Here are descriptions of two previously unpublished accounts of U.S.-born Mexican-American teenagers who had their birth certificates ripped up by Customs and Border Patrol Agents. I have information on other similar cases, but only time to write up the details of these two, along with summaries and links to two other recent cases published elsewhere.I am working to independently verify the information presented by Jacqueline. These are very serious allegations, and if proven, should be fully investigated by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security. If anyone has more information, please email me at the link to the left or drop the info in the comments to aid with compilation of data.
Just to be clear, a national identity card doesn't solve these problems: in many cases of U.S. citizens deported ICE or Customs and Border Patrol doesn't even check the digital files that have evidence matching the identity cards presented by the individual with the information in their databases-- as was the case at several points for Mark Lyttle. If no one bothers to check that a passport (or national identity card) matches the information in a law enforcement database-- as should happen when a U.S. citizen objects to having his proper identity disregarded by an agent or an immigration judge -- then having a national card does nothing and is no improvement over our current system.
Mexican-Americans with Birth Certificates Border Patrol Destroys or Ignores
1. Mario, 17, was born in a Colorado hospital in the late 1980s and I've seen his birth certificate and hospital records.
Mario's mother is a U.S. citizen and his father Mexican. When Mario was a toddler his father and mother separated and Mario's father brought him to Mexico. His father's plan was to raise Mario, and then he would return to the United States. When Mario was 17 he decided it was time to "go back to the United States and claim his destiny," according to an individual familiar with this case. Mario had uncles in Tucson who visited Mario frequently in Mexico. He was especially interested in finding his mother. A birth certificate is a valid form of identification for entering the United States, and Mario thought he was all set. (Mario couldn't obtain a U.S. passport from Mexico because if you're 17 or under, that requires the presence of both legal parents.)
In early 2007, when Mario tried to return through Nogales, Arizona the Customs and Border Patrol agent, the attorney said, "tore it up on the spot. They told him, 'It's not real. Go away, kid, this is fraud.' There goes your Colorado birth certificate. Go away, have a nice day." Mario was upset and insisted he was a U.S. citizen. "They told him that if he says he's Mexican he can leave, but if he keeps saying he's a citizen he'll be detained at the Nogales border patrol station and arrested." He signed and returned to Mexico.
Read the full post here
These types of civic violations are not uncommon. Pedro Guzman, a U.S. Citizen whose mental disability complicated his interactions with border personnel in 2007, was deported to Mexico and left to wander in the streets for weeks as his family searched frantically for him. Stretching back even further, Operation Wetback was the culprit for scores of Mexican Americans having their civil rights violated through racial profiling and mass deportations alongside those without papers.
So, no, this is nothing new - but it is unacceptable. Time to dig in to these incidents deeper to see how completely broken the U.S. immigration system has become through centuries of rotting racism and delusions of superiority.