Andres Robles is celebrating his 22d birthday today in Mexico and not with his parents in Thibodaux, Louisiana because the U.S. government once again deported a U.S. citizen.
Instead of following the law that says U.S. citizens cannot be detained, much less deported, the government is channeling Kafka.
The letter Mr. Robles received over a month ago care of his attorney Lawrence Fabacher speaks for itself:
Dear Mr. Robles,We have papers that will authorize your presence inside the Castle, Mr. Robles. But since we mistakenly threw you out of the Castle, you may not obtain them. Once you enter the Castle, we will be happy to provide you papers that will authorize your entry.
Your N-600 Application for a Certificate of Citizenship was approved on June 15, 20011 [sic]. You derive [sic] citizenship on June 13, 2002, when your father became a naturalized citizen of the United States. However, since you were deported from the United States, we are unable to complete the N-600 application process and provide you with a certificate of citizenship.
Upon your return to the United States, please make an appointment at the USCIS office closest to your current location. At that time, the local office will be able to assist you in obtaining your certificate of citizenship....
Mr. Robles is not without assistance. His attorney, Lawrence Fabacher, reached out to the Oakdale, Louisana ICE offices. ICE told Mr. Fabacher that Mr. Robles would have to resolve this matter at the U.S. consulate in Mexico. Andres' father flew down to Mexico and met his son at the U.S. consular office in Matamoros, a border city that is a 12 hour bus ride from Andres' current home with his grandmother in a small village 40 mountainous miles north of Puerto Vallarta.
When we spoke by phone yesterday, Mr. Robles said that the consular officer told them they did not issue "that kind of passport" and refused to assist him.
Andres' sister Maria, 26, also a U.S. citizen, told me that when her parents shared with her the results of their trip to the consular office over two weeks ago they were all devastated, "It's like the world's coming down on our shoulders. They were crying. He's growing up without us. I try to help them but I feel so useless."
Maria had in fact managed to track down someone in the U.S. Consular Office in Nuevo Laredo who followed up on her concerns and induced someone in the State Department in Washington, D.C. to call Andres. Andres told me, "He asked me all the questions you are asking: where I first crossed, the first time I crossed over, how old I was and all of that, where I went to school. They told me he would call me back and get me my passport, that I could pick it up at a border crossing."
But no one ever called back and the number he had for the individual with whom he spoke two weeks ago was a nonworking number with an area code for Trinidad and Tobago, perhaps the result of a transcription error.
Happy birthday, Andres. Hang in there. Wouldn't it be a nice present if the guy from the State Department called back today! You told me that you thought you'd been there since New Year's Eve, 2009, but I just checked and the immigration judge you think deported you, John Duck at Oakdale, ordered your removal on December 16, 2008, a week after the adjudicator William Cassidy ordered Mark Lyttle's deportation unlawful deportation.
I will post more on how Andres came to be deported early next week.
And I will also report any response to this from ICE or the State Department, though I am not holding my breath. ICE ignored U.S. citizen and ex-Marine Geoge Ibarra's privacy waiver instructing the government to share information with me about his unlawful detention and deportations, even though ICE spokesperson Vincent Picard assured me that this would be forthcoming. (ICE ignored Mr. Ibarra's probative evidence of U.S. citizenship, i.e., an immigration judge finding he was a U.S. citizen!, and continued to hold him for several months while it filed its appeal, releasing him without explanation only after I wrote about this and major news outlets were arranging interviews with Mr. Ibarra at the Eloy Detention Center.)
This most recent episode of ICE silence on its malfeasance confirms that ICE under the Obama administration is misusing funding Congress appropriated for providing public information and is instead devoting these resources to its propaganda machine and hiding from the American people the practices it is using to unlawfully detain and deport U.S. citizens and other residents.
A research article on this topic, "US Government Unlawfully Detaining and Deporting US Citizens" will be appearing shortly in the University of Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law, vol 18 (3).