Border Safety detains 9-year-old US citizen Julia Isabel Amparo.
U.S. Customs and Border Safety officers are defending the choice to detain a 9-year-old lady for greater than 30 hours as they labored to confirm her identification.
Thelma Galaxia mentioned her buddy, Michelle Cardenas, was driving every of their two youngsters from Tijuana, the place they stay, to their colleges in San Ysidro Monday morning, as they do practically every single day.
Galexia’s 9-year-old daughter, Julia Isabel Amparo Medina, attends fourth grade at Nicoloff Elementary College and her 14-year-old son, Oscar Amparo Medina, attends ninth grade at San Ysidro Excessive College. Each are passport-holding U.S. residents.
After they obtained in line on the border at four a.m. Monday, visitors was transferring sluggish. Cardenas informed the 4 youngsters to stroll throughout the border as an alternative. She was going to name them an Uber so they might make it to highschool on time.
However Oscar and Julia Medina by no means made it throughout, in response to their mom.
Galaxia says CBP officers accused her daughter of mendacity about her identification. Officers informed the lady she didn’t appear like the lady in her passport card image.
Julia Medina informed NBC 7 that CBP officers accused her of being another person, her cousin Melanie.
CBP mentioned the lady “supplied inconsistent info throughout her inspection,” and officers took her into custody “to carry out due diligence in confirming her identification and citizenship.”
“It’s necessary that CBP officers positively affirm the identification of a kid travelling and not using a dad or mum or authorized guardian,” CBP Public Affairs officer Jackie Wasiluk informed NBC 7 in a press release.
The lady confirmed NBC San Diego her passport card, which has an image of her from when she was a lot youthful.
When requested why it took 32 hours to confirm Julia’s identification, CBP wouldn’t give particular info.
“Some specifics of our strategies for figuring out the true identification of an individual crossing the border are regulation enforcement delicate info,” Wasiluk added. “As well as, some particulars of this case are restricted from launch attributable to privateness considerations.”
The sibling informed NBC 7 mentioned officers additionally accused Oscar Medina of smuggling and different crimes which he mentioned he didn’t perceive.
“My daughter informed her brother that the officer informed her that if she admitted that she was her cousin, she can be launched quickly so she may see her mother,” Galaxia mentioned.
“I used to be scared. I used to be unhappy as a result of I didn’t have my mother or my brother. I used to be fully on my own,” Julia Medina mentioned. She mentioned she awakened a number of instances all through the night time, unhappy as a result of she wasn’t together with her household.
Galaxia mentioned officers made Oscar Medina signal a doc that mentioned his little sister was his cousin.
“That’s not true,” Galaxia mentioned. “She is my daughter. He was informed that he can be taken to jail they usually have been going to cost him for human trafficking and intercourse trafficking.”
Oscar informed NBC 7 he felt horrible for signing the doc. He mentioned he simply wished to see his sister.
When CBP officers informed Galaxia that Oscar and Julia Medina have been detained, she obtained the Mexican consulate concerned.
At about 6 p.m., whereas Galaxia interviewed with NBC 7 in Kearny Mesa, the consulate referred to as her and informed her Julia Medina can be launched to her on the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
Galaxia and her household rushed to the border the place they have been reunited with Julie virtually two days later. The household of three hugged, cried and embraced, however Galaxia mentioned the emotional reunion ought to by no means have needed to occur.
NBC 7 reached out to CBP, asking why officers detained a 9-year-old U.S. citizen and saved her from her mom for 36 hours. The company mentioned it could reply to questions when it had extra particulars on the case.
The Mexican consulate informed NBC 7 it would additionally present extra info as to how they have been capable of reunite the household.