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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

US Citizen, Deported 4 Times, Finally Wins After Law Found Not to Exist

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
Sigifredo Saldana Iracheta is the son of a US citizen father and a Mexican mother. He was born in a town just south of the Texas border and was a US citizen at birth. The US government rejected his claim to citizenship and he was deported four times after entering the US. I’m reluctant to say “illegally” entered the US because what he did is not really that different than what a New York State resident who lives on the border of Canada does when walking back and forth across the invisible border in her backyard. He was also jailed for nearly two years after one of his apprehensions.

The AP reports on the outrageous fight Saldana had with DHS:
Year after year, the federal government rejected his claims, deporting him at least four times and at one point detaining him for nearly two years as he sought permission to join his wife and three children in South Texas.

In rejecting Saldana's bid for citizenship, the government sought to apply an old law that cited Article 314 of the Mexican Constitution, which supposedly dealt with legitimizing out-of-wedlock births. But there was a problem: The Mexican Constitution has no such article.


The error appears to have originated in 1978, and it's been repeated ever since, frustrating an untold number of people who are legally entitled to U.S. citizenship but couldn't get it.


*****


Saldana's case was finally resolved earlier this month, when the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the government's explanation of a "typo" and ruled that he had been a citizen since birth. The error, the court said, had been "perpetuated and uncorrected" by the Department of Homeland Security.

The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this month that Saldana has been a US citizen since birth. DHS is not commenting on how they’ve denied case after case based on a phony law. But, really, what can they say? There’s no excuse for this incompetence and the agency needs to quickly track down every case ever denied on this basis and review whether a miscarriage of justice has occurred. They need to exercise diligence in contacting all of those individuals and quickly rectify matters.

While I’ve not heard about this particular problem, it’s certainly the latest example of DHS deporting and barring the admission of US citizens. Perhaps Congress should consider adding a provision to the immigration reform bill that would substantially compensate US citizens who end up in this situation.

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