U.S. Citizen Faces Deportation After Showing He Was Born In Texas
Francisco Galicia, an 18-year-old high school senior from Texas, has been battling with U.S. immigration authorities since June over his citizenship status and still faces deportation despite proving he was born in the U.S.
According to The Dallas Morning News, Galicia was picked up at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint while traveling to “Ranger College in North Texas with his brother and three other friends for a soccer scouting event.”
The teen showed the officers his Texas ID and a wallet-sized birth certificate, but CBP detained him regardless and he remained in custody for nearly a month.
What followed was the revelation that although Galicia was born in Texas in 2001, documented by a certificate of his birth in Dallas, his mother obtained a Mexican birth certificate when he was about three years old so he could attend school in Mexico. Shortly after he was born, she left his father and set up home south of the border.
It was the existence of the second certificate, along with the visitor’s visa Galicia’s mother obtained for him afterward to travel back to the United States, that raised concerns with U.S. immigration officials.
“He was a baby. He didn’t make any decisions. I made those decisions thinking of a better future for him,” his mother, Sanjuana Galicia, told The News. “I made those mistakes, but I made them thinking it was what was best for him. He needed to go to school.”
Claudia Galan, Galicia’s attorney, said she has presented Immigration and Customs Enforcement with evidence of his citizenship on at least three occasions, but in September, ICE indicated it is continuing to seek deportation.
Gerard Magliocca, a constitutional law expert and law professor at Indiana University, told the publication that because Galicia’s U.S. birth certificate was filed nearly three years before his mother obtained the Mexican document, Galicia “constitutionally speaking” is a U.S. citizen.
Magliocca said the only exception would be if Galicia renounced his citizenship, which is unlikely considering he was a minor.
The News noted that the U.S. State Department says U.S. nationality is “a status that is personal to the individual U.S. national, it cannot be renounced by a parent or a legal guardian under any set of circumstances.”
Galan, Galicia’s attorney, said his case is not scheduled in immigration court until August 2020 — more than a year from now — which she fears is indicative of the government’s plan to build a case to question the teen’s citizenship.
“The plan now is to file a motion to terminate deportation proceedings so we don’t have to wait until 2020. We’re going to attach all the evidence that has already been submitted to ICE and hope we get a positive ruling,” Galan said.