9-year-old girl detained at San Ysidro border for 36 hours despite being U.S. Citizen

News has resurfaced regarding the 36-hour detainment of a 9-year-old girl at the San Ysidro Port of Entry despite being a U.S. citizen –– a move that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency went on to defend as justified in action.

The young girl, who is a passport-holding U.S. citizen, was making a morning commute from Tijuana to her elementary school in San Ysidro, CA with her older brother when the detainment occurred.

After being questioned regarding her identity, CBP officers accused the child of providing "inconsistent information during her inspection" and took the child into custody for 32 hours.

“I was scared. I was sad because I didn't have my mom or my brother. I was completely by myself," the young girl told NBC 7 following the ordeal.

In regards to the detainment process, the child's also reported that her daughter that an officer informed her "that if she admitted that she was her cousin [a non-U.S. citizen], she would be released soon so she could see her mom."

The false report, however, would have left the older sibling liable for charges including human trafficking among others.

Though CBP defended the action by saying it is important that all unattended minors are properly vetted when traveling across the border, the agency did not give specific details as to why the investigation process took more than a day and a half.

The young girl was finally released after the Mexican consulate became notified of the situation.

STAFF