Well, for now, nobody poor is safe. But give them time.
Thomas Warziniack was born in Minnesota and grew up in Georgia, but immigration authorities pronounced him an illegal immigrant from Russia.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has held Warziniack for weeks in an Arizona detention facility with the aim of deporting him to a country he's never seen. His jailers shrugged off Warziniack's claims that he was an American citizen, even though they could have retrieved his Minnesota birth certificate in minutes and even though a Colorado court had concluded that he was a U.S. citizen a year before it shipped him to Arizona.
On Thursday, Warziniack was told he would be released. Immigration authorities were finally able to verify his citizenship.
“The immigration agents told me they never make mistakes,” Warziniack said in a phone interview from jail.
It's really worth reading the whole article: no right to a lawyer, no help getting documents, no one believes the documents you get or the witnesses you find, and you have the burden of proof of showing you are a citizen — while in custody.
(spotted via Emergent Chaos, “We have to be careful we don't release the wrong person”)