Wednesday, October 29, 2008

U.S. citizen held under ICE detainment

Immigration officials recently released a U.S. citizen who had been detained for fifteen days.

As first reported by the Los Angeles Times, Guillermo Olivares Romero was taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on September 25th. Despite claiming his U.S. citizenship, he was held until October 9th when an American Civil Liberties Union attorney showed his birth certificate, school and vaccination records to authorities.

An ICE spokeswoman claimed that Olivares said he was born in Mexico and that was confirmed by his California criminal rap sheet. Olivares, meanwhile, mentioned that he has had to prove his citizenship several times:
In 2007, he was deported after serving time in state prison. Olivares said he insisted that he was not Mexican, but immigration officials say he signed a document acknowledging that he was and that was why he was being deported. Olivares decided to live with relatives in Jalisco but said that this summer he tried to return because his father was ill. Authorities wouldn't let him in. Desperate to see his father before he passed away, he said, he crossed illegally through the mountains. Olivares said he was arrested in Imperial County and deported again at the beginning of September -- the day his father died.
Olivares is not alone in having been falsely deported; in 2007, a mentally disabled U.S. citizen was erroneously deported to Mexico and wandered for three months before being reunited with his family.

Image- (Immigration detention facility located in California)
The Latin Americanist, Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News

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