Thursday, June 05, 2008
Another U.S. Citizens Mexican descendent Ilegaly arrested and deported .
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Texas woman whose American-born daughter was deported to Mexico with the father and not recovered for three years is suing the federal government for $5 million.
Monica Castro, a native of Corpus Christi, Texas, accuses the U.S. Border Patrol of refusing to release her daughter to her when the girl's father was arrested by agents in December 2003. Despite proving the child was born in the U.S., officials took the girl from Lubbock to the Texas-Mexico border. Castro did not find and regain custody of her daughter until three years later, according to Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, which represents Castro.
"Border Patrol's actions in this case were not only illegal but outrageous. Federal agents had no authority to detain and transport a native-born infant to Mexico," said attorney Susan Watson.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Corpus Christi, who is handling the case, declined to comment. In court documents, the federal government contends the Border Patrol was acting within its discretion to allow a father to take his daughter to Mexico. The government also says it has sovereign immunity from Castro's suit, according to court documents.
A federal court in Corpus Christi dismissed Castro's case in February 2007, a year after the suit was filed. Attorneys for Castro are appealing the ruling to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which heard the case Wednesday.
More U.S. citizens are getting caught up in operations to apprehend illegal immigrants, Kathleen Walker, national president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told the Fort Wroth Star-Telegram.
Another case that led to a lawsuit involves a mentally impaired U.S. citizen who was mistakenly deported last year to Tijuana, Mexico and was missing for almost three months.
"It's outrageous," Walker said. "The freight train of enforcement runs over a lot of people."
In Castro's case, she had called the Border Patrol herself after breaking up with her daughter's father, an illegal immigrant from Mexico. Her common-law husband was abusive and was wanted for questioning in a homicide in Amarillo at the time, Castro told the newspaper.
When authorities arrested the girl's father, Border Patrol Agent Manuel Sanchez said he had told Castro she could get her daughter if she was present during the apprehension. Later the agent acknowledged it was not advisable for safety reasons to have civilians at an arrest scene, according to the agent's sworn deposition.
Castro said her common-law husband had shoved her when she tried to take their daughter after breaking up with him and feared for her safety, so she did not want to be present during the arrest.
Agent Sanchez had assured her she could get her daughter at the lockup in Lubbock, Castro said. But when she went to get her daughter on Dec. 3, 2003, authorities refused to let her in and told her she would have to obtain a custody order.
"They were basically laughing in my face ... It was like I was there for nothing," Castro said. "I came back to Corpus without my baby in my arms."
Court records show agents had the 1-year-old in a holding cell with other detained adult relatives. The child was then put on a bus that day and dropped off with her father at an international bridge. The father settled in the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez, attorneys said.
It wasn't until three years later, when Castro's ex-boyfriend was detained after attempting to enter the country illegally, that Castro got her daughter back.
The man's family in Mexico never told her she had a mother and it took time for the her daughter to adjust to a new culture and the English language, Castro said