U.S. Citizen Deported
A “developmentally disabled” American citizen was accidentally deported and is now missing in Mexico.
A federal judge today refused the ACLU’s request to order the U.S. government to search in Mexico for a developmentally disabled Lancaster man who was wrongly deported, saying instead that he wants to be kept informed of what authorities are doing to find the man.
Pedro Guzman, a 29-year-old U.S. citizen, was serving time in the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail for a misdemeanor trespassing conviction when he was deported to Tijuana on May 10 or May 11, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. The group, which filed suit earlier this week over the deportation, also asked U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson to force federal authorities to ask Mexican authorities for help in the search for Guzman.
Pregerson responded that he did not yet want to go down the “adversarial path” of issuing a court order. The judge also said it was not clear that he has the authority to issue such an order. Pregerson asked U.S. government lawyers to update him tomorrow on what is being done to locate Guzman and what will happen if he appears at a U.S. border checkpoint.
Guzman, who knows no one in Tijuana, was last heard from on May 11, when he phoned his brother and sister-in-law’s home to say he had been deported to that city, but the call was interrupted before he could say exactly where he was, according to the ACLU. Guzman’s mother, brother and sister-in-law traveled to Tijuana and searched shelters, jails, churches, hospitals and morgues, but have not found him and fear for his safety, ACLU officials said.
Quite bizarre. I have little knowledge of immigration law and presume Pregerson knows better than I do the scope of his authority. Still, it’s quite extraordinary that our immigration procedures are so screwed up that we can accidentally deport citizens. And, as Bill Jempty rightly notes, it’s reasonable to wonder how many we’d deport if we tried to round up all 12 million illegals at one time.
As an aside, euphemisms like “developmentally disabled” are decidedly unhelpful. Is Guzman retarded? Does he have Attention Deficit Disorder? Road Rage? What?