What should have been a road trip to check out a college soccer team developed into a frustrating and scary scenario for 18-year-old Francisco Erwin Galicia. The teen, a US citizen, and his friends were traveling on June 27 when they were stopped at a Border Patrol checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas. Despite providing a Social Security card, a Texas ID card, and a wallet-sized Texas birth certificate, he was detained.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection believed his documents were suspicious. The others in the car – including his younger brother, who was born in Mexico – couldn’t provide documentation, so they believed something was amiss. But in the weeks since he’s been detained, his lawyer has provided additional documentation to prove his identity. Yet, he has still not been released, according to The Washington Post.
According to his lawyer, Claudia Galan, Francisco’s mom, Sanjuana, took out a U.S. tourist visa in his name when he was a kid. It incorrectly states that he was born in Mexico. His mother got a tourist visa so he could travel between the United States and Mexico, and she couldn’t get a passport for him, because she put a different name for herself on his birth certificate.
Francisco is afraid that he’ll be deported (his brother was deported voluntarily shortly after June 27), so he has refused to sign any paperwork. “He speaks English, but he just thinks they’re going to trick him into signing a removal order and that he’ll end up getting deported,” Galan said.
On Tuesday, Galan will travel to the South Texas Detention Facility in Pearsall, where he’s being held, to help him sign the paperwork that will hopefully free him.