Should kids be separated from parents based on immigration status?

The Huffington Post is reporting that a 4-year-old girl who is a U.S. citizen was sent back to Guatemala when she entered the country with her grandfather.

Here is part of the story from The Huffington Post (check the link for all the details):

“The girl, Emily Samantha Ruiz, is a U.S. citizen. But she, like many other children of undocumented immigrants, became caught in a web of complications for families with mixed legal statuses. On her way home from a trip to Guatemala with her grandfather on March 11, Emily was detained in Dulles International Airport when authorities stopped her grandfather on an illegal entry charge from more than a decade ago.

“Authorities took her grandfather, a non-citizen on a valid work visa that allowed him to travel, into custody. But the young girl was detained in the airport, then sent back to Guatemala with her grandfather, citizenship notwithstanding. ”

Her family claims they were told Emily would either have to be sent back to Guatemala or put in a juvenile facility in the U.S. where she could end up in foster care.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection claimed they did offer the Ruiz family an opportunity to pick the girl up from authorities before she was sent back.

The father, who speaks Spanish, said the officer only spoke to him in English and he was not offered a translator. So he didn’t believe he was offered the choice of coming to get his daughter.

But there’s more to the story if you read down further:

“If Emily’s parents had gone to pick up their daughter from authorities, they could have risked deportation along with her grandfather. Immigration law leaves few options for immigrants who entered the country illegally and hope to gain legal status, typically requiring undocumented immigrants to return to their native country for a decade before they can reenter the country legally. Emily’s father, who told The New York Times he entered the United States unauthorized in 1996, could face detention if he encounters immigration officials. ”

“More than 100,000 parents of citizen children were deported between 1998 and 2007, according to a 2009 Homeland Security report. Many families contain both citizens or legal permanent residents and undocumented immigrants, including those like the Ruiz family where only young children have U.S. citizenship. About 4 million citizen children have at least one parent who is undocumented, according to a Pew Hispanic Center study of 2009 census data released in August.”

The story states that the more common twist on this is that the illegal parents are deported and the child is left behind alone in the U.S. (There are more details on the ins and outs of the immigration labyrinth toward the end of the story.)

The little girl will likely be reunited with her family soon. Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) is helping the family sort it all out.

So what do you think? Who do you believe? Was the family offered a choice to come and get their daughter but they were worried they would be deported? Did the immigration officials do this family wrong by not speaking in Spanish to them where they could understand their choices?

What should happen to families where the parents are illegal but the children are legal? Should families be split up based on immigration status?

– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, ajc.com Momania

160 comments Add your comment

[...] Should kids be separated from parents based on immigration status?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Her family claims they were told Emily would either have to be sent back to Guatemala or put in a juvenile facility in the US where she could end up in foster care. US Customs and Border Protection claimed they did offer the Ruiz family an opportunity …and more » [...]

ScooterKat

March 24th, 2011
1:49 am

Too friggin’ bad! They knew there was consequences when they broke the law and came into our country illegally. Now it’s time to pay the penalty and take their punishment. If they would have done things right from the beginning, they wouldn’t have any issues now, so let this be a lesson to them, and all the other illegals. Don’t reward illegal behavior, give then the fully penalties for their transgression. If we would just start enforcing our current immigration laws, these criminals would stop their invasion of our country, because they would know their going to jail when they’re caught. Round them all up, and ship them all out. If we catch them again, give them the felony, and when they finish their sentence, send them back to their country of origin.

Sam Ina

March 24th, 2011
2:58 am

ScooterKat – I am writing this reply with full respect for your feelings.

You see Sir, the ONLY reason most of the illegals have come to USA is for a better life.If they have come from Mexico, Chile, India, China, or wherever….they would have gone back long time ago if there was something worth going back to in their home countries.

Take for example, all those people in Japan living near the nuclear reactor,,, they have all moved out of their homes and have NO INTENTION of returning because radiation is there right now and WILL BE even years later…so if they had a chance to come to USA they will stay here no matter what.
They fear for their lives and many illegals are in a similar situation… they are not all running away from radiation but are SICK AND TIRED of living wherever they were because they would have a meaningless life there.

Just being able to provide a modest home and being able to buy simple things like milk, eggs, bread, cooking oil etc, for their families from what they EARN WHILE WORKING SOMEWHERE is just a blessing from God for them.

IF you have never been out of USA or have not taken time to understand WHAT EXACTLY POVERTY IS then you will talk the way you are talking.

It is all about COMPASSION my friend….the economy of many countries have gone to the dogs and there is VERY LITTLE HOPE for a better life.

I grew up in a country in Africa. When that country was newly independent everything was available and there was political peace,… people were happy and there was no crime at all. The economy was booming. But after the Gas prices rose in 1975 and prices of exports fell the economy of many countries went down too.

