Patterico's Pontifications


American Citizen detained by ICE for 23 Days

Filed under: Government,Immigration — DRJ @ 2:45 am

[Headlines by DRJ]

I want to share this comment by Paul Montagu:

[T]he story of Francisco Erwin Galicia–the American citizen who was held by CBP/ICE for 26 days and was not released until after the media got wind–just gets worse.

First, border chief Brian Hastings lied to Congress when he said that Galicia never claimed to be a US citizen. There is literally a DHS document where some minion wrote down that “you falsely represented yourself to be a citizen of the United States.”

Second, I’m pretty sure that CBP/ICE violated the 8th Amendment (the one about “…nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted”) when, during his confinement without a shred of due process, Mr. Galicia lost 26 pounds, was denied a shower during his confinement, and “had to sleep under a foil blanket in a packed holding area.”

Even if not a citizen, our federal government shall not inflict cruel and unusual punishment on human beings, but this is all the worse because he is a citizen and he literally had a wallet-sized birth certificate, Social Security card and Texas ID card on his person. US citizenship should be the gold standard, the golden ticket, meaning that citizenship should mean something. We are supposed to be treated humanely, it’s our birthright, no matter the alleged transgression, but not so this administration.

Galicia discussed his treatment on MSNBC — US citizen released by ICE: ‘We went through something 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.

Paul’s links include a Dallas Morning News’ article where this story was first reported. The Hill has also reported on it:

Galicia was detained while traveling to a soccer scouting event with his younger brother, Marlon, who is not a citizen and the “illegal alien” Hastings referred to.

When the two brothers reached a CBP checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas, Marlon only had a school ID card, while Francisco Galicia had his Texas ID, which can only be obtained with a Social Security number.

Francisco Galicia was later transferred to an ICE facility on the belief that his documents were fraudulent, while his brother signed a voluntary deportation form and has been staying in Reynosa, Mexico.

This story is concerning. I don’t know if it is relevant but it is common for people in Texas with ties to Mexico to cross the border, especially in the Summer and on holidays. I can’t tell if Galicia was confused at being detained, or this was about protecting his brother, or if someone is lying.


26 Responses to “American Citizen detained by ICE for 23 Days”

  1. He lost 26 pounds in 23 days? Wow! Just wow! We are missing a golden opportunity here, folks! We could balance the budget and eliminate the deficit by having the ICE operate “fat farms” for people who want to lose weight. With judicial use of patents and trade secret protection we could have a world-wide monopoly, and it would give a great boost to our travel and hospitality industries too!

    Some of the truth has already come out. His mama had given a fake name on his birth certificate and she had declared him a non-US citizen on a visa application to visit Mexico. Why should the Border Patrol trust his papers, when the database said something else on top of him being with an illegal whom he claimed to be his brother?

    nk (dbc370)

  2. DRJ, you’re right that people in Texas with ties to Mexico frequently cross the border. It’s always been that way. There are lots of Mexican nationals who cross the bridge to work in Texas, then return home in Mexico. It’s more of a problem in the Rio Grande Valley than illegal immigration.

    A few years ago, a Hispanic lady called into one of the local radio shows to complain that she had to send her sixteen-year old son to San Antonio so he could get a minimum wage entry job, because most of those jobs here are taken by Mexican nationals. So are most of the agricultural and construction jobs.

    It didn’t used to be this way. Hey, I had to work the fields when I was a teenager–one of the masters of our Scout troop was a farmer, and he hired the Scouts to work his field, because we were cheaper than Mexican nationals. Picking watermelon in the South Texas heat was hell, but it was the only way for us to earn enough money to get to Philmont scout ranch in New Mexico. We weren’t old enough to get minimum wage jobs.

    A lot of Mexican nationals own houses here in South Texas, mostly in gated communities. These are vacation homes or retreats. A couple of years ago, I got an assignment on a repossessed home. It was one of these properties. Nice house, gated community. While I was there securing and inspecting the property, taking pictures, the a/c repairman showed up to inspect the ducts. He cam down from the attic with a cigar box full of passports. Were they fake? I didn’t know, but these guys looked like some mean, nasty, ugly criminals.

    I notified the authorities. The result was two days of interviews with the FBI, the DEA, the ATF, the US Marshals, and the Texas Rangers. But what could I tell them? I don’t know this guy, have never met him. All I did was secure a repossessed home and perform a visual inspection, and the a/c guy found these passports in a duct.

    I have no idea where the investigation went after that. This is the name on the property listed, and these are the passports discovered. That was all I could say, because that was all I knew.

    It doesn’t surprise me that the authorities would question his documentation. A birth certificate and a driver’s license are easy to come by, as is a passport. But this kind if incarceration is really unwarranted.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  3. No matter how you feel about this sort of thing, you can count on it to continue as long as Trump humpers embrace immigration as a cheap campaign issue.

    Gryph (08c844)

  4. As nk explained, he was carrying fraudulent immigration/identity documents together with his legitimate ones.

    Under those circumstances, the error is understandable, but it should have been discovered and corrected sooner.

    I suspect the “lost 26 pounds” is not based on any real measurement.

    IMO it does point out the glaring need for a modern, fraud resistant (biometric) national identity card (that could also be used for voter verification).

