An 18-year-old U.S. citizen released from custody after being detained by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for over three weeks detailed his time being held at a migrant detention facility, calling it “inhumane.”
“From my experience, we went through something inhumane, all of us who were in that detention center," Francisco Erwin Galicia said in an interview with MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” on Friday.
"There, we couldn't bathe or brush our teeth. Nothing. You didn't have anything. The only thing that they would give us from time to time, to clean ourselves were wipes,” he added.
Galicia, who was born in Texas, was detained at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) checkpoint in Texas last month while traveling to a soccer scouting event with his brother, who is in the country without legal status. Officials arrested Galicia on suspicion his documents were fraudulent.
Galicia has slammed his detention at the migrant facility in interviews since being released from U.S. custody on Tuesday.
U.S. Border Patrol has defended its detention of Galicia, saying that he never claimed to be a U.S. citizen while in custody. Galicia insists he told officials about his status.
“From the first moment that I presented myself at the check point, I always said I was an American citizen. I showed my documents. They even charged me because they said my papers were falsified, and I have proof because they contradict themselves because they charged me for supposedly falsifying my citizenship when I am a citizen here. It doesn't make sense what they're saying,” Galicia said Friday on MSNBC.
He went on to say that officials sought to coerce him into signing a deportation order, saying they interrogation was “more psychological.”
“They said they were going to charge me, that they would insult me so I would sign my deportation order, and well, it was all psychological damage. All that so they could pressure me to sign it, telling me they were going to charge me three felonies that I would go to jail, all that. That it's better for me to sign. It was like they were going to deport me anyway,” he said.
ICE and CBP said in a joint statement to The Hill this week that 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.”