Customs and Border Protection (CPB) stopped two brothers at a checkpoint in Texas on June 27. The younger one, Marlon Galicia, was born in Mexico and entered the U.S. illegally; the older one, 18-year-old Francisco Erwin Galicia, was born in Dallas. CBP took both brothers into custody.
According to The Dallas Morning News, while Marlon was deported to Mexico, Francisco has been in detention for nearly a month, despite being a U.S. citizen. He was held by CBP for three weeks, not allowed a phone call until last weekend, when he was transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody. His family&aposs attorney, Claudia Galan, told the paper that the agencies have so far been ignoring her efforts to get Galicia released, and his family now fears he&aposll be deported to a country where he&aposs not a citizen:
Galan said she met with CBP officers last week and presented them with Galicia’s birth certificate and some other documents but was unsuccessful in getting him released. She plans on presenting the same documents to ICE officers later this week. "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," Galan said. "He’s going on a full month of being wrongfully detained. He’s a U.S. citizen and he needs to be released now."
The Morning News reviewed a copy of the birth certificate, and they confirm that it reports Galicia was born at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas on December 24, 2000. And when CBP stopped him, he reportedly was carrying a wallet-sized copy of his birth certificate, his Social Security card, and a Texas ID that&aposs only available to citizens with Social Security numbers. In an interview with The Washington Post, Galan added, "When Border Patrol checked his documents, they just didn’t believe they were real. They kept telling him they were fake."
On paper, Galicia seems to have done everything right, carrying multiple documents with him that proved he was a U.S. citizen. But that apparently wasn’t enough to keep him from landing in a detention center. CBP and ICE have detained many other citizens, though, and nearly deported several, including a Marine veteran born in Michigan and a Philadelphia man who had the same name as a Jamaican immigrant.
And the detention and threat of deportation against non-white U.S. citizens looks likely to get worse. The Trump administration has announced a new "expedited removal" policy that makes deportation faster and easier for immigration enforcement agents. It empowers the agency to stop any person, anywhere in the U.S., and for any reason, and demand they prove either they’re a citizen or have lived in the U.S. for at least two years. If they can’t do either, they’re deported without seeing a judge. The policy would be alarming on its own, even if it weren’t coming from an administration that accuses non-white congresswomen of being not "capable of loving America."
The Trump administration has been insisting that it&aposs only concerned with targeting "illegal" immigration, even as it changes its own policies—like revoking the Temporary Protected Status for more than 400,000 people, restricting the number of ways people can apply for asylum, and threatening to refuse all refugee claims in the next year—to selectively target people who came or are trying to come to the U.S. "the right way." But as the history of Japanese-American internment camps has shown, legal status and valid paperwork are no protection from a government that enacts policies with the implicit assumption that some citizens are permanently alien.
Originally Appeared on GQ