He thought this might be his big chance. He would get spotted by a coach, offered a soccer scholarship and instantly be college-bound. Instead, Francisco Erwin Galicia, a U.S. citizen, was picked up by Border Patrol officers, processed into detention and held for 26 days.
By Vanessa Romo
“It nearly broke him,” Galicia’s lawyer, Claudia Galan told NPR. “He said the conditions were horrible, inhumane. And he was about to sign a deportation order … even though he was born here.”
Galicia, 18, was in a van with his brother Marlon and three other high school friends on June 27. They were on their way to Houston for a college recruitment event when they were stopped at a Border Patrol checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas — about 50 miles from home and within the corridor of the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector.
Officials wanted to know their legal status. Their answers varied.
Two of them were immediately cleared, but Galicia’s 17-year-old brother and another boy were in the country illegally. They were detained.
When officials questioned Galicia, he told them he was born in Dallas. He also produced a Texas ID, a Social Security card and a copy of a wallet-sized birth certificate.