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U.S. citizen repeatedly deported as DHS cited nonexistent law

A 49-year-old man who has been a U.S. citizen since birth tried to four separate times to obtain a certificate of citizenship. He was turned down -- but not legally. Each of those four times, he was deported, however. This was apparently all the result of either anti-immigrant discrimination or complete incompetence on the part of U.S. immigration authorities.

The issue came to light just now, after he finally proved his citizenship on appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. That appeal was hard-earned by his persistent attempts to force the government to admit his citizenship since at least 1992. The South Texan with a wife and three kids and works as a carpenter and laborer, so his entire family has had to spend every spare penny just to keep him on this side of the border.

Why? It’s not as simple as discrimination against Americans of Mexican origin, at least not after the initial error. Unfortunately, a legal mistake was made in 1978 -- and no one, apparently, has ever bothered to look into it.

At that time, immigration authorities began citing a law purporting to make those born in Mexico to unmarried parents ineligible to inherit their citizenship from a U.S.-citizen parent. Under the law at the time, such children would automatically have been U.S. citizens except for a legitimation requirement in Article 314 of the Mexican Constitution.

But the Mexican Constitution does not have, and has never had, an Article 314.

When the Department of Homeland Security learned in this case that Article 134 was fake, it changed its argument to cite Article 130 of the Mexican Constitution. Article 130, however, doesn’t say what DHS claimed it did.

"So all along, that's been in this case,” asked one appellate judge heatedly, “and you all have been citing this over and over again to people for years now, and you can't even look it up in Mexican law." The appellate court went on to accuse immigration authorities of having “relied on provisions of the Mexican Constitution that either never existed or do not say what DHS claims they say.”

Immigration cases aren’t public records, so it is unknown how many U.S. citizens of Mexican origin have been wrongly deported. This man, however, will be allowed to stay with his family and will no longer have to live in fear.

Source: Fox News Latino, “Victim of Immigration Bureaucracy, U.S. Man Deported Four Times and Detained,” Associated Press Sept. 24, 2013

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