Francisco Erwin Galicia is a Dallas-born citizen who was detained by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. He spent 23 days in CBP’s custody, where he claims he was not allowed to shower.
The Dallas News reported that Galicia did not shower once during his time held in the facility. He claims he lost 26 pounds because he wasn’t fed enough food.
“It’s one thing to see the conditions on TV and in the news. It’s another to go through them,” said Galicia.
Galicia was captured by CBP agents on June 27. Galicia, his younger brother, and three of their friends were on their way to a soccer scouting event. They left their hometown of Edinburg, Texas to go to Ranger College in North Texas.
The boys had to pass through a CBP checkpoint 50 miles north of Edinburg. Galicia claims to have shown his Texas ID, Social Security card, and wallet-sized birth certificate. The CBP agents did not believe Galicia and detained him to check the documents’ validity.
During the 23 days, Galicia explained the horrible conditions. He told The Dallas News about how 60 men, including himself, were kept in an overcrowded area. They were given aluminum-foil blankets and many men slept on the restroom floors.
“It was inhumane how they treated us. It got to the point where I was ready to sign a deportation paper just to not be suffering there anymore. I just needed to get out of there,” Galicia said.
CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a joint statement addressing the reason they detained Galicia.
Generally, situations including conflicting reports from the individual and multiple birth certificates can, and should, take more time to verify. While we continue to research the facts of the situation, this individual has been released from ICE custody. Both CBP and ICE are committed to the fair treatment of migrants in our custody and continue to take appropriate steps to verify all facts of this situation.
Republicans and President Donald Trump have been talking about the crisis at the United States’ southern border for months now. They have been advocating for more money and personnel for existing U.S. border patrol agencies.
One of the reasons CBP facilities suffer overcrowding and backlogs is that ICE facilities are built for long-term holding of illegal aliens. CBP facilities are meant for short-term holding. But due to the massive increase in illegal immigration, ICE’s systems are collapsing, leaving CBP to bear the brunt of the surge.
Galicia’s story is yet another example of how the southern border crisis urgently needs congressional attention to the roots of the problem: American asylum laws’ vulnerability to immigration fraud.