Thursday, June 19, 2008
Documenting ICE Detaining and Deporting US Citizens, Pt. IV, cont.
This continues the documentation of US citizens who have been deported or detained by ICE in the last three years, described in my Nation article "Thin ICE" (pub date June 23, 2008). ICE has no jurisdiction over US citizens.
-A boy with a Vietnamese mother was residing in the US with his mother who was naturalized in the US when he was 14; he has derived citizenship. But the client, then in his early 30s, was placed in the Mira Loma Detention by ICE on release from jail. After one year in detention he signed the deportation order; as his lawyer put it to me, "he traded his citizenship rights for his liberty." He wanted to be released from detention because his own wife was due to give birth and he wanted to be with his family and help support them. His citizenship case was complicated, as many cases of citizenship often are for those who are foreign born. He needed documentation from Vietnam of the conditions of his mother's departure while she was being beaten by his father, and his lawyer also was navigating the custody laws of Vietnam and the United States. His client knew that Vietnam does not issue travel documents for people who enter before 1996 and that ICE would have to release him within 90 days. (Source: private immigration attorney, Los Angeles)
-A man in his thirties was born in the United States, two miles from the Mexican border. His mother obtained a birth certificate for him from a nearby town in Mexico, but he really was born in the United States. Immigration judge issues order terminating deportation proceedings. ICE appeals order. Man remains in detention.
-Man in his early 20s, born in Mexico, living with his mother in San Bernadino, California. His mother, a naturalized citizen, from whom client derives citizenship, decides to do a favor for the neighbor and drive the neighbor's grandson, a Mexican citizen, across the border. "Mom convinced him: let's help the neighbor's grandkid." The mother asks her son to come with her "for moral support." They get caught. He serves two years in prison for alien smuggling. On release he is put into deportation proceedings. Attorney intervenes and client is released from Mira Loma Detention Center after being held for two months. (Source: private immigration attorney, Los Angeles.)
Are these cases "borderline," confusing? Or is the border itself the source of confusion?
The image above is of Nogales. Can you tell which side is Mexico and which the US?