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Davino Watson told the immigration officers that he was a U.S. citizen. He told jail officials that he was a U.S. citizen. He told a judge. He repeated it again and again.Und die Punchline? Er bekam dann vor Gericht $85000 zugesprochen, aber die nächsthöhere Instanz urteilte, dass er das Geld nicht kriegen wird. Begründung: Die Tat ist verjährt, während er ohne Anwalt illegal im Knast saß. (Danke, Thorsten)
There is no right to a court-appointed attorney in immigration court. Watson, who was 23 and didn't have a high school diploma when he entered ICE custody, didn't have a lawyer of his own. So he hand-wrote a letter to immigration officers, attaching his father's naturalization certificate, and kept repeating his status to anyone who would listen.
Still, Immigration and Customs Enforcement kept Watson imprisoned as a deportable alien for nearly 3 1/2 years. Then it released Watson, who was from New York, in rural Alabama with no money and no explanation. Deportation proceedings continued for another year.