NY Times article about US-born girl returned to Guatemala; her parents are undocumented

On March 22, the New York Times reported that a four-year-old United States citizen, Emily Ruiz, born to parents who are undocumented Guatemalans living in Brentwood, New York, was returned to Guatemala by authorities at Dulles Airport after returning home from a trip to Guatemala. Emily was traveling with her grandfather, who possessed a valid work visa, but was stopped for an immigration violation from two decades ago. In the article, U.S Returns Young Girl, a U.S. Citizen, to Guatemala, Sam Dolnick reports:

That has left Emily, a pigtailed native of Long Island, in an unusual limbo. As a citizen, she has the right to re-enter her country. But her parents are illegal immigrants, which has complicated the prospect of a reunion.

Today, Emily is in Guatemala, her parents are struggling to bring her home, and lawyers and federal officials are arguing over parental responsibility and citizenship rights. The Ruizes find themselves on the front lines of a heated immigration debate: how to treat families in which the parents are here illegally, while their children, born in the United States, are citizens.

The case comes as elected officials across the country have pushed for bills to end automatic citizenship for children, born here, who are sometimes referred to pejoratively as anchor babies. Immigrant advocates say the proposals are antithetical to American ideals.

Cases of families where some members are citizens while others are not are common in the area where we live in California. This case may have far-reaching implications for them and many other families living in the U.S.

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3 Responses to “NY Times article about US-born girl returned to Guatemala; her parents are undocumented”

  1. Sveta says:

    How horrific. I remember that about 11 years ago, when I was going through my divorce, I was told by an immigration attorney, that in worst case scenario, if I could not get my ex’s agreement to full legal and physical custody of Alex, and if we both eventually had to leave or be deported to the countries of our origin, Alex could have been stuck in an indefinite legal limbo in a foster care system here in the US. It was such a nightmare to consider, I could not sleep or eat, and I barely functioned…All these immigrant families are often torn apart, and it truly is heartbreaking.

  2. Jessica says:

    What a terrifying story, Sveta. Can’t imagine that anxiety. As you know, many around us face this prospect. Not sure how they can live with that level of uncertainty. Thanks for sharing.

  3. [...] March 22, 2011 blog post about Emily Ruiz? She is the four-year-old girl born in the United States to parents from Guatemala who are [...]

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