12

It is conceivable that US citizens detained at CBP will self deport to exit overcrowded CBP detainment facilities avoid lengthy detainments (>20 days). How would a US citizen's self-deportation affect one's ability to cross borders and return home?

Update:

"Food for thought" for responses:

  1. Upon deportation, why would CBP allow you to re-enter the country with the questioned documents?
  2. Would CBP not confiscate the questioned documents before deportation?
  3. Citizen is held incommuncado.

There is a claim that 2 of 3 Americans live in the 100-Mile border zone patrolled by CBP:

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21

They can't take his citizenship...

Since he claims to be a born citizen, he has citizenship by birthright and nothing CBP can do can possibly revoke it.

He can voluntarily renounce his citizenship, but he has to do that through the State Dept. (which CBP is not part of). And that is an elaborate and expensive process that can't even be done inside the United States. If someone could do it merely by entering without papers and asking for a self-deport, lots of expats would save a lot of money - and that's not gonna happen :)

...but they could put him to serious inconvenience

In this particular case, CBP found his documents suspect. Probably because (if it's the case we've seen documented elsewhere) he was with two other people whose entry was illegal, and they had forged documents.

So most likely, if he agreed to self-deport, CBP would use that as prima-facie evidence that he is not a bona-fide citizen, and therefore, that his papers are faked. They certainly will not give fake papers back to someone who has tried to pass them.

So the victim would be obliged to go back to SSA, the state, etc. and re-acquire his identity documents. From outside the country. It's a pretty big chore.

  • 1
    The citizen would be deported and have no papers? Yikes! – gatorback Jul 30 at 3:57
  • 9
    They had forged documents and his mother claimed he was not born in the US. – chrylis Jul 30 at 6:26
  • 2
    Deported to where? – gerrit Jul 30 at 11:20
  • 1
    @gerrit In this case back to where his mother and sibling were from which was Mexico. – Dean MacGregor Jul 30 at 13:40
  • 2
    If I were hateful, I would earn some foreign income, pay US tax on it, then sue the Commissioner for the tax back, saying I shouldn't owe it since I am ruled not a citizen. Pull in CBP as a witness and let the judge give them what-for. – Harper Jul 30 at 21:28
9

He's a citizen; his citizenship can't be taken by ICE or CBP, and he can't legally be kept from returning to the US from Mexico by them. He was offered "self-deportation" because ICE was illegally or irrationally detaining him, thinking that his documents were forged or stolen.

He could have "self-deported" in order to simply get out of detention, since it was offered by ICE; but he's a US citizen, so as soon as he was in Mexico, he could simply go to the border and cross with his documents. If CBP kept him from crossing at the border, his lawyer could attest to his citizenship with documents. And any "self-deportation" document he signed could be shown to be meaningless in court, since he's a citizen, and ICE was illegally or irrationally detaining him.

  • 15
    Also, since he is not a Mexican citizen, Mexico would be under no obligation to allow him to enter their country, and it could deport him to the U.S. if it wished. – ohwilleke Jul 30 at 1:28
  • 15
    It strikes me that "simply" is probably not the term that applies to a border crossing after you've been deported as a non-citizen. Your biometrics would be on file as a person who has been deported, and it's not clear to me what travel documents you'd have (they presumably won't deport you and hand you your US passport on your way out the door). I'm not saying that you won't get back, but it's unlikely to be a simple process. – Zach Lipton Jul 30 at 7:12
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    If a "self-deportation document" incorporates an "admission" that the signatory is not a US citizen, could a US citizen who signs this and later successfully proves his citizenship be guilty of some offense relating to false statements and become the target of a new, ostensibly lawful, detention? – Will Jul 30 at 11:07
  • 3
    @gatorback I think once you grant that border crossing is imperfect that this is the type of story you'd have to come up with for them to make this mistake. I think the mistake of confusing a natural born citizen for an illegal is being compounded by his being held in bad (an understatement I know) conditions for so long. If you hold the two issues separate then it seems like a pretty reasonable mistake, to me. I say they're separate issues because he was treated the same as everyone else suspected (or known) to be an illegal crosser. – Dean MacGregor Jul 30 at 14:05
  • 4
    If there was a reasonable suspicion, that Francisco Erwin Galicia was in possession of forged documents, why is it stated that "ICE was illegally or irrationally detaining him"? – Michael J. Jul 30 at 14:52

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