Things That Matter

American Teen Traveling With Multiple Forms Of ID Detained In Border Patrol Facility Plans To Sue The Government

In June, eighteen-year-old, Dallas born, high school student, Francisco Galicia, was arrested by ICE, and held in a detention center for almost a month even though he was carrying his driver’s license, his social security card, and copy of his birth certificate. 

Just days after being released, Galicia announced he plans to sue the government for his unlawful detainment.

Galicia had been traveling with friends to Ranger College from Edinburg, where he lives with family, when he was stopped at a border checkpoint, near Falufrrias, Texas. In TV news interviews, Galicia told reporters that the border agents insisted that his documents were fakes, and they wouldn’t believe that they were real. WFAA, in Texas, reported that agents told Galicia “you falsely represented yourself to be a citizen of the United States,” reported WFAA.

Spending nearly a month in the Texas detention center, Galicia saw conditions first-hand. He was housed in a room with sixty or seventy other people, wasn’t allowed to brush his teeth, his skin was dirty and dry, and he lost, a reported, twenty-six pounds. In despair about the conditions, Galicia who said that he didn’t want to suffer a day longer inside the detention center, almost volunteered to be deported. He told the the Dallas News that conditions were so cramped in the detention center that some detained migrants had to sleep on the bathroom floor.

“I almost signed an order to be deported because I didn’t want to suffer anymore. I was at that breaking point,” said Galicia.

Galicia’s lawyer, Claudia Galan believes that Galicia was a victim of racial profiling. She stated that a tourist visa issued to Galicia which incorrectly named México has Galicia’s place of birth caused the initial confusion.  In an interview given as Galicia left the detention center, Galan said, “He is a US Citizen, a natural born citizen of the United States. His mother had obtained a tourist visa, but Francisco did not apply for that visa. He is a US citizen, and we we need to focus on that. US Citizens cannot be detained.” 

According to Snopes, “The others in the vehicle with him were all Latinos, including his 17-year-old brother Marlon, who was born in Mexico and was in the U.S. illegally. Marlon told the Morning News that he agreed to be returned to Mexico.” 

It is not uncommon for Latinx people in the US to be from mixed-status families.

Reaction to this story about the eighteen-year-old Galicia by Latinx Twitter was swift. Presidential hopeful, Julian Castro, weighed in, asserting that Galicia’s detainment was not an anomaly. 

“As Trump stirs fear of immigrants to advance his racist agenda, the persecution of citizens of color is a dark, calculated outcome. Francisco Galicia was born in Dallas. His detention isn’t an anomaly—it’s a call to action. We must change our course.”

With their tweets, @blogdiva and @ldorothy21 both expressed the darkest fears of many Latinx people in the US.

@blogdiva and @ldorothy21 both predict and fear the detainment of all US born Latinx.

Twitter user @realXica believes that none of what happened to Galicia should happen to anyone “regardless of status.”

@CBP took a US citizens documents, told him he has no rights, starved him, didn’t allow him to contact family for 3 wks… @CBP is out of control. Every guard complicit w/holding a US citizen held criminally liable for kidnapping. Shouldn’t happen to anyone regardless of status!”

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