Despite providing several forms of identification, Francisco Erwin Galicia, a United States citizen, ended up in immigration custody for a month. There, he got a first-hand look at the horrifying treatment that immigrants face at the hands of the US government. In the 23 days that he spent in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Galicia almost chose to self-deport.
As his lawyer worked to get him released, Galicia wasn’t allowed to shower, and he also said he lost 26 pounds because he didn’t get enough to eat, according to The Dallas Morning News. He was also crammed into a tight space with 60 other men, and he slept on the floor, where he only had a aluminum-foil blanket.
“It was inhumane how they treated us,” he said. “It got to the point where I was ready to sign a deportation paper just to not be suffering there anymore. I just needed to get out of there.”
While what he’s saying is not new – it’s been reported for years by immigration journalists and corroborated by members of Congress recently – it is still shocking and unacceptable. Regardless of whether someone is an immigrant or not, they should be treated like humans, and currently, immigration facilities are not doing this.
Galicia was finally released on Tuesday after weeks of paperwork issues.