Andres Mejer: Hi. Three things for you today. One, breaking news, ICE is detaining U.S. citizens. Maybe that doesn’t surprise you but it should. Because ICE’s role is to detain and deport or enforce immigration laws to those that are here illegally not those that are American citizens. Second what documents should you have with you in order to avoid being detained. Why do you need it? How can you protect yourself? That’s the second thing I want to talk about. And third, why does doing your background search matter? Why is it important to have certain documents on you in the event of travel or even going from home to work? Why do you need it? Why is your background important before you apply for anything? These are the three things that we’re going to talk about today. Breaking news, ICE detaining US citizens. Look in the past seven years. Over one third of 1480 U.S. citizens were detained and then released. There were over 8000 claims of U.S. citizenship that ICE investigated about 25 percent of them or just under 15 hundred were were actually U.S. citizens and were ultimately let go, now to be fair, this is only a fraction of the over 100000 people that are detained every year. So as a percentage those numbers are very low. The problem is sometimes it takes days weeks or months or in some cases years to fix. And when someone is deprived of their liberty when they’re in jail for weeks months or years the fact that you know less than 2 percent of all arrests are in are incorrect doesn’t help them at all. Now I’m going to give three different examples of U.S. citizens that were detained by ICE the first and the most well most in the news right now is Francisco Galicia. He was detained on June 27 this year in Texas. He lives in Edinburg right on the corner of Texas and Mexico. Him, his younger brother, Marlon who was 17, and a bunch of guys were going traveling to Houston by car for a soccer tryouts, for college. And along the way they were pulled over by Customs Border Patrol just within the 100 mile, 100 miles of the border with Mexico. And he had on him his birth certificate his Social Security his driver’s license and despite that he was detained by ICE for almost a month. Why. He also had a Mexican visa indicating that he was born in Mexico. And so here’s what happened. He was born in the US move back. This family moved back to Mexico. His brother Marlon was born. For the next 10 years they were in Mexico. Then they moved back to the U.S.. He had been in the U.S. for about a year or two. His English was more Spanglish than anything else. He understands more, more English than he speaks. He clearly does not speak very well. He tried to tell the ICE office he was a U.S. citizen and he had documentation to prove it. Now I understand the confusion. We have two conflicting documents one says he’s a U.S. citizen. One says he is not but it doesn’t take 27 days to correct that. He insisted he was a U.S. citizen but by his account he was treated horrifically. He lost 26 pounds in 27 days. He was detained for 27 days but only to 23 days was in this particular detention. During that time, he was not allowed a shower not a single time. He was given wipes to clean himself. Very sad situation. Now he was only ultimately released when family hired counsel , the attorney provide the same documents that ice already had in their possession from day one. It does not take twenty seven days to figure out if a copy of birth certificate is legitimate or not. But in this case apparently it did. Second case not as extreme as Francisco,Sergio Cabrillo. He was detained at a parking lot in Home Depot, in July of 2016, when homeland security showed up Sergio was then 39 years old. He was a landscaper, fluent English speaker, had lived the past 20 years in the United States. He gained his citizenship in 1994. He was under age and his father naturalized, when his father naturalized, he became a U.S. citizen. He had a certificate of citizenship and he had a passport agent. So he told the agent what ae you doing with me. I’m a U.S. citizen. He said it repeatedly. They didn’t care. They detained him. He was detained for almost a week. The same day his son went to the detention center to present his U.S. passport and certificate of citizenship and the ICE agents would not accept it. He had to go hire an attorney to do the very same thing. And then he was ultimately released. He sued for false imprisonment got a twenty thousand dollar settlement for this mistake, Again, percentage wise, less than two percent of all detentions actually are U.S. citizens and can prove it successfully. Of you know generally about 8 thousand or so in the past seven years and about eight thousand claims of U.S. citizenship. About 20 percent of them 1,480 they were actually were American citizens and ultimately were released. But some things become very complicated. Imagine Sergio’s situation. Imagine he didn’t have a passport. Imagine his father passed away. Or you know his parents separated after he turned 18, he went to college and you never saw his father again and he doesn’t know where he is and he doesn’t know when he naturalized. So these cases can become very complicated and very difficult to prove. Moral of the story is, if you have a path for citizenship do it now. If you’re a Green Card holder apply for citizenship by the way. Don’t wait. Don’t let these situations happen to you. Francisco couldn’t really defend himself because he didn’t speak the language. Sergio could. And what happened that the officer made a mistake and spelled his last name with a P is that it with a B, didn’t find a citizenship, didn’t believe him. Well he was a U.S. citizen and he’s not the one who typed in the name incorrectly, the officer was but he’s the one that spent a week in jail in detention. Yeah you got twenty thousand dollars for it but I don’t know you know if you pay me a million bucks maybe I’ll go to jail for a week. But for twenty thousand. Money is money but my life’s more important. Davina Watson talk about long time in jail. He was born in Jamaica. U.S. citizen today. He became a U.S. citizen when his father naturalized and he was a minor so he was convicted in New York of drug possession. And distribution. He served his jail time. After finishing. He was interviewed by an ICE officer. Instead of being released ICE took him into custody and put him in removal proceedings and he told them Listen I’m a U.S. citizen. My father, Hopeton Urlando Watson lives in New York. I was under age when he naturalized I naturalized. Now the officer did not find Hopeton Urlando Watson living in New York. Instead he found Hopeton Livingston Watson who lives in Connecticut and was not a U.S. citizen now. De vino when he was charged with the crime he was given a public defender. The state paid for his attorney to defend him in immigration court. You don’t have that right if you want an attorney. You have to pay for it yourself. You’re not given one. So he went in front of the judge. He said this and I’m a U.S. citizen. The judge didn’t believe him and ordered him deported. He appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals who sustained same thing. They said no we don’t believe you you’re gonna get deported. He goes to the district court. Now he’s in federal court and he’s given an attorney, for free to represent him. And that attorney was able to get ICE to redo the initial search not Hopeton Urlando not Hopeton Livingston but Hopeton Orlando who is in fact a U.S. citizen. The moment he pointed that out he was released three and a half years in jail. Above his sentence because he didn’t have an attorney and because he didn’t know what to do so. So the V.A. did not even finish high school. He didn’t have much of much of an education. I’m sure that prevented his ability to argue his case effectively by himself. Had he had counsel earlier chances are he would have gotten out earlier. It’s not fair but it’s unfortunate. Those are the circumstances, three and a half years Now, he won a judgment of eighty two thousand five hundred dollars. Eighty two thousand is not a lot of money. When you’re talking about three and a half years of my life. But. But to make it worse. An appellate court took it away because he ran the statute limitations. He should have filed his claim while he was in jail. He didn’t. So because he didn’t. He lost that right. And that settlement was taken, that award was taken from him.