Deportation Research Clinic

U.S. Citizens Detained and Deported

The Deportation Research Clinic has worked with many U.S. citizens unlawfully detained or deported by the U.S. government. For more information on their cases, read below. (For background, see "U.S. Government Unlawfully Detaining and Deporting U.S. Citizens," Virginia J. of Social Policy and the Law (2011), 115 pp.)

Lorenzo Palma

July 2015. Stevens encounters U.S. citizen Lorenzo Palma detained in Houston for over a year, finds documents, and works with Andrew Free to obtain termination order in February 2016. Clinic assistant Hayley Hopkins transcribed oral order for Palma to submit for U.S. passport.

For more information, see the States Without Nations blog.

Roberto Dominquez

Basinette tag for Roberto DominquezRoberto Dominquez was born in Lawrence, Massachussetts and thus a U.S. citizen at birth. Nonetheless, he was banished for ten years to the Dominican Republic.

In 2009, he obtained his U.S. passport and returned home. In 2011, after Roberto filed a lawsuit for his wrongful deportation, the State Department revoked his passport. After being approached by the Deportation Research Clinic, The Cardozo Law School Immigration Justice Clinic has been representing Roberto since September 2013, and has gone to federal court demanding his own government recognize him as a U.S.citizen. (The photo is of his original basinette tag.)

Copious additional documents tie plaintiff Roberto to the Roberto Dominguez on record as born on his birthday in the Lawrence Hospital. The U.S. government attorney will not return phone inquiries; the government answer conjures a world with two Roberto Dominguezes, both born in November 1979, both with parents at the same address, but one born in Lawrence, while the Plaintiff was born in Santo Domingo, and magically acquired the documents for the Roberto Dominguez born in the USA.

For more background on this case, please go here.

Esteban Tiznado

Esteban Tiznado, photographed by Border Patrol in Arizona desert after capture in 2011.In 2008, a jury found Esteban Tiznado Not Guilty of Illegal Reentry because of documents and testimony affirming his U.S. citizenship. Immediately after, ICE ignored the verdict and deported him. The Clinic obtained records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and revealed that Citizenship and Immigration Services in the 1980s hid evidence that would affirm his U.S. citizenship.

Tiznado is presently living in the United States following Ninth Circuit remand of his case, but ICE still is trying to deport him and he is unable to obtain government documents and the consequent protections and rights of U.S. citizenship.  Al Jazeera documented his case in 2013. (Photo: Esteban Tiznado, photograph by Border Patrol in Arizona desert after capture on February 23, 2011.)

Mark Lyttle

United States citizen Mark Lyttle, deported to Mexico, collects $175,000 from settlement of lawsuit brought against the federal government. Clinic Director Jacqueline Stevens obtained Lyttle's file under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and brought his case to the ACLU.

Jhon Ocampo

United States citizen Jhon Ocampo, handcuffed at home and locked up in three Illinois deportation jails; Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents ignore his own statements about his U.S. citizenship. Held until lawyer, who provides no additional paperwork, calls the deportation jail. Clinic breaks story, covered in investigative story in Illinois Times. Filed FOIA request for file, brought case to attention of National Immigrant Justice Center. (Photo: Jhon Ocampo, Springfield, IL.)

UPDATE: Ocampo settles lawsuit, May, 2016.