Papers, please

Maybe stuff like this happened during the Obama administration and we ignored it because it didn’t fit the narrative.  But I strongly suspect that the Trump administration has very much empowered the type of people who feel it is appropriate to detail a 9-year old citizen for over a day because her answers were “inconsistent.”  Have you ever talked to a 9-year old?!

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are defending the decision to detain a 9-year-old girl for more than 30 hours as they worked to verify her identification.

Thelma Galaxia said her friend, Michelle Cardenas, was driving each of their two children from Tijuana, where they live, to their schools in San Ysidro Monday morning, as they do nearly every day.

Galexia’s 9-year-old daughter, Julia Isabel Amparo Medina, attends fourth grade at Nicoloff Elementary School and her 14-year-old son, Oscar Amparo Medina, attends ninth grade at San Ysidro High School. Both are passport-holding U.S. citizens.

When they got in line at the border at 4 a.m. Monday, traffic was moving slow. Cardenas told the four children to walk across the border instead. She was going to call them an Uber so they could make it to school on time.

But Oscar and Julia Medina never made it across, according to their mother.

Galaxia says CBP officers accused her daughter of lying about her identity. Officers told the girl she didn’t look like the girl in her passport card picture.

Julia Medina told NBC 7 that CBP officers accused her of being someone else, her cousin Melanie.

CBP said the girl “provided inconsistent information during her inspection,” and officers took her into custody “to perform due diligence in confirming her identity and citizenship.”

“It’s important that CBP officials positively confirm the identity of a child travelling without a parent or legal guardian,” CBP Public Affairs officer Jackie Wasiluk told NBC 7 in a statement…

When asked why it took 32 hours to verify Julia’s identification, CBP would not give specific information.

“Some specifics of our techniques for determining the true identity of a person crossing the border are law enforcement sensitive information,” Wasiluk added. “In addition, some details of this case are restricted from release due to privacy concerns.”

The sibling told NBC 7 said officers also accused Oscar Medina of smuggling and other crimes which he said he didn’t understand.

Color me skeptical for considering this more than just due diligence.  And this is no way to treat kids, damnit.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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