After some 20 years, the Government had messed up the economy and simple things like milk, bread, eggs etc, were not easily available.
Due to inflation everything was unaffordable and unemployment was high too. SO the crime increased and there was increase in murders and home invasions, robberies, looting and corruption and the police force was totally weak because the Government had no money to make it work.
My mother who was over 65 years of age stayed at home while my dad still worked at a Government job.
One day he went to work in the morning and when he came home at lunch time he found my mother stabbed to death and our home was robbed.

POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE does not guarantee ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE.
Many people have come to USA and not gone back when their Visas expired simply because they had nothing better to go to. Some have been here for years and have been MODEL CITIZENS where they live and now it is ONLY RIGHT to allow them to live here permanently.

YES … WE MUST SECURE OUR BORDERS… but there are those who have been here for many years.. what should we do about them???

Where should we look for an answer ??
DO you think we should look for answer in the Bible ??
I think if we do WHAT GOD WANTS US TO DO then we cannot go wrong… and the Bible says that those aliens who have been living amongst you … make them a part of your nation.

Our God is a Compassionate God… and if we do what is right then WE KNOW THAT GOD WILL BLESS THIS NATION EVEN MORE.

Unless you do not trust God !!

Sam Ina

truthbetold2012

March 24th, 2011
4:05 am

The beauty about the US is that anyone who wants to leave can. We don’t force people to stay like North Korea and Cuba. So my answer is keep the family together in the country in which they belong. Teach the anchor babies about their culture in their parent’s country.

truthbetold2012

March 24th, 2011
4:16 am

Mr. Ina, here is a biblical argument from Rabbi Spero:

Though the Bible does not outline a specific immigration plan, it does have a lot to say and thus for us a lot to consider when pondering the nuances of the immigration problem facing us. Those demanding amnesty for the 12 million illegals and possible swelling of that rank to 50 million due to future family reunification, often cite the biblical verse: “Thou shalt not afflict the Stranger, as you were so afflicted while in Egypt”.

To so broaden the phrase “not to afflict” to mean a requirement that society suspend its own laws, open itself to a sudden and perhaps inexorable transformation of its very own culture, be exposed to new strains of disease and crime, and mortgage its financial future for the upkeep of those strangers is not only absurd but a deliberate and obvious miscasting of what the Bible actually means.

This country, unlike Muslim countries, does not afflict its strangers. Our streets and stores are open to them as well as our own and their own houses of worship. And unlike the ancient Israelites held in Egypt, we do not enslave our strangers nor allow them to be beaten and, in fact, would not sit idly by while a stranger of any background was being robbed, or raped, or denied any of the humane amenities, absent citizenship, of civilized life.

Our sense of justice and “man created in the image of God” would be sickened by cruel behavior. Most of the ancients did inflict the stranger and many countries outside of the West still do today. But even with the exhortation not to afflict, the biblical alien was not a citizen but remained, in matters of citizenship, a stranger. There was no magic amnesty and automatic road to citizenship.

How did the ancient Commonwealth of Judea assimilate its strangers? It was a two step process. The first was to apply the designation “ger-toshav” — a resident-stranger; and, thereafter, the title ‘ezrach” — a full citizen. Both steps had to be earned; they were not simply granted.

A “resident’ had to agree to live by the civic rules of ancient Judea. He did not, however, have to fully adopt its religion, Judaism. But when explaining what those rules were the Talmud makes clear it entailed allegiance to the country’s many civic laws, its safety, the sharing of various tax burdens and fidelity to the country’s main cultural theme of monotheism. To prove that allegiance, a once-a-year pilgrimage to Jerusalem’s Holy Temple was expected. As a resident, the alien was offered dignity but not provided the manifold benefits of citizenship, nor was he an equal in civic matters.

Much of this would horrify many among today’s multicultural left, which promulgates that residency in America demands little in the way of adoption of American ways, culture or language. Indeed many of us would be less apprehensive if we were certain of a melting-pot desire by this crop of immigrants as was found during previous waves in which ” to become American” was an animating impulse stronger even than finding a land where one could make money.

The “resident” status of ancient times would in our terms be similar to someone entitled to a Green Card, with temporary status. Many of today’s Latino illegals are genial and display a penchant for two classic American virtues, namely, hard work and self-reliance, and their emigration from a Christian country supplies them with a strong basis for internalizing the Judeo-Christian ethic that founded and still suffuses our culture. Our future with them will be made better by not allowing ourselves to be influenced by organizations such as La Raza whose goal appears not for assimilation into our culture but an angry retention of Mexican culture with the hope of co-opting America.

