A U.S. citizen who was held for two months in a southern California detention center says immigration officials refused to believe his birth certificate was real.

The 25-year-old Jose Ledesma says he is happy to be free after facing possible deportation. He was released Monday after U.S. immigration attorneys asked a judge to dismiss the case.

Ledesma says he was born in Madera County, California, and had twice provided government attorneys with a copy of his California birth certificate. The government says he provided conflicting information on whether he was a U.S. citizen or a Mexican citizen in the U.S. illegally.

Ledesma served nearly three years in federal prison on a marijuana charge. He was at least the fifth U.S. citizen detained and ordered deported since 2007.