An 18-year-old U.S. citizen who was in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for more than three weeks was reportedly released on Tuesday.
Francisco Erwin Galicia, who was born in Dallas, was detained at a CBP checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas, on June 27 while traveling to a soccer scouting event with his younger brother, Marlon Galicia.
Marlon Galicia was born in Mexico and lacks legal status in the U.S. When the two brothers reached the CBP checkpoint, Marlon only had a school ID card, while Francisco Galicia had his Texas ID, which can only be obtained with a Social Security number.
Officials arrested the 18-year-old, suspecting his documents were fraudulent, The Washington Post reports. He was later transferred to an ICE facility, while his brother signed a voluntary deportation form and has been staying in Reynosa, Mexico.
The family's attorney, Claudia Galan, reportedly met with CBP officers last week and gave them Galicia’s birth certificate and other documents, but she was unsuccessful in getting him released.
Galicia’s mother, who is not a U.S. citizen, took out a U.S. tourist visa in his name while he was still a minor, falsely claiming he was born in Mexico, which could have delayed the boy’s release, the Post reports. CBP found the visa after fingerprinting Galicia, and the documents further convinced them that the U.S. papers could be fake.
After reports surfaced Tuesday of Galicia’s detainment, several lawmakers, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez goes indoor skydiving for her birthday Democrats fret as longshot candidates pull money, attention More than 200 women, transgender inmates to be transferred from Rikers Island MORE (D-N.Y.), took to social media to declare their outrage.
“CBP is detaining *American citizens,*“ Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Tuesday. “How would you feel trapped in a border camp, where guards wear face masks because the human odor is so strong? When we allow the rights of some to be violated, the rights of all are not far behind.”
ICE has released nearly 1,500 people since 2012 after looking into their citizenship claims, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Galicia has been released from ICE custody, ICE and CBP told The Hill in a joint statement Wednesday.
The agencies said they are still researching "the facts of the situation," citing "conflicting reports from the individual and multiple birth certificates."
"Both CBP and ICE are committed to the fair treatment of migrants in our custody and continue to take appropriate steps to verify all facts of this situation.”