facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Professor: Many detainees U.S. citizens

Oct. 6, 2011 at 5:16 PM   |   Comments

EVANSTON, Ill., Oct. 6 (UPI) -- About 1 percent of the people detained by the United States on immigration charges are likely to be U.S. citizens, a researcher said Thursday.

Jacqueline Stevens, a professor of political science at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., examined the records of people locked in immigration detention facilities in southern Arizona between 2006 and 2008. She found 82 U.S. citizens wrongly held as immigrants convicted of crimes, with the largest group young men of Mexican descent convicted of marijuana possession.

Her paper, "U.S. Government Unlawfully Detaining and Deporting U.S. Citizens as Aliens," was published in the Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law. She estimates 4,000 of the current 400,000 immigration detainees are citizens.

Stevens found some egregious cases. One man who was born in Lawrence, Mass., was deported to the Dominican Republic when he was 19 and finally proved his citizenship a decade later. Another man, Mario Guerrero, the son of a U.S. citizen, was wrongly deported and then charged with falsely claiming to be a citizen when he returned to the United States, spending seven years locked up.

"Some of these U.S. citizens found the Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody so physically and emotionally debilitating that they capitulated to ICE officers who pressured them to sign statements falsely conceding their lack of U.S. citizenship," Stevens said. "They preferred deportation to ICE confinement."

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
U.S. Air Force orders more RQ-4 Global Hawks U.S. Air Force orders more RQ-4 Global Hawks
2
Kirsten Gillibrand: I don't know who called me 'porky' Kirsten Gillibrand: I don't know who called me 'porky'
3
Potential sites for Obama's presidential library and museum chosen Potential sites for Obama's presidential library and museum chosen
4
Official: U.S. hits Islamic State position near Baghdad; marking new phase in airstrikes Official: U.S. hits Islamic State position near Baghdad; marking new phase in airstrikes
5
Plane crash in Vinoy Park narrowly misses St. Pete condos Plane crash in Vinoy Park narrowly misses St. Pete condos
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback