MALDEF

Another U.S. Citizen Deported

From the Los Angeles Times:
Guillermo Olivares Romero, 25, was held at an Otay Mesa detention center from Sept. 25 until Oct. 9, when an American Civil Liberties Union attorney presented his birth certificate, school and vaccination records to immigration authorities. He was released that day.

Olivares, who has criminal convictions for robbery and forgery, had been deported twice and denied entry into the United States multiple times. Olivares said he and his mother, a legal permanent resident, showed authorities his birth certificate many times.

"They didn't believe me," Olivares, from Los Angeles, said Friday. "There was nothing I could do."1
As the press has noted, incidents of U.S. citizens being mistaken for undocumented immigrants or being deported are becoming more common.  In August:
More than 100 citizens and legal residents were snared along with nearly 140 illegal immigrants in a raid on a software company in Van Nuys, Calif., early this year. Five citizens in Texas joined a lawsuit against the department, asserting that they were subjected to unreasonable search and seizure when agents raided a meatpacking plant where they worked last year. An African American worker said in a hearing that he was handcuffed and detained for hours without food and water during a raid on an Iowa meatpacking plant in 2006.2
And in 2007:
A U.S. citizen who had been in the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department before he disappeared in May after being wrongly deported to Mexico was found this week and ordered released to his family.

Pedro Guzman, 29, who is developmentally disabled, was taken into custody Sunday while trying to cross the border at Calexico, Mexico, said Michael Soller, a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. The ACLU has represented Guzman’s family in its attempts to get the federal government to help find him.3
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1. Anna Gorman, "Immigration officials held U.S. citizen for two weeks," Los Angeles Times, 28 Oct 2008
2. Darryl Fears, "Immigration Is Snaring U.S. Citizens In Its Raids," Washington Post, 16 Aug 2008
3. Sam Quinones, "Disabled man found after 89-day ordeal," Los Angeles Times, 8 August 2007

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund