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Immigration Law

CA5 on Statutory Birthright Citizenship: Garza-Flores v. Mayorkas

Garza-Flores v. Mayorkas

"For years, Petitioner Javier Garza-Flores did not believe he had a valid claim to U.S. citizenship. But now he thinks that he does. And he has presented documentary evidence sufficient to demonstrate, at a minimum, a genuine issue of material fact concerning his claim of U.S. citizenship. That is enough to warrant a factual proceeding before a federal district court to determine his citizenship. Accordingly, we transfer this matter to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas for a de novo review under 8 U.S.C. § 1252(b)(5)(B). ... Petitioner was also recently tried in district court for the crime of unlawful reentry into the United States. See United States v. GarzaFlores, 2021 WL 5771866 (S.D. Tex. Dec. 6, 2021). He defended himself on the ground that he is a U.S. citizen and thus entitled to return to the United States. As here, the criminal case turned on whether his father met the “physical presence” requirement. Id. at *6. Evaluating nearly identical evidence, the court determined that reasonable doubt existed as to his father’s requisite physical presence—and thus found him not guilty. Id. at *1, *6. Our conclusion in this case—that Petitioner has presented a genuine issue of material fact as to his citizenship—is certainly consistent with the judgment in his criminal case. * * * “United States citizenship is one of the greatest privileges this world has ever known.” Lopez v. Pompeo, 923 F.3d 444, 447 (5th Cir. 2019) (Ho, J., concurring). Garza-Flores has staked his claim to that precious right. And he has presented at least a genuine issue of material fact concerning that claim. Accordingly, we transfer this case to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas for a de novo determination of his citizenship claim under 8 U.S.C. § 1252(b)(5)(B)."

[Hats way off to Jaime M. Diez!  (Also to Judge Ho, who penned this 2006 essay putting the definitive kibosh on John Eastman's 14th amendment tomfoolery.]