This is a very interesting case regarding immigration and obtaining citizenship through a U.S. citizen parent. Basically, this case used Article 314 of the Mexican Constitution when determining whether to deport individuals who claim American citizenship.
In Mexico, Saldana was born to an American male and a Mexican female. His birth certificate listed both parents. DHS deported him and denied his citizenship application on the basis that he was born out-of-wedlock.
According to DHS, Article 314 provided that children born out of wedlock can only be legitimized if the couple marries subsequently. At oral argument, however, the government admitted that Article 314 did never existed. DHS then cited Article 130 alleging it required marriage for legitimacy of children.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held in their opinion disagreed. Article 130 merely cited that marriage was a civil contract, rather than a religious one. In addition, the court noted that this article said nothing about the legitimization of children. The court explained,
In sum, under the laws of Tamaulipas, Mexico, where Saldana was born and resided as a child, he was acknowledged by his father when his father placed his name on the birth certificate before the Civil Registry. As an acknowledged child, Saldana had the same filial rights vis-a-vis his father as a “legitimated” child.
The ACLU and its partners filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of immigrants in New Jersey subject to mandatory immigration detention. The lead plaintiff, Garfield Gayle, a 59-year-old green card holder from Jamaica, has lived in the United States for 30 years. Nearly eight months ago, when federal agents put him in handcuffs at his home, he learned that the government was trying to deport him based on an alleged attempted drug sale offense that happened more than 17 years ago.
“There is no reason to incarcerate people for months or even years on end when they have every incentive to show up in court, fight their cases, and win the right to stay in America with their loved ones,” said Michael Tan, lead attorney on the case.
Heres a link to the complaint.
According to the ACLU, “the case exemplifies many of the problems with widespread, costly and inhumane detentions around the country; there is of course great hope that some of this can change now that there is a lot of talk about immigration reform. Mr. Gayle, along with a record-breaking 429,000 immigrants in the U.S. in 2011, is being held in a detention center even though he has long roots and family in the U.S. and poses no threat.”
For additional information on the issue of immigrants in detention, click here.
via ImmigrationProf Blog: ACLU Files Class-Action Lawsuit on Behalf of Detainees.