Boy Held at Artesia Detention Center Is a U.S. Citizen
An 11-year-old boy - one of hundreds who have been shuttled to an immigration detention facility in the middle of the New Mexican desert - was released this week after it was discovered that he is a U.S. citizen, according to the child’s attorney.
The boy spent more than a month at the detention center in Artesia before an immigration attorney who happened to be visiting the facility discovered his status last week. The child, whose father is a U.S. citizen, had migrated from Central America with his mother before both were detained.
“I don’t think they asked him the right questions,” said the boy’s attorney, Stephen Manning. “He should never have been there.”
“I think the fact that a U.S. citizen was detained and for this long before anyone actually realized that there was even the possibility that they had detained a U.S. citizen shows you just how little respect and attention is being given to people’s cases,” said Lichter, former president of American Immigration Lawyers Association. “What this shows you is that there really is no due process here and that the system is only working in a way to deport people from the country. It is not working to protect people’s claims.”
The boy’s case also reflects what happens when U.S. immigration law collides with the reality of modern, blended families, in which some members may be in the country legally while others are not.
Most immigration enthusiasts call that a ‘mixed status family’. I believe ‘blended family’ usually refers to parents with kids from prior marriages getting together. Mixed status families are one of the problems that need to be solved humanely with immigration reform. This boy gets to stay with his father in the US, but his mother may not be able to stay. What would you do?
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