A Spring Valley resident who was born in the U.S. was adopted as a baby by a family in Mexicali, and due to the change of his last name on his birth certificate, immigration officials could deport him at any moment.
José Ángel Torres Uraga grew up in the U.S. believing he was Mexican and years later, was deported.
“They began to deport me because I got into some trouble, but I fought the case and won,” Torres Uraga told Telemundo 20.
It was before his second deportation that the man’s adoptive mother took action.
“She told me he was born here, so she gave me the evidence and told me to find his mother and siblings. That he was born here and to go help him,” said Rosa Sotomayor, Torres Uraga’s wife.
Sotomayor said she knew she had to find her husband’s biological family to help with his immigration case.
“About 15 years ago, we found his brother’s birth certificate,” she said.
Following an intense search, they were one step closer to finding them.
“In June 2019, we realized that he not only has one brother, but also has five sisters,” Sotomayor said.
According to their lawyer, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) gave them 30 days to prove Torres Uraga’s U.S. citizenship.
“Both the U.S. and Mexico have said the same thing – that my client was born here in the United States,” said Esther Valdes, the couple’s immigration attorney.
Their lawyer presented DNA proof of the man’s six biological siblings, medical records that prove he was born in a U.S. hospital to two American parents, a Mexican birth certificate that indicates he was adopted, documents that show his original last name was changed and statements from his family, including a testament from his biological mother.
“By right and legitimacy on behalf of his biological mother, who was also a U.S. citizen as well as his biological father, he was adopted by a Mexican couple,” Valdes said. “The dispute is over his last name, which is customary in Hispanic culture. He has maternal and paternal last names of his biological and adoptive parents.”
After an intensive search that began about a year and a half ago, Torres Uraga finally got to know his biological siblings and due to a change in his last name, he may very well be separated from them yet again.
“When I saw him and looked at him, I felt that we were siblings without having the DNA results,” said Juanita Rodriguez, Torres Uraga’s biological sister.
This story was initially reported by Telemundo 20. To read the original story, click here.