Encarnacion Bail Romero, a native of Guatemala, has lost all parental rights to her two-year-old boy, Carlos. Legally, he is no longer her son.
Why did this happen? Because she abandoned him, according to a ruling by a judge in Jasper County, Missouri.
That might seem to be a reasonable outcome, until we consider the reason why she "abandoned" him: She was jailed by immigration authorities two years ago and is still there, awaiting deportation.
The deportation might be justified. But can there by any possible justification for then saying that she abandoned her child? Or for the penalty she paid--to lose all parental rights, with the likelihood that after she is deported she will never be able to visit him, and probably never see him again? An article in the New York Times says cases like this are popping up across the country.
When Romero is shipped home to Guatemala, she can tell her family, friends, and neighbors that because she slipped into the United States illegally, the Americans felt they were justified in stealing her child.
And she would be correct.