Everyday dozens of illegal immigrants are captured in southern Arizona and eventually sent back to mexico.A majority of the cases are pretty cut and dry, but a Phoenix man's family says the federal government detained their son for months. What makes this story different: He's a United States citizen.
When Brad Zazueta was 11 weeks old, he came to the US from Mexico.
His adoptive parents jumped through the all the legal hoops so they could adopt him.
They have the paper work to prove it.
"Our adoption was granted through the Superior Courts of California," mother Linda Zazueta says.
He got a California birth certificate. And in almost everyone's eyes he's an American.
But a traffic stop last fall created problems... When he was picked up for an outstanding warrant.
When asked where he was from he said 'Mexico' and questions of his citizenship arose.
According to court documents, because of some mistakes on the paperwork at the time of his adoption, the Department of Homeland Security now wants Brad deported.
"Thinking this is just a mistake, once they see everything they'll let him go and they didn't," Linda says.
He was imprisoned for seven months in a facility in Eloy.
In March an immigration judge ruled brad is a citizen.
In a statement immigrations and customs enforcement says it's appealing because "The ruling is not in conformity with the law or with applicable precedents. An adoptee of US Citizen parents does not, by itself, accord that person with US citizenship."
Brad has been released from prison while ICE appeals.