If you want to understand the fear of being a Mexican-American or of having brown skin in Trump’s America? Look no further than Julio Cesar Ovalle, a 24-year-old Hispanic American citizen who was deported to Mexico by the Border Patrol.
Ovalle was stopped by a U.S. Border Patrol Agent in his hometown of San Antonio on June 11, 2018. Julio Ovalle was born in California and has a Texas identification card. On the day he was stopped by a Border Patrol Agent, Ovalle had on his person only cash and his cell phone as he was only going to the neighborhood store a few minutes from his home.
The agent put Ovalle in a vehicle and took away his cell phone. Although Julio Ovalle asserted that he was U.S. citizen and could prove it by providing his birth certificate and passport, if only they would allow him to call someone to bring it to them, he was nonetheless deported to México.
He is a U.S. citizen.
On June 12 th, Ovalle was deported to Nuevo Laredo. There he was given his telephone back. He called his father asking to bring him his documents.
Julio Ovalle’s deportation happened although he argued he could prove his U.S. citizenship if only they would allow him a telephone call so that someone could bring him his documents. Ovalle was also deported without the right to see a judge.
What was Ovalle’s crime?
Not speaking English and looking too Mexican.
Ovalle is one of several recent cases of U.S. citizens being deported to other countries. In 2017, 878 individuals had to prove their citizenship to ICE agents. Thirty-five U.S. citizens had to prove their citizenship to immigration judges in 2017. These statistics are based on the records from the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice.
Those that argue that the anti-immigrant tone in America is not dangerous should consider how many times have they walked out of their home on an errand without carrying documentation proving their citizenship. If their skin is dark, they should consider that they can also easily be deported for being too Mexican under Trump’s America.
If American citizens can be deported, how do you think legal immigrants feel when encountering immigration agents who are under pressure to post high numbers for the Trump White House to tout as “progress”?
Is this what Americans want?