A man born and raised in California has been denied permission to cross the U.S.-Mexico border to come home, despite the fact that he has a California birth certificate and driver’s license. Meanwhile, hundreds, if not thousands, of unaccompanied, illegal immigrant children are scheduled to be moved to California military bases while they wait for family or foster services to claim them.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on behalf of Oscar Olivas, 45, saying the man was being prevented from crossing the border to go home, something he has done many times before, according to NBC San Diego.
Olivas has been living in Mexico since 2011, while his wife applied for a visa to enter the United States.
“It’s terrifying to think this could happen to a U.S. citizen, and the government is willing to turn a blind eye to it,” ACLU attorney Gabriela Rivera told NBC.
According to the complaint, immigration officials are accused of harassing Olivas’s mother into signing a document saying her son’s birth certificate was faked. Olivas’s mother reportedly immigrated to the United States illegally but later became a citizen.
“They told her that she would lose her citizenship and she and her son would be prosecuted for fraudulently obtaining birth certificates. Border patrol agents should not be able to act as judge, jury, and executioner in determining citizenship status of an individual,” Rivera said in the report.
Meanwhile, the number of illegal immigrant children being housed at a California military base in Ventura County is expected to triple next week to nearly 600 children.
According to NBC Los Angeles, children began arriving at a converted warehouse at Point Mugu Naval Base last week, while they await action from the United States Department of Health and Human Services to locate their families or foster services.
As many as 1,000 illegal children are already being housed at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, according to a recent report from San Diego’s KPBS. Government officials estimate that 60,000 children could be caught at the border this year, representing nearly ten times the amount of children caught since 2011.
The government could end up spending more than $2.2 billion this year to feed, house, and transport the unaccompanied children, which is $1.4 billion more than the Obama administration sought from Congress in a budget request earlier this year, according to KPBS.