BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A federal appeals court has ruled that immigration officials wrongly denied U.S. citizenship to a man who spent more than two decades trying to prove he was an American.
The case revealed a 1978 legal error that has resulted in an untold number of people being turned down for citizenship they were entitled to receive.
Sigifredo Saldana Iracheta was born to an unmarried American father and a Mexican mother in 1964 just south of the Texas border. He was deported at least four times. At one point, he was detained for nearly two years as he sought permission to join his family in the U.S.
For decades, the government has cited Article 314 of the Mexican Constitution, which supposedly deals with out-of-wedlock births. But the constitution has no such article.