Being a resident-stranger in the Promised Land did not yield full citizen benefits. Full benefits and equality were provided only to the citizen, the “ezrach”, one who totally committed himself to his new land. In those days, that commitment was manifest by conversion to the country’s religion, Judaism. And while religion is no longer the litmus test for citizenship, the act of any form of “conversion” means a coming forward from one’s old society into one’s new one, a public coming out, with a new and proud allegiance to one’s new country.

In those days, this took courage for it made one proclaim to his family back home that he was now identifying with a different land, a different people. And today as well, true and meaningful citizenship requires courage since it must entail a form of renunciation of the old land and the exclusivity of its race.

Many of us are still not sure this is the case with all 12 million being granted amnesty. We cannot grant amnesty and citizenship carte blanche, nor simply on a hope that all will turn out all right. The would-be citizens from the ranks of the illegals must first come forward and prove themselves, one-by one. In the Bible, “conversion” was not simply accepted but first tested — a knowledge test of what it meant to be a part of this people, and a loyalty test to the adopted nation-state.

Many of us want this issue to be resolved, but can not accept any plan until America’s borders first are secured. We cannot take a leap of faith for a plan that defies the historic concept of rule of law, especially when those forcing this law on us have not even shown a willingness to do that which will end the tidal wave and danger of unchecked immigration: plugging the dams at the borders.

The open border proponents feel, it seems, more compassion for those here illegally than law-abiding citizens in border towns whose property, hearth and home, as well as their schools and hospitals, have been brazenly assaulted or exploited. Where is the compassion for them? We seem to pay more respect to political groups manned by illegals than our own people. Those who raise a voice in their own behalf are demonized as racist or bigots. Perhaps that’s why there is no faith, no confidence, in our lawmakers. Is this simply a quick fix?

That borders are an imperative to a nation’s cohesion and survival is amplified in the Bible numerous times: “And if you shall follow My ways, I will protect your borders so that the strangers and enemies will not fill your camp and be a thorn in your side.” As a compassionate but sensible book the Bible understood that any country wishing to preserve its culture and way of life is one that must be able to manage its borders. Those who neither understand that nor give it credence simply no longer value the historic American culture. And they most certainly are not led by a compassion greater than mine or yours. They seem to be guided by an indifference to the citizenry.

Jeff

March 24th, 2011
6:00 am

A good friend of mine’s dad went ashore on D Day and did not make it off Omaha Beach. I have other friends who dad’s died in Korea. Furthermore, I have friends who died in Vietnam. In the first two cases, friends lost their dads decades and decades ago and in the last case friends never got to see their children grow up. Simply put, children are separated from their parents all the time. I find it ironic that people who come to this country illegally ignore our laws when it suits them, but wants our society to work for them when it suits them.

Old Sandra

March 24th, 2011
6:19 am

@ Sam Ina

There are people/nations all around the world that are in desperate situations but the other nations can not take them all in. It has nothing to do with a belief in God but everything to do with space and jobs. I do understand where you are coming from because my mom is an immigrant and came to the US after marrying my dad. They are still married and in love after all this time. I grew up on horrible stories about my mom’s child/young adulthood. One that sticks in my mind is of my mom when she was a little kid. She was little more than a baby herself when she cradled her baby sister in her arms as she slowly died while her mom was away working in the fields. When my grandmother came home she just dug a hole and that was that. Life was cheap in her family but being sympathetic doesn’t make a country develop more jobs or more landmass. There has to be a stopping point and enforcement of it.

On topic, I do think that the immigration official should have had the situation explained to the dad in Spanish if he didn’t understand English but I also think that the family, even if it had been explained in Spanish, might have chosen the same route because of deportation fears. Maybe the answer is a change in the law that doesn’t give automatic citizenship to children born in the States.

seabeau

March 24th, 2011
6:35 am

Repeal the 14th Admendment or failing that, change clause to read ” if one or more parents are citizens then offspring are citizens “. No more anchor babies!!! We cannot afford to take care of our own citizens much less everyone else!!!

I. Lesing

March 24th, 2011
6:38 am

Illegal immigrants (for lack of a better word) have committed wrong and the sooner people realize it the better. American citizens commit wrong and are punished for their wrongs. Legal immigration is fine, but illegal immigration is another matter and the illegals should be punished for crossing the border illegally, overstaying visas, using false social security numbers to work, stealing identities, squandering the resources of American citizens, etc. Are we now, into dual laws? one for the American citizens and one for illegal immigrant? Once a country begins to have dual laws, it becomes just another third world country. These people should own up to their crimes and, if deportation is necessary, be deported along with their children. as the parents are the culprits in this matter. Most advocates will bring racism to the table, but it’s not about race, it’s about the rule of law. Racism is their out, but it’s about the rule of law for all!

