelzin related an incident in which his secretary, Grace Hernandez, was followed home by agents, with no probable cause. \(He later discussed another incident when Hemandez was rudely treated by agents after she confronted them and requested that they stop driving at high Strelzin also told Crowder that he had thought he reached an understanding with Chief Musegades about keeping vans off the campus. But shortly before the column ran in late August, Strelzin saw a van on the faculty parking lot: “They were in their car using binoculars … These gentleman were slouched down. One of them was looking at what I surmised to be my students in my band and my 4 DECEMBER 11, 1992