24 March 2011

Illegal immigrant parent to a citizen child? That's grounds for CPS to take your kid away

Fuck ICE, fuck Customs and Border Protection, fuck anti-"anchor baby" lunatics, and fuck everybody involved in separating a 4-year-old American citizen from her immigrant family and deporting her to her family's country of origin, Guatemala.
The Ruizes embody the difficulties of a family divided by citizenship. Mr. Ruiz, 32, was born and raised in a small village outside Guatemala City. He came to the United States illegally in 1996 because, he said, "we were in a very poor situation in my country."

He settled on Long Island, finding work tending lawns. He eventually married another Guatemalan, Brenda Dubon, and they had two children: Emily and Christopher, 3.

Mr. Ruiz said he and his wife sent Emily to Guatemala for the winter because they worried that the cold weather in New York would aggravate her asthma. They are distraught, he said, that the family has been kept apart.

"This is very unfair because she is a citizen," he said, "and she is a very little girl."
Ruiz went to the airport to fetch his daughter as she returned home from the trip to Guatemala. The flight was diverted to another state, where he was threatened with losing custody of his child to state authorities if he attempted to reunite with her. Because, apparently, being a hard-working, gainfully employed, tax-paying illegal immigrant parent to a citizen child is grounds for CPS to terminate your parental rights. So dad had Grandpa take the daughter back to Guatemala, where she remains so that her parents won't get deported attempting to reunite with her.

What the fucking fuck, Virginia, ICE, Customs and Border Protection, and any other fascist son of a bitch official involved in this situation? They have separated a 4-year-old child, a U.S. citizen, from her parents and sibling and sent her abroad in a ploy to get the parents removed from the country. And do you think they'd do the same thing to a child of, say, Canadian or European parents? I'm an anchor baby child of two immigrant parents, but I "pass" for "American" because I have an Anglo name and my parents are both of European extraction. Do you think ICE and CBP would have tried to deport me to Grandma's after spending a summer on the farm there when I was a kid?

It's making me sick to think about the state this child's parents must be in. Oh, god, even though my daughter was born a dozen years ago I still can't watch that "Baby Mine" scene from Dumbo without shaking and almost throwing up. I hope every official involved in this case rots in hell, and I hope the § 1983 suit wins the Ruiz family millions of taxpayer dollars.


Anonymous said...

Most of us in this country are descendants of "legal" immigrants. For some reason a large number of illegal immigrants believe the laws don't apply to them, that they can just come whenever and however they want. They just don't think the laws apply to them and call those who disagree with them things like "fascist." It will be a moot point soon enough though. The Legislature will do away with this silly birthright citizenship and we can be rid of this anchor baby nonsense.

The story is sad but unfortunately this is what the parents get. The solution is adjust your status and then you don't have to worry about being deported.

Glomarization said...

I disagree with the characterization that "a large number" of immigrants fail to adjust their status because they think they don't have to obey the law. I think there are a lot of reasons not to adjust one's status. For one, you may come from a country -- like Guatemala, where the Ruizes are from -- where interacting with a government official can be tricky at best, or fraught with risk of groundless imprisonment or extra-judicial disappearance. Then you come to the U.S. and don't know Mathews so you don't want to risk talking to the government. Or -- and apparently for very good reason -- you fear that something you've done will result in having your child taken away from you. Does ICE think that this case will make other immigrants come forward and attempt to legally change their status? That this is a deterrent?

(Let's not ignore that a huge lobbyist for jail-'em-now anti-immigration legislation is for-profit prison company Corrections Corp. of America. Follow the money in anti-immigration advertising: they profit when immigrants are jailed, not when they are amnestied or change their status.)

Or you might delay changing your status for more mundane reasons: you don't speak the language well, you aren't aware of the complicated steps involved, you can't afford a lawyer, or any number of reasons. One of my parents didn't naturalize until I was a teen. They just didn't see a reason to. But I still stand by my assertion that then-INS would not have deported me, because of my family's ethnic background.

But even beyond all that: not having adjusted one's status is not grounds for termination of parental rights, which is de facto what the state did here. It's unconscionable. And it's fascistic.