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Immigration Law

CBP Deports American Citizen Babies

Felipe De La Hoz, The Intercept, Jan. 2, 2021

"U.S. Customs and Border Protection has used a controversial Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order authorizing the expulsion of asylum-seekers on supposed public health grounds to send multiple U.S.-born infants — who are by law U.S. citizens — and their migrant families across the southern border to Mexico.

In interviews with The Intercept, three asylum-seeking mothers who crossed the border while pregnant described giving birth in U.S. hospitals, only to be swiftly sent back under false pretenses and without an evaluation of their particular humanitarian circumstances or claims of danger. The Intercept has reviewed medical and immunization records for the women and their infants, which prove U.S. hospital births, and is referring to the mothers by pseudonyms due to their precarious status as asylum-seekers and the danger they believe they still face in Mexico, where all three remain. None immediately received citizenship paperwork for their infants, and they are unsure if and when they’ll be allowed to tender an asylum claim.

“The law does not allow for the rapid expulsion of U.S. citizens,” said Nicole Ramos, director of the Border Rights Project at Al Otro Lado, a legal and social services organization that is investigating the expulsions. Al Otro Lado, which has a presence in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Tijuana, Mexico, said it is aware of a total of eight mothers in this situation, two of whom it’s lost contact with and the rest of whom remain in Mexico."