Another U.S. Citizen ‘Accidentally’ Deported

Despite her birth in Louisiana, Diane Williams was recently deported to Honduras by the U.S. government.

Despite her birth in Louisiana, Diane Williams was recently deported to Honduras by the U.S. government. (Courier photographer Matt Stamey)

Earlier this month, U.S. citizen, Irving Palomo, was detained and put in a van headed for Mexico due to an ICE mix-up.

A few months ago Mark Lyttle, a U.S. citizen who suffers from mild retardation, was deported to Mexico. Mexican officials then deported him to Honduras, and Honduras deported him to Guatemala. After spending four months in Latin American prisons and homeless shelters, Atlanta airport officials tried to deport Lyttle again on his way back to his home in North Carolina.

Now a Louisiana newspaper is reporting that Diane Williams, a U.S. citizen of Caucasian and Native American descent, was recently deported to Honduras due to a mistake made by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.

Williams was finishing up a prostitution sentence in Texas under a fake alias when she received a deportation order from the U.S. government. Two weeks later she found herself pleading her case at the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Williams claims that she was pressured by ICE officials to waive her right to judicial review. “They didn’t read nothing to me. They just told me to sign,” says Williams.

Jorge Baron, executive director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Seattle, told Louisiana’s Daily Comet that ICE officials “cut corners” and “are pushed to deport people quickly.” According to the newspaper:

Immigration-rights advocates say thousands of people with credible claims to U.S. citizenship are detained every year by an overloaded immigration-enforcement system, in part because of pressures on agents to show results in numbers of deportations and a lack of adequate civil-rights protections.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conservatively estimates that approximately 100 U.S. citizens are accidentally ensnared by the country’s broken immigration system each year. Joanne Lin, legislative counsel with the ACLU in Washington, told a Tennessee newspaper that these mistakes are indicative of “a whole host of immigration enforcement and due process problems that exist in the system.” As immigration restrictionists incessantly call on immigration officials to ramp up their deportation efforts, ICE can barely handle the deportation work they’re already doing.

Andrea Christina Nill

Republished with permission from the Wonk Room/Think Progress


  1. christopher says

    My girl friend Haley Cifu wich if you google her name there are only three people world wide with that spelling is now in Ice’s custody, her family has been here for three generations and is of white descent. She was handed over to them by the los angeles county sheriffs at the lynnwood faciliuty in lynnwood it is the county jail for women. if you check the website it says there is no record of her on file. this happend withen the last couple of days, we got her a number from deputy webbster and entered it on the website it says there is no record. i dont know what to do me and her father are worried sick this is getting out of hand and i need i help we need help why would this happen. god help me amen.

  2. Jack says

    The reason these people are being deported is because they claim to be foreign nationals. Not because they claimed to be United States Citizens.

    • Shawn says

      The reason they are deported is because of the color of their skin. It is time to hold immigration officials responsible for deporting American citizens. That should be grounds for immediate termination.

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