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Monday, June 4, 2012

A Citizen Who Cannot Return

The 14th Amendment guarantees that people born in the United States (except for children of diplomats) are automatically citizens.  Proving it to bureaucrats is another matter. The Brownsville Herald reports:
Though she was born in Weslaco in 1982, Brenda Vazquez swore to a Customs and Border Protection officer that she was born in Mexico and is not a U.S. citizen.
Desperate for the end of what she says was hours of intense questioning at a Brownsville international bridge, she signed a statement denying her citizenship.
A petition filed in federal court last week states that Vazquez made the false statement on Feb. 19 after seven hours of intimidation from a Customs and Border Protection officer.
The petition says the officer seized the Texas driver’s license and U.S. birth certificate she pre-sented when returning from a visit to Matamoros.
Customs and Border Protection officials did not respond to repeated requests from The Brownsville Herald for comment for this article.
Vazquez’s petition alleges that the CBP officer repeatedly threatened her and told her she had no right to an attorney until she signed the statement of noncitizenship.
The petition states that Vazquez’s documents were taken from her and that she was forced to return to Mexico.
She remains in Matamoros, unable to cross to the U.S., and has retained an attorney, Jaime Diez of Brownsville, to help her.