Davino Watson told the immigration officers that he was a U.S. citizen. He told jail officials that he was a U.S. citizen. He told a judge. He repeated it again and again.
There is no right to a court-appointed attorney in immigration court. Watson, who was 23 and didn't have a high school diploma when he entered ICE custody, didn't have a lawyer of his own. So he hand-wrote a letter to immigration officers, attaching his father's naturalization certificate, and kept repeating his status to anyone who would listen.