The Dallas Morning News recently ran a story that demonstrates just how abysmal American media’s reporting on immigration really is. The article tells the story of Francisco Galicia, who has been placed in removal proceedings by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). However, Galicia and his mother claim that he is a U.S. citizen by birth. And the Morning News appears to accept this assertion at face value, implying that ICE is being unfair to Mr. Galicia.
There is a problem with that theory, however. Mr. Galicia has two birth certificates. One, allegedly issued in 2001, is ostensibly from Dallas, where Mr. Galicia claims to have been born. The second, allegedly issued in 2003, was supposedly issued by the Mexican government. Mr. Galicia’s mother says she obtained that document so Galicia could attend school in Mexico and asserts that her son’s Texas birth certificate is real and his Mexican birth certificate is fake.
However, the Morning News doesn’t appear to have bothered to track down any of the relevant facts that would shed some meaningful light on this case.
To begin with, birth certificate fraud is rampant in the United States. As far back as March 1988, the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services observed that a birth certificate is, “a key to creating a false identity and thus has great value for undocumented aliens who seek fraudulent citizenship, ineligible applicants who seek jobs or benefits, credit defrauders, fugitives, terrorists, and drug smugglers.” Therefore, people seeking to misrepresent themselves as U.S. citizens have a strong motivation to buy or create a fake U.S. birth certificate.
More recently the Document Security Alliance, a trade organization for document security professionals, noted that while fake U.S. birth certificates abound, fraud is virtually impossible to detect. The organization stated, “…with over 6,400 issuers and 14,000 versions [of birth certificates]quality examination and authentication is beyond the realm of normal human capability.”
Nevertheless, the story on Mr. Galicia doesn’t even mention the possibility of immigration fraud. It unquestioningly portrays him as a hapless victim. Moreover, the story leaves out other salient details and ignores important inconsistencies.
Mexico doesn’t issue birth certificates of the type which Americans are familiar. Following the birth of a child, a Mexican citizens appears in person, under oath, at a government office and reports the birth of a child. The birth is then recorded in a central civil registry and the parent is issued a certificate called an Acta de Nacimiento.
That document will list the child’s place of birth, whether the child was born in Mexico or abroad. Therefore, if Mr. Galicia had been born in Dallas, his Mexican birth certificate would list “Dallas, Texas, Estados Unidos” as his place of birth. Yet the Dallas Morning News never mentions what birthplace is listed on Galicia’s Mexican birth document.
And there are other indicators of fraud that the Morning News makes no attempt to address. The story on Mr. Galicia refers to, “a [U.S.] visitor’s visa that his mother obtained for him when he was a minor to travel back to the U.S. from Mexico.” But presenting a U.S. citizen child as a foreigner in order to obtain a visa is a significant act of perjury. It also would make no sense. Why would a parent risk committing this type of fraud when she could just as easily obtain an American passport for her U.S. citizen child? The Morning News, never bothers to ask this question.
Is Francisco Galicia a native-born U.S. citizen? That’s difficult to say. The Dallas Morning News story about him is so bereft of essential information that it would be impossible for anyone to make a fair assessment of the case. Therefore, one wonders how the author arrived at such obviously anti-ICE conclusions. Perhaps this is simply another instance of elitist, corporate media outlets making folk heroes out of rogues.