L.A. Man Claims Identity Theft Has Left Stranded Him In Mexico For Weeks

A U.S. citizen from Los Angeles says his visit to Mexico has lasted much longer than he anticipated, after he claims someone stole his identity, prompting border officials to keep him out of the country for now.

He was coming back from Mexico at the San Ysidro border crossing on March 1 when he found himself stuck, reports ABC 7 News.

Instead of handing over a passport to verify his citizenship, he says he showed his California identification card, Social Security card and birth certificate because he doesn’t have a passport. When agents ran his fingerprints, someone else’s picture showed up in the system.

“Then all of a sudden it became a nightmare. The agents of Customs and Border Patrol accused him of being an impostor and told him, ‘No this is not your ID,'” his attorney told the media.

His lawyer claims border officials arrested him and kept him in custody for three days, allegedly pressuring him to sign a false document saying he had invented a fake name in order to go free.

The family believes someone stole his identity and somehow got another person’s photo to appear with his name. As such, the man’s lawyer has since written to the Inspector General to investigate possible criminal conduct.

While the attorney admits that yes, a passport would clear all this up, why would he, when his system has worked in the past?

“Obviously, he should have had a United States passport, but because he came and went with the same documents… he didn’t go get a passport,” his lawyer says.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a valid driver’s license is enough to prove citizenship to enter the country from Mexico, but it’s unclear if state identification cards are included in that.

He remains in Mexico for now, while authorities at the U.S. Consulate are reportedly investigating and trying to get him a passport. That process could take two to three months.

LOS ANGELES MAN STUCK IN MEXICO AFTER IDENTITY STOLEN [ABC7 News]