    Dave (1bb933)

  5. He plans to sue so I expect we will learn more someday. But there are lots of fake documents out there, and it is hard to know who to believe.

    DRJ (15874d)

  6. Two things. I mentioned 26 days in detention but it looks like it was 23: I stand corrected. The one question mark I had is how do you verify that he lost 23 pounds. It’s based on just his word, far as I can tell; however, (1) he’s barely an adult with a young man’s a metabolism and (2) crap conditions in these facilities are well documented.

    Paul Montagu (dbd3cc)

  7. IMO it does point out the glaring need for a modern, fraud resistant (biometric) national identity card (that could also be used for voter verification).

    Texas does issue Real ID — with a gold star, Paul! — and we all better have one if that’s all we want to use to get on a plane or into a federal building starting October 2020 unless we want to carry our passport with us too, but you have to ask for it and show up at DMV with the same documentation you need to get a passport in order to get it, otherwise they’ll only give you “actual ID” which is good for driving and buying booze and cigarettes and available to illegals too in California and New York, and I suppose you can get on a Greyhound with it too, and that’s good enough for both Trump’s base and Sheila Jackson Lee’s base.

    nk (dbc370)

  8. Texas has been updating drivers’ licenses for the past year to comply with Real ID. I don’t know everything that is being done to comply, but the Texas Dept of Public Safety offered me early renewal and my new license has Real ID.

    DRJ (15874d)

  9. Paul, I think the initial stories might have said 26 days instead of 23 because that number is familiar to me, too.

    DRJ (15874d)

  10. He had a border crossing card in his name on him. A card that you get when you are a Mexican citizen. His mother has previously named him a Mexican citizen and got him a tourist visa on crossing the border. He doesn’t speak English. Not he speaks heavily accented english, but he doesn’t speak enough English to get by with. His birth certificate is problematic because reportedly the mothers name is incorrect. The explanation for this is that his mother used false ID at the time because she was in the country illegally. The delay was due go being held by the border patrol instead of going to ICE where they could investigate and decide what to do. The wait being caused by the overwhelming of ice due to many reasons some of which include not being given enough money to handle the amount of people that are currently being detained. This is not some open and shut screw up.

    Eric D Ellis (26456a)

  11. I think the 23 day vs 26 days is about the time spent in border patrol custody vs ICE custody.

    Eric D Ellis (26456a)

  12. Texas does issue Real ID — with a gold star, Paul!

    I can understand that it’s easy to confuse “Dave” with “Paul Montagu” because the spelling and phonetics are practically identical, but that was Dave, not me, who commented about the “glaring need” for better ID cards.

    Paul Montagu (dbd3cc)

  13. Good point, Eric. Thank you.

    DRJ (15874d)

  14. Heh! I surmised that “US citizenship should be the gold standard, the golden ticket” in the post was yours, from your original comment.

    nk (dbc370)

  15. 1 -nk
    Nadler would look healthier after 10 months on the border.

    mg (8cbc69)

  16. I should look this up but I don’t have time. How did they end up at the border if the plan was to go to a soccer audition at Ranger College? Ranger is hundreds of miles from the border.

    Also, who in the family is legal? This young man is a citizen born in Parkland Hospital, the county hospital in Dallas. I guess the brother isn’t since he was deported. Is it his younger brother? If so, it is strange to have an older child in America and a younger one in Mexico. Usually it is the other way around.

    DRJ (15874d)

  17. RealID is not biometric. So while you need to provide *somebody’s* birth certificate to get it issued, it doesn’t prove much else. Also, since it is a state document, there is no federal database for verification of authenticity.

    Dave (1bb933)

  18. That may be the party line, or possibly even the actual case, in California where Real ID is like holy water in Dracula’s castle, but it’s not the reality in states which are complying with the Real ID law in good faith. Also, do you include facial recognition in “biometric?

    nk (dbc370)

  19. @11. Solution: assimilate.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  20. DRJ. The border patrol has interior checkpoints from 25 to 75 miles from the border on major highways.

    Eric D Ellis (1432e1)

  21. I don’t know where you are, Eric, but I live in West Texas. I’ve been through the IH10 checkpoints many times but I haven’t been to Juarez in 20 years. Too dangerous.

    DRJ (15874d)

  22. Plus, Ranger is between Fort Worth and Abilene. There aren’t any checkpoints there.

    DRJ (15874d)

  23. Is ICE even constitutional? Doesn’t seem very 4A friendly.

    JRH (52aed3)

  24. 23. If you’re not a citizen, most of the constitution doesn’t apply. You shouldn’t be able to vote, get a driver’s license, or own property, and in fact, you’re here at the leisure of the government. I and my countrymen have NO obligation whatsoever to anyone who is not at the very least naturalized.

    Gryph (08c844)

  25. IMO it does point out the glaring need for a modern, fraud resistant (biometric) national identity card (that could also be used for voter verification).

    I have no problem with that, so long as the government isn’t involved. Open up the identity-card business to the private sector. I’ll bet you that an AMEX ID would be damn certain to be fraud-proof, especially if there were stiff fines for letting someone get one who didn’t deserve it. Limit it to companies who could cover any possible fines and we’re done.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  26. Is ICE even constitutional? Doesn’t seem very 4A friendly.

    The border is different.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

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