April 07, 2011

Get yer hankies out. Here is the tale of little Emily Ruiz, four years old, the victim, according to her attorney, of “a tragic injustice.”

Little Emily is the daughter of Leonel and Brenda Ruiz, illegal immigrants from Guatemala who live in Brentwood, Long Island. She has a brother, Christopher, one year younger. Both children were born in the USA. They are therefore, under the prevailing interpretation of the 14th Amendment, US citizens, even though their parents have no business being here.

Emily’s parents sent her back to Guatemala for the winter because they feared the cold New York weather might aggravate her asthma. Three weeks ago, she came back in the care of her Guatemalan grandfather.

Unfortunately the grandfather had immigration violations on his record, so US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) refused him entry at Dulles Airport outside Washington, DC.

What to do with Emily? Sure, as a US citizen she had the right of entry. However, there were no adults at Dulles who could take responsibility for her. No airline will take a child unaccompanied, so there was no option of just forwarding her to New York. CBP called the father in Long Island. They offered to put the child in custody of Virginia Child Protection Services until one of the parents showed up.

“€œSeems like a no-brainer to me. Deport the parents.”€

Mr. Ruiz claims he didn’t understand the situation because his English is poor. This is odd: According to The New York Times, Mr. Ruiz has been here since 1996. Fifteen years, and he can’t take a phone call? In fact it’s doubly odd, as every CBP unit has Spanish speakers on staff. Somebody’s telling us little pork pies.

In any case, either Mr. Ruiz, or the grandfather, or both in agreement, decided that little Emily should return to Guatemala with Grandpa. Why Mr. Ruiz did not want to go to Dulles to take custody of his daughter, or send his wife to do so, is not known. I”€™ll go out on a limb and guess he feared that la migra would collar him and deport him”€”which, since he was in the country illegally, they would have had every right to do”€”would, in fact, have had the duty to do.

Whatever the reason, little Emily was soon back in Guatemala. The Ruizes got lawyered up; or, in the words of the Times:

“€œThe 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.”€

Seems like a no-brainer to me. Deport the parents. Let them make what arrangements they lawfully can for the child”€”park her with relatives legally present in the US, if they have any; or, failing that, take her with them. What’s to get heated about?

Such an attitude flies in the face of our fierce determination to give away our beautiful, bountiful country to anyone who demands a piece. “Here, I’ve left the cash register open. Help yourself!”€”I promise not to look.”

All the innumerable organizations who shill for foreign scofflaws, in unison with the immigration lawyers”€™ bar, raised a mighty howl of protest. “A US citizen has been DEPORTED!” they shrieked, which was not the case.


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