Last June, federal agents confiscated a self-proclaimed U.S. citizen’s paperwork and expelled him to Mexico under a controversial CDC order ostensibly meant to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, The Daily Beast has learned. And despite a series of executive actions rolling back some Trump-era immigration policies, newly inaugurated President Joe Biden has left this order in place, with his administration offering no clear indication it plans to terminate it anytime soon.
Every piece of available evidence points to Óscar Luis Cortes García having been born in May 1991, in Los Angeles, California. When he was still an infant, his mother decided to return to her hometown in Mexico’s state of Colima, Cortes recently explained. He spent the better part of the next two decades in Mexico, but hung on to the notion of someday living in the United States.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit and dried up all the work in his town, he resolved finally to take the leap and make the trip, he said. But he had no notion of U.S. immigration and border law, nor a passport, when he first tried to enter the country.
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