A Veteran And Former Border Agent Was Fired After He Found Out He Wasn’t Born In The U.S.
If you’re Latino, have a Latin-sounding name, are protesting immigrant rights, or speak against immigration officials, or your employer, look out, there could be a target on your back. We mean that metaphorically, sort of, but all of the examples above have proven to be real. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other federal agencies are keeping tabs on all those individuals, and, if there’s anything suspicious in your record, you could face deportation.
A Latino who worked for the border patrol for 18 years was fired after they probed into his background and found out he has a fraudulent U.S. birth certificate.
This summer, Raul Rodriguez, a 51-year-old native of Texas, was told that he could no longer work for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He had been with the agency for 18 years, and also is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, but none of that mattered after government workers looked closely into his U.S. birth certificate, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Last year, we reported that the government would be looking into birth certificates that were issued by midwives in border towns, including in Texas.
It was last year that Latinos who were renewing their passports were getting denied due to specific details on their birth certificates. This controversy stems back to the Bush Administration based on investigations conducted by the government. The government claims that countless of fraudulent birth certificates were issued between the 1950s through the 1990s by midwives and physicians. These birth certificates in question occurred along the Texas-Mexico border. It is only now, under the Trump Administration that the officials have begun inquiring about this matter once again.
Rodriguez is one of about 246 people that have had their U.S. citizenship overturned or have been deemed to have a suspicious birth certificate. Rodriguez only found out that he wasn’t actually born in the U.S. last year.
Rodriguez has always believed to be a U.S. citizen, but last year he attempted to help his brother apply for a U.S. passport. When Rodriguez provided his birth certificate to authorities, they inquired because the certificate said he was born via a midwife during the dates in question. What authorities suspected of Rodriguez was true. He was actually born in Matamoros, Mexico.
Rodriguez recalled to KRGV News the moment U.S. officials presented him with his original birth certificate. “‘Have you ever seen it?’ I said, no. I’ve never seen it before. I’m almost 50 years old, and I’ve never seen it,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez still couldn’t believe this claim was right, so he approached his dad, who lived in Mexico. His father, Margarito Rodriguez, confirmed that he was, in fact, born in Mexico. Rodriguez told the Los Angeles Times that this information was “his worst fear.”
Rodriguez immediately applied to be a U.S. citizen, but his application was denied because he “lied” about being a U.S. citizen and because he voted illegally.
It’s incredible that the U.S. can fault him for an action he never committed. Rodriguez didn’t issue the fraudulent birth certificate, he didn’t know he was born in Mexico, and he certainly didn’t think he was voting illegally because he didn’t realize he wasn’t a U.S. citizen. As KRGV News notes, a 1996 law prohibits a person from getting U.S. citizenship if they have lied about being a U.S. citizen. As of now, his case remains open, and officials are not commenting on the status.
Now, Rodriguez is without a job, health insurance, and is risking losing his retirement benefits.
As of now, the Los Angeles Times reports that they are remaining in their Texas home but are too scared to travel anywhere else because they fear being stopped at checkpoints.
The worse part is that now Rodriguez fears the same people he worked alongside for years.
“Every time I see a cop or a police officer, I kind of stiffen up or get nervous to see Border Patrol. These are people that I worked with, and now I have to fear these people,” he told KRGV News.
While less than 300 people have been flagged for having a questionable birth certificate, it’s too early to say how many of them will be deported.
READ: The U.S. Government Is Questioning The Citizenship Of Some Latinos Along The Texas/Mexico Border
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