Independent

March 24th, 2011
6:46 am

The police officer should have no requirement to provide an interpreter. If the father had come down to claim his daughter, and turned out to be illegal, then he should have been deported also. THe father could then choose if the daughter returns home with him or if she stays in the US and gets put in foster care. That is the letter of the laws.

I. Lesing

March 24th, 2011
6:53 am

Amen to Independent. The parents made the choice and if they are deported, they have the choice of leaving the “American born” children or taking them. Crime is crime, is crime. This whole issue of illegal immigration is strange to me because the USA already have laws in place and I don’t see where they are so broken!

Juan

March 24th, 2011
7:12 am

who cares. They don’t belong here. Period. Neither do the parents. They committed a crime, and knew what they were doing. They also knew the consequences. If an American tried to sneak into their country what do you think would happen? Same thing if not worse.

catlady

March 24th, 2011
7:17 am

I have enormous sympathy for our illegal immigrant families. That they came here for a better life is undeniable. That they broke the law in doing so is also undeniable. Either change the law (everybody in!) or enforce the law. This half and half thing is not working–not ecoomically or socially.

I teach many children of illegal immigrants, They owe their US citizenship to an illegal act, and I believe therefore should not be citizens. Our laws do not reward people for breaking the law (ie, a bank robber doesn’t get to keep the proceeds of his robbery). The children I teach are almost without exception hard-working, well-behaved, and bright. Their parents, again with 3 exceptions I have seen, want their kids to do well and don’t drop the “race” card when their child gets into trouble. They may be unable to help them academically due to poor/no schooling themselves, but they support la maestra when there is a problem.

Many illegal immigrant folks in my particular community believe that “they can’t send us back if we have a US citizen child.” In fact, no matter how poor the family, one of the first things they do when a new baby is born is to get a passport for that child! Probably 90% of my children of illegal aliens have a passport. Compare that with less than 10% of the “regular” US children.

I believe if we are to have any credence in this world, we have to identify and repatriate illegal aliens as they come to our attention. This means in hospitals, schools, workplaces, or wherever. If they have citizen-children, then the parents must decide whether they are going to allow their child to be raised by a citizen here, or if they will raise the child themselves as a US citizen in the parents’ country of origin, with later repatriation for the citizen-child if they choose. All parents have to make important decisions regarding their children; this is no different.

Do I think the parent could have picked up his child? Yes. He had been here 15 years; he knew the rules and enough English to have been able to work. He was counting on our “justice” system to feel sorry for the child. While we should always be compassionate, we must defend our laws. It does not show compassion for those keeping the laws to allow others to break them.

mom of 3

March 24th, 2011
7:29 am

@Catlady – completely agree with your last paragraph. You can’t make a right out of 2 wrongs as the saying goes.
I have many friends who came to America the correct, legal way. I know the process is long and drup out but we do have laws in place that allow you to be here legally — all most of us are asking is to follow them and then “enjoy your heritage and enjoy your new country”. As far as your children – don’t think we are stupid you know the consequences when you cross the border. Don’t play stupid and I’m sorry.

Fred (with a capitol "F")

March 24th, 2011
7:31 am

Many of the countries of origin of illegal immigrants to the US have much more draconian immigration laws than the US. I don’t know the laws of Guatemala, but at least for Mexico, if you enter the country illegally you go directly to jail for a long time. I hate that families run the risk of being broken up or legal US citizens that are children are sent with their parents out of the country. But I also recognize that we are a nation of laws – laws that are supposed to apply equally to all. Our immigrations laws clearly spell out what happens if you illegally enter our country. There are consequences for everything you do some of which are not real pleasant.

As too not offering a translator, the last time I looked, the language of out country was English. When I go out of the country, I understand that I might not be able to communicate with people where I am going. That does not absolve me from my responsibilities to the country where I am going. While it would have been nice if a translator had been available, one could argue that it was the responsibility of the grandfather to be able to communicate. If he cannot speak English, then he should have been prepared and brought his own translator. It sounds harsh but why do we have to bend over backwards to accommodate everyone when they make no effort to accommodate us. The grandfather had a valid work visa which implies a longer time presence in the US. Why had he not made an effort to learn English?

the easter bunny

March 24th, 2011
7:41 am

In 1996 72,000 babies were born to illegal immigrants in Los Angeles alone. It is entirely possible that these former babies could have four, five or more children each. That adds up to 300 to 400 hundred thousand babies born in the L.A. area alone all started by the illgeal immigrants in 1996.
Now, Mexico might want to get involved and start paying the bills, afterall, the illegal immigrants in the U.S. are legal citizens in Mexico. As it stands, Mexico prefers that the U.S. foot the bill which in turn, has gone a long ways towards destroying our health care system.
I do not have a lot of sympathy for this parent that lives here and does not speak english, He could have stayed in MEXICO WHERE HE SPEAKS THE LANGUAGE.

Just Amazed

