A 51-year-old U.S. Customs officer is facing an uncertain future because he is actually an illegal immigrant, a fact he learned after being shown his real birth certificate that showed he was born in Mexico.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Raul Rodriguez was initially fired from his federal law enforcement job last year in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas after the revelation. That dismissal was later rescinded, but he has three years to earn either U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied Rodriguez’s applications for citizenship and residency, citing his decades of living as an illegal in the U.S. and voting illegally — even though Rodriguez thought he was a born in Texas. As is common practice near the southern border, a midwife had signed a fake birth certificate when he was a young child that falsely claimed he was an American by birth.
Rodriguez, who served five years in the Navy and worked as a Customs officer for 18 years, is now fighting to stay in the U.S. His wife is a U.S. citizen and so are three of their children, but his oldest son is also facing deportation because he was born in Mexico but illegally — albeit unknowingly — gained U.S. citizenship through his dad’s fake birth record.
“It was my worst fear,” Rodriguez told the Times of learning about his real background.
The State Department said in a statement, “The U.S.-Mexico border region happens to be an area of the country where there has been a significant incidence of citizenship fraud. This fraud has included instances where midwives and other birth attendants, in addition to legitimately registering births in the United States, have accepted money and filed U.S. birth certificates for babies actually born in Mexico.”
The Trump administration has tried to crack down on immigration issues, efforts that include restricting work permits for asylum seekers who are illegally living in the U.S.
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