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An 18-Year-Old US Citizen Has Been in Immigration Custody for Nearly a Month
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=44576"><span class="small">Adam K. Raymond, New York Magazine</span></a>   
Tuesday, 23 July 2019 13:16

Raymond writes: "In late June, 18-year-old Francisco Erwin Galicia was driving from one small Texas town to another when he was stopped at a Customs and Border Protection checkpoint."

Francisco Erwin Galicia. (photo: The Dallas Morning News)
Francisco Erwin Galicia. (photo: The Dallas Morning News)

An 18-Year-Old US Citizen Has Been in Immigration Custody for Nearly a Month

By Adam K. Raymond, New York Magazine

23 July 19


n late June, 18-year-old Francisco Erwin Galicia was driving from one small Texas town to another when he was stopped at a Customs and Border Protection checkpoint.

Galicia is a U.S. citizen. His 17-year-old brother, Marlon, who was in the car with him, is not. Both were detained and Marlon was soon deported to Mexico. But Francisco, the Dallas Morning News reports, remains in custody more than three weeks later.

“I presented them with his original birth certificate and other documents and they ignored them. So now I’ve faxed over all the documents to the ICE agent handling the case,” attorney Claudia Galan told the paper. “He’s going on a full month of being wrongfully detained. He’s a U.S. citizen and he needs to be released now.”

Galan told the Washington Post that Galicia was carrying several types of identification when he was stopped at the checkpoint, “including a wallet-sized Texas birth certificate, a Texas ID card and Social Security card.” Galan told the paper that “when Border Patrol checked his documents, they just didn’t believe they were real. They kept telling him they were fake.”

The Post continues:

The reason it appears to have taken CBP and ICE so long to determine Galicia’s citizenship is because his mother, who is not a citizen, took out a U.S. tourist visa in his name while he was still a minor, falsely saying he was born in Mexico, Galan said. His mother, Sanjuana, told The Post that CBP discovered the visa after fingerprinting her son. The conflicting documents only fueled the agency’s suspicion that Galicia’s U.S. documents were fake, Galan said.

The arrest of U.S. citizens by ICE is not as rare as it should be. Last year, a Los Angeles Times investigation found that 1,488 U.S. citizens were released from ICE custody since 2012. The bulk of those came under President Obama in 2012 and 2013.

Glacia’s story is being told just as the Trump administration is moving to make it easier to deport immigrants and attempting high-profile ICE raids across the nation. And it’s attracting the attention of some high-profile politicians.

On Monday night, Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez tweeted “CBP is detaining *American citizens.* How would you feel trapped in a border camp, where guards wear face masks because the human odor is so strong? When we allow the rights of some to be violated, the rights of all are not far behind.”

Former HUD secretary and presidential candidate Julián Castro tweeted Tuesday, “As Trump stirs fear of immigrants to advance his racist agenda, the persecution of citizens of color is a dark, calculated outcome. Francisco Galicia was born in Dallas. His detention isn’t an anomaly — it’s a call to action. We must change our course.”

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0 # lfeuille 2019-07-23 22:32
I read somewhere today that he has been released. At least I think it was him. I don't remember the name given but it was someone in the same situation. Must be because of the media attention to the case.
0 # elizabethblock 2019-07-24 19:01
He is not unique. See the New Yorker piece, several years ago, about the man who a judge decided wasn't who he was but was someone else, and was dumped in Mexico with five dollars and no documents. It's only by good luck that he survived.

And I heard, years ago - maybe I can find the story - that back in the 1930s the US deported a lot of Mexicans, some of whom were in fact born in the US. When the US joined World War II, they were sent draft notices! and all of them responded!!!
0 # elizabethblock 2019-07-25 06:37
Here's what Google turned up:
From the program:
FRANCISCO BALDERRAMA: Well, Mr. Piña called me after we had the hearings in Sacramento. We conducted extensive interviews. And getting to meet his family, his son shared with me that he no longer has the nightmares, that this man was experiencing well into his eighties, because he was able to share his story with us.