California Native Can't Come Home: Attorney

Lawsuit claims immigration officials are keeping 45-year-old man born and raised in California from crossing the border as he'd done many times before

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    NBC 7's Omari Fleming talks with a San Diego ACLU attorney about the case involving a man born and raised in California who is not allowed to enter the U.S. (Published Friday, Jun 13, 2014)

    Oscar Olivas is aching to come home to California but he can't despite the fact his birth certificate shows he was born in Los Angeles.

    Despite the document, a complaint filed by the American Civil Libertis Union (ACLU) notes U.S. Customs and Border Protection won't let Olivas leave Mexico and go home to L.A.

    California Man Exiled in Mexico: ACLU

    [DGO] California Man Exiled in Mexico: ACLU
    NBC 7's Omari Fleming talks with a San Diego ACLU attorney about the case involving a man born and raised in California who is not allowed to enter the U.S. (Published Friday, Jun 13, 2014)

    "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,” said ACLU attorney Gabriela Rivera.

    That's why the ACLU filed a suit against top immigration officials caiming they're unconstitutionally keeping the 45-year-old man born and raised in California from crossing the border as he'd done many times before.

    Olivas' exile began in August 2011 around the time he went to Mexicali to live with his wife and child while his wife applied for a US visa.

    The complaint notes officials called his birth certificate a fake then intimidated his mother--who illegally immigrated to the U.S. but later became a citizen---into signing a document confirming his
    birth certificate was a fraud.

    "They told her that she would lose her citizenship and she and her son would be prosecuted for fraudulently obtaining birth certificates," Rivera claims.

    Two CBP officials who weren’t familiar with the case noted they typically don’t comment on pending litigation.

    The ACLU is eager to prove immigration officials turned their backs on a US citizen without due process.

    "Border patrol agents should not be able to act as judge, jury and executioner in determining citizenship
    status of an individuals,” noted Rivera.

    In the complaint it shows Olivas served jail time in the past for importing a controlled substance.
    His citizenship wasn’t questioned in that incident.

    The complaint also notes Olivas was born at home and his mother was able to get a delayed registration of birth five months after he was born.