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Professor/blogger Jacqueline Stevens writes:
"Andres Robles was 19 years old in 2008 when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in Louisiana ignored his claims of U.S. citizenship, as well as their own files that readily affirm this status, and deported him to Mexico for three years. Eventually U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) saw fit to issue him a Certificate of Citizenship, but there was a problem. Since the government had deported him, the government could not provide him with the certificate, government employee Jonathan Crawford, New Orleans Field Director, helpfully pointed out:
Andres eventually made his way back in, thanks to the persistence of immigration attorney Larry Fabacher, who had to badger the U.S. government for months after the USCIS confirmed Andres's U.S. citizenship.
Just days after Andres returned to the United States with a U.S. passport card in August 2011, ICE issued ANOTHER immigration detainer against him, causing several more days of illegal detention.
The errant paper trail ICE created and then failed to correct apparently prevented Andres from obtaining a Social Security card, Louisiana Driver's License, and the everyday benefits citizens derive therefrom. Following several unsuccessful efforts by his older sister, Maria, to obtain legal counsel seek remediation, civil rights attorney Andrew Free, who represents the Deportation Research Clinic in our FOIA litigation,stepped in at the request of the Clinic and filed suit.Extensive discovery ensued, including revelations that the government was well aware of their mistake and were doing nothing to remedy it. Finally, on May 1, 2015, the United States Government agreed to correct Robles's records of all references to his "alienage" and deportation, and to pay Andres $350,000 in damages.Absent such an intervention, U.S. government records would have recorded Andres's deportation as that of one more "criminal alien." The lawsuit not only provides Andres well-deserved compensation, it also corrects the record, a key objective for the forensic intelligence paradigm that guides the Deportation Research Clinic scholarship. Lawsuits such as these provide data necessary for accurate scholarship and journalism on U.S. deportation policy; they highlight the criminal misconduct perpetrated by the government in contrast with putative civil infractions of immigration law Immigration and Customs Enforcement is authorized to prevent."