Teen Wrongfully Held Says He Lost 26 Lbs in Border Detention - NBC 7 San Diego
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Teen Wrongfully Held Says He Lost 26 Lbs in Border Detention

Francisco Erwin Galicia said he wasn't allowed to shower and had to sleep under a foil blanket

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Dallas-Born Teen Says He Lost 26 Pounds in Border Detention

    An 18-year-old American citizen says he lost 26 pounds because he wasn't given enough food during the more than three weeks he was wrongfully held by U.S. border agents. (Published Thursday, July 25, 2019)

    An 18-year-old American citizen says he lost 26 pounds because he wasn't given enough food during the more than three weeks he was wrongfully held by U.S. border agents.

    Francisco Erwin Galicia said he wasn't allowed to shower and had to sleep under a foil blanket in a packed holding area.

    Back on June 27, Galicia, his brother and friends were headed to North Texas from their home in Edinburg for a soccer scouting event when there were stopped at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint. 

    18-YEAR-OLD FRANCISCO GALICIA SAYS HE WAS HEADED HERE TO NORTH TEXAS WITH HIS BROTHER AND THREE FRIENDS FOR A SOCCER SCOUTING EVENT - HOPING TO GET COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS. 
    WHEN THEY WERE STOPPED AT A CHECKPOINT ABOUT 50 MILES NORTH OF THEIR HOME IN EDINBURG. 
    HIS BROTHER AND ANOTHER FRIEND WHO WERE BOTH UNDOCUMENTED WERE QUICKLY DETAINED. AND SO WAS GALICIA DESPITE HAVING DOCUMENTS SHOWING HE WAS BORN IN DALLAS.

    Girl Recalls Poor Care in Texas Border Station

    [NATL] Girl Recalls Poor Care in Texas Border Station

    In a video obtained by The Associated Press, a young girl who spent 12 days locked in a Texas border station where hundreds of other migrant children have been detained this year describes to her attorney how she was treated.

    (Published Monday, July 1, 2019)

    Galicia's brother, who is undocumented, was detained along with a friend.

    Galacia was also detained by agents who suspected he was in the U.S. illegally, even though he was carrying a Texas state ID. 

    Border Patrol and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained him for almost a month.

    "I lost around 30 pounds. I lost a lot of weight. We couldn’t shower. We couldn’t shower if we tried. There were no showers. They gave us wipes, though not every day. It was whenever they wanted. It could be three days in between receiving the wipes. We would wipe ourselves with them, but the dirt would not come off. It was so much dirt, the wipes would not function," said Galacia. 

    He also described sleeping on the floor under a foil blanket surrounded by dozens of other men who were sick and covered in bugs. He says they were given a thermos for water that tasted chlorinated. At meal times, he says they got cheese sandwiches or thin hamburgers. 

    He was released Tuesday.

    House Members Question DHS Chief McAleenan on Border Conditions

    [NATL] House Members Question DHS Chief McAleenan on Border Conditions

     Members of the House Oversight Committee grill Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan about conditions for migrants at the southern border and at detention centers.

    (Published Thursday, July 18, 2019)

    Immigration attorney Claudia Galan helped facilitate his release. Though not confirmed by Border Patrol, she believes a visa with false information obtained for Galacia by his mom while he was a minor could have led to the long detainment. 

    “Because he had that tourist visa listing him as being born in Mexico, that did create some confusion. However, it was no excuse that he was detained. He had a birth certificate on him that he presented at the checkpoint," said Galan. 

    But according to the Dallas Morning News, a U.S. Border Patrol chief testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday that Galicia never claimed to be a U.S. citizen while he was in custody. 

    That, however, contradicts a notice to appear in immigration court that states the Department of Homeland Security accused him of falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen. 

    Government inspectors have long warned about the squalid conditions inside Border Patrol holding cells.

    Galacia says he hopes his story can change conditions he calls inhumane. 

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Testifies in Migrant House Hearing

    [NATL] 'Manufactured Crisis': Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Testifies in Child Separation House Hearing

    New York lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez testified before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, describing the conditions of the migrants she and other freshman lawmakers met with at a Texas migrant detention center. 

    (Published Friday, July 12, 2019)

    "We are all the same in God’s eyes. We are all human beings. They should treat them like human beings, said Galacia. 

    The agencies said Wednesday that they're investigating and remain "committed to the fair treatment of migrants in our custody."