Francisco Galicia, the 18-Year Old U.S. Citizen Held By ICE for Over Three Weeks Has Been Released

Francisco Erwin Galicia, the Dallas-born U.S. citizen who spent three weeks in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, that we reported on yesterday, was released Tuesday afternoon. 

Galicia’s case garnered national attention. The Dallas Morning Newsfirst reported on Monday that the 18-year-old had been held in CBP and ICE custody since June 27.

Sanjuana Galicia, Francisco’s mother, said Tuesday an ICE official called her around 2 p.m. and told her that they had found his documents and citizenship to be valid and that he had been freed.

“The first thing he said to me was, ‘Mommy, they let me go. I’m free,’ ” she said by phone.

Galicia’s detention appears to have been a bureaucratic mix up related to the fact that he had a U.S. birth certificate and also, years earlier, a Mexican visitor’s visa to travel to the U.S. from Mexico. 

Neither ICE nor CBP have responded to repeated requests for comment.

Francisco Galicia was born in Dallas in December 2000 at Parkland Memorial Hospital, according to a copy of his birth certificate provided to The News by his attorney, Claudia Galan.


Galan posted on Facebook:

I’m happy to report my client is free now!However, we can’t lose focus that a US Citizen high school student was detained over 3 weeks under the assumption that he was undocumented. Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement practices need oversight. They need to be hold accountable for the numerous wrongful detention and deportation of US Citizens and their racial profiling practices.

Thank you to everyone who supported Francisco. A big shout out to the awesome Samantha Magdaleno for helping me getting the word out about my client and mobilizing the community!! Thanks to everyone who showed up today at the detention center. 

Francisco is happy to be out and eating tacos!!

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