Friday, April 24, 2009

The U.S. is stealing immigrants' children

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.


  1. I personally know about this case. I am not the one who adopted him but I took care of this child for about 6 months. The aunts did not take care of him at all. But a few things that the New York Times don't say or this article, is the condition of Carlos when his mother was arrested. At six months old they had already taken him off of formula, he was drinking 1% milk. He had no vaccinations, he also had eczema which just bleed and bleed because it wasn't being taken care of. And he hadn't seen a doctor since he was born. And the saddest part the mother was receiving WIC and medicaid. But the aunt said, "To my sister working over time was more important than taking care of her son." The case was about more than immigration it was also about child neglect, from when the mother was out of jail and had Carlos in her custody. And the neglect I seen first hand on him and came from the mouth of Encarnacion's sister.

    And what I don't understand is how immigration let this lady out when the adoption was already finalized. And the last date is put in an appeal was at the beginning of April and there was no appeal entered in the courts of Jasper County. And the mother of this child has already been deported, that is why she was in jail for about two years. There were punishing her for reentering the USA illegally again. And the saddest part she has two other children in Guatemala. My only question to her is why are you not returning to Guatemala to take care of the other children that you have? Would it be because the other children or her would have the chance to become legal someday through Carlos?

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  3. Thanks for your comment, which adds far more to the story than I otherwise could have known. Would you mind if I posted your comment on other blogs that I write for?

    Thank you for reminding me, and my readers, that families are always more complicated than we sometimes think.

    Thanks again for posting.