I just read a Houston Chronicle news story about 19-year-old Luis Alberto Delgado, a United States citizen born in Houston's Ben Taub Hospital, who was deported despite the fact that he provided them with a valid birth certificate, social security card, and government issued photo identification.
The article reports that Border Patrol agents detained Delgado after a routine traffic stop in South Texas and interrogated him for eight hours. While detained Delgado produced definitive proof of his citizenship, but that wasn't good enough for the Immigration Officers because his English wasn't perfect.
Ultimately, Mr. Delgado relented and "signed paperwork" because he just didn't want to be in immigration custody any longer. Delgado was exiled for 85 days before U.S. Customs and Border Protection cleared him for return.
What the government has done to Mr. Delgado, a 19-year-old kid, is lock him up and tell him that he holds the key to his own cage. All he had to do was sign away his life, and his freedom would be his again. Whatever happened to due process?
What I find most annoying about this story is that the U.S. government maintains the burden of proof to establish that an individual is not a United States citizen should they wish to remove them from the United States. The law clearly indicates that an individual does not have to first prove that he or she has a valid claim to citizenship to avoid deportation. It is the government's obligation to prove otherwise, which Mr. Delgado rendered impossible due to the affirmative production of definitive proof of his United States citizenship.
The reality is that the Government is permitted to ignore the law completely, and bully children into signing off on their own deportation. They are given this license because oftentimes there is almost no accountability for government incompetence.
How many more United States citizens need to be deported before the Government cleans up its act?
One would be too many for me.