Warning: If You Were Born on a Military Base, You Might Be Deportable!

The US Constitution states that a US citizen can’t be deported unless he has committed treason or terrorism. Not one part of the US Government is looking into my case of a US citizen being deported. I was sent back to England where I have no family and had to live in the streets until I was able to get into a Hostel a few weeks later. I signed a wavier for deportation under great direst because they told me I would be deported anyway. I didn’t think a US Federal agent would lie or not do his job.

-Kevin Dale Cartee, Deported U.S. Citizen

Something is seriously wrong when a country deports its own citizens either through error or some misguided attempt to enforce immigration laws.

Meet Kevin Dale Cartee. He recently got deported back to the United Kingdom. Why? He happened to be born to a U.S. citizen and military officer on an army base.

Kevin holds a Citizen Born Abroad of a US Citizen certificate (DS-1359). But the United States could care less. Everyone from the officials at ICE to the office of Senator Chambliss were less interested in hearing his story and investigating his claims than simply deporting him back to where he was born.

In an email correspondence, Kevin describes his immigration nightmare:

I was pick up by (ICE) immigration on 14th FEB 2007 from Telfair State Prison in Georgia and taken to the Atlanta county jail where (ICE) leases part of the jail for immigration and kept there until they sent me to south Georgia to a private facility, which held only people for immigration. I stayed there a while until I was sent to Gadsden Alabama county jail and from there I was picked up and taken back to Atlanta, Georgia to be put on a plane and sent back to England. That was on the 19th of July 2007. The only officer I can remember is Agent Jeremy Blankly who was a federal officer with (ICE) who said he checked everywhere he could and there was no record of me at all ever being let into the USA legally.

The officer either lied or did not do a thorough-enough job. It turns out that Kevin Dale Cartee was a citizen of the United States by virtue of the fact that his father was a U.S. citizen serving in the USAF and shortly after Kevin was born on a U.S. military base, his Dad had filed a citizens born abroad certificate. It would have taken only a phone call to the Department of State to confirm this fact and prevent this wrongful deportation.

Unfortunately, there are dozens of cases of U.S. citizens deported. Professor Jacqueline Stevens has done meticulous research on the issue and blogged her recent findings:

–I saw files for at least 65 US citizens who were held in the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2008.

–I read files for at least 15 US citizens who were held in jails or ICE-run detention centers in nearby Florence, Arizona between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2008.

–One percent of the cases in FIRRP files were for US citizens. If this rate holds for the United States, then about 10,000 US citizens have been put into removal proceedings since 2003.

Those statistics are simply disturbing. Innocent civilians are snared in the fervor of immigration enforcement and that is inexcusable.

Kevin continues his story:

I left England when my father got his orders to go back to the US. I was 18 months old when we left England. I told ICE all of this , they just didn’t do there job, if they would have made one call or email to the Department of State,  I’m now told they would have found out.  If they had checked USAF records on my father, it would have shown that I was on a US passport when I came to America with the rest of my brothers and sister. I’ve found out also now that all reports of US citizens born abroad have to be reported through the Department of State.That should have been their first port of call, I’m told by the lady at the US Embassy in London.

ICE did not make the call and Kevin was deported. Maybe it is running short on the over-bloated DHS budget or misallocating resources. But I digress.

Kevin has till July 19 this year to file for wrongful deportation.

What resources are available to correct these wrongs?

Maybe he can sue the U.S. government for the trauma and hardship. The recent Supreme Court ruling in Nken v. Holder, 08-681 might also provide some relief. Chief Justice Roberts states in the Associated Press that “Aliens who are removed may continue to pursue their petitions for review, and those who prevail can be afforded effective relief by facilitation of their return.”

If any attorney can help with this case, please let us know and drop Mr. Cartee an email.

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