Politics

5th Circuit Court Discovers Law Used in Deportations Doesn't Exist

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Every sixth grader who took civics knows that there are three ways in which one becomes an American citizen: legal immigration, birth on American soil, or to be the child of an American citizen.

Sigifredo Saldana Iracheta is the son of an American man and a Mexican woman, who were not married, and gave birth to him just south of the Texas border. He has since asserted that this makes him a citizen, but the federal government has always rejected his claims. They applied an old law that cited Article 314 of the Mexican Constitution which apparently sought to legitimize out-of-wedlock births.

There is just one problem with that: there is no Article 314 of the Mexican constitution. Currently, the Mexican constitution has 136 articles, none of which deal with marriage save for Article 30, Section B, Paragraph 2 which states that a naturalized Mexican citizen can be “foreigners married to Mexicans who live within the national territory and fulfill all legal requirements.” It seems that Iracheta had been right all along.

The Naturalization Act of 1790 states that “the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens.” This law was superseded by a similar law in 1795 that excludes the mention of “natural born citizen,” which is only relevant if Iracheta wanted to run for president.

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The 5th Circuit Court has since ruled in favor of Iracheta and cited that the mistake was perpetuated by the Department of Homeland Security, rejecting their assertion that it’s “a typo” because they cannot refer to the appropriate section of the Mexican constitution. This ruling could potentially open the door to verified citizenship for a number of others deported under this law.