Customs and Border Patrol detains nine-year-old US citizen for over 30 hours

A nine-year-old US citizen who crosses the border from Mexico into California every weekday for school was detained for over 30 hours beginning on Monday after she said agents accused her of claiming to be her cousin.

Julia Isabel Amparo Medina, the daughter of Thelma Galaxia, was stopped by US Customs and Border Patrol in the early morning hours while attempting to cross from from Tijuana, Mexio as she does each school day to attend classes in San Ysidro, California. 

Julia said agents told her she didn’t look like her passport photo. 

Her 14-year-old brother, Oscar Amparo Medina, was also questioned, and allegedly made to sign a document stating that his sister was actually his cousin, Melanie, while the family said he was threatened with sex trafficking charges.

Agents said Julia ‘provided inconsistent information during her inspection’ and it was necessary to keep her in custody while they verified her identity and citizenship status. 

Oscar was apparently not detained, and the family was reunited on Tuesday.

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US citizen Julia Isabel Amparo Medina, age 9, who crosses the border from Mexico into California every weekday for school, was detained at the San Ysidro border for over 30 hours on Monday

US citizen Julia Isabel Amparo Medina, age 9, who crosses the border from Mexico into California every weekday for school, was detained at the San Ysidro border for over 30 hours on Monday

US citizen Julia Isabel Amparo Medina, age 9, who crosses the border from Mexico into California every weekday for school, was detained at the San Ysidro border for over 30 hours on Monday

. Agents allegedly told Julia that she didn't look like her passport photo, which was taken when she was younger

. Agents allegedly told Julia that she didn't look like her passport photo, which was taken when she was younger

. Agents allegedly told Julia that she didn’t look like her passport photo, which was taken when she was younger

It wasn’t until about 6pm Pacific the following day that Galaxia received the call that her daughter would be released to her at the San Ysidro port of entry. 

‘I was scared, Julia said.’ I was sad because I didn’t have my mom or my brother. I was completely by myself,’ she added, noting she woke up throughout the night several times, sad because she was alone rather than at home with her family. 

Regarding the 32-plus hours it took to sort out Julia’s valid citizenship status, Public Affairs officer Jackie Wasiluk told NBC 7 in a statement:

‘Some specifics of our techniques for determining the true identity of a person crossing the border are law enforcement sensitive information. In addition, some details of this case are restricted from release due to privacy concerns.’

Julia and her family shared their version of what happened this week, painting a picture that would be frightening for anyone, let alone minors without the guidance of a trusted adult at their sides. 

The family said Julia and Oscar were in a vehicle in line on the Mexico side at the San Ysidro border crossing with family friend Michelle Cardenas (pictured) and her two children at around 4am Pacific on Monday

The family said Julia and Oscar were in a vehicle in line on the Mexico side at the San Ysidro border crossing with family friend Michelle Cardenas (pictured) and her two children at around 4am Pacific on Monday

The family said Julia and Oscar were in a vehicle in line on the Mexico side at the San Ysidro border crossing with family friend Michelle Cardenas (pictured) and her two children at around 4am Pacific on Monday

The line was long, Cardenas said, so she told the children to get out and walk across the border, with a plan to call them a rideshare to take them to their respective schools so they wouldn't be late

The line was long, Cardenas said, so she told the children to get out and walk across the border, with a plan to call them a rideshare to take them to their respective schools so they wouldn't be late

The line was long, Cardenas said, so she told the children to get out and walk across the border, with a plan to call them a rideshare to take them to their respective schools so they wouldn’t be late

The family said Julia and Oscar were in a vehicle in line on the Mexico side at the San Ysidro border crossing with family friend Michelle Cardenas and her two children at around 4am Pacific on Monday. 

The line was long, Cardenas said, so she told the children to get out and walk across the border, with a plan to call them a rideshare to take them to their respective schools so they wouldn’t be late.

Oscar attends ninth grade at San Ysidro High School and Julia is in the fourth grade at Nicoloff Elementary School, but neither of them made it to their classes that day.

Julia (pictured) didn't make it to class on Monday, or Tuesday, She said she was told if she admitted she was her cousin, Melanie, she could go home and see her mother

Julia (pictured) didn't make it to class on Monday, or Tuesday, She said she was told if she admitted she was her cousin, Melanie, she could go home and see her mother

Julia (pictured) didn’t make it to class on Monday, or Tuesday, She said she was told if she admitted she was her cousin, Melanie, she could go home and see her mother

Agents allegedly told Julia that she didn’t look like her passport photo, which was taken when she was younger. In the US, passports for children under the age of 16 are valid for five years, per the US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs.

‘My daughter told her brother that the officer told her that if she admitted that she was her cousin, she would be released soon so she could see her mom,’ Galaxia said. 

CBP said Julia ‘provided inconsistent information during her inspection’ so she was detained in order to allow authorities ‘to perform due diligence in confirming her identity and citizenship.’

‘It’s important that CBP officials positively confirm the identity of a child travelling without a parent or legal guardian,’ Wasiluk said. 

Her 14-year-old brother, Oscar Amparo Medina (second from right), was also questioned, and allegedly made to sign a document stating that his sister was actually his cousin, Melanie

Her 14-year-old brother, Oscar Amparo Medina (second from right), was also questioned, and allegedly made to sign a document stating that his sister was actually his cousin, Melanie

Her 14-year-old brother, Oscar Amparo Medina (second from right), was also questioned, and allegedly made to sign a document stating that his sister was actually his cousin, Melanie

The family said Oscar (pictured) was threatened with sex trafficking charges if he didn't sign the document. Agents said Julia 'provided inconsistent information during her inspection' and they had to detain her while they verified her identity and citizenship status

The family said Oscar (pictured) was threatened with sex trafficking charges if he didn't sign the document. Agents said Julia 'provided inconsistent information during her inspection' and they had to detain her while they verified her identity and citizenship status

The family said Oscar (pictured) was threatened with sex trafficking charges if he didn’t sign the document. Agents said Julia ‘provided inconsistent information during her inspection’ and they had to detain her while they verified her identity and citizenship status

Oscar said agents forced him to sign a letter stating Julia was their cousin, Melanie, after accusing him of crimes he didn’t understand. 

‘She [Juila] is my daughter,’ Galaxia said. ‘He [Oscar] was told that he would be taken to jail and they were going to charge him for human trafficking and sex trafficking.’ 

Galaxia got the Mexican consulate involved, and nearly two days later she was reunited with her daughter, in a tearful embrace with her son at the San Ysidro port of entry. 

Galaxia got the Mexican consulate involved, and nearly two days later she was reunited with her daughter, in a tearful embrace with her son at the San Ysidro port of entry

Galaxia got the Mexican consulate involved, and nearly two days later she was reunited with her daughter, in a tearful embrace with her son at the San Ysidro port of entry

Galaxia got the Mexican consulate involved, and nearly two days later she was reunited with her daughter, in a tearful embrace with her son at the San Ysidro port of entry

Link hienalouca.com

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