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Mother says son was wrongfully deported

The mentally ill man is a U.S. citizen, she says.

Published June 18, 2007


TIJUANA, Mexico - Clutching a photo of her son, Maria Carvajal walks Tijuana's streets searching for the mentally disabled man she says was deported more than a month ago despite being a U.S. citizen and then disappeared in this chaotic border city.

Carvajal, 49, says she has searched hospitals, shelters and jails looking for her 29-year-old son, Pedro Guzman of Lancaster, Calif., who was jailed for a misdemeanor trespassing violation, then sent to Mexico on May 11.

Guzman's relatives sued the Department of Homeland Security and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department last week in federal court, saying Guzman was a U.S. citizen and had been wrongfully deported and demanding that U.S. authorities help find him.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed Guzman had been deported and said the agency had done so correctly. Officials at the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana say they have made calls to help search for Guzman.

The lawsuit says Guzman was asked about his immigration status in jail and responded that he was born in California of Mexican parents. The Sheriff's Department identified him as a noncitizen and turned him over for deportation.

[Last modified June 18, 2007, 01:00:59]

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