Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Some citizens being held as illegal immigrants

Dozens of Americans have been locked up or thrown out over past 8 years

"I've been doing this for 30 years and I've seen bureaucratic bungling. This is more than that," immigration attorney Lisa Brodyaga said. "This is an atmosphere of suspicion and hostility, particularly for Mexican-Americans on the border."

Associated Press
April 13, 2009

Pedro Guzman has been an American citizen all his life. Yet in 2007, the 31-year-old Los Angeles native — in jail for a misdemeanor, mentally ill and never able to read or write — signed a waiver agreeing to leave the country without a hearing and was deported to Mexico as an illegal immigrant.

For almost three months, Guzman slept in the streets, bathed in filthy rivers and ate out of trash cans while his mother scoured the city of Tijuana, its hospitals and morgues, clutching his photo in her hand. He was finally found trying to cross the border at Calexico, 100 miles away.

These days, back home in California, "He just changes from one second to another. His brain jumps back to when he was missing," said his brother, Michael Guzman. "We just talk to him and reassure him that everything is fine and nobody is going to hurt him." [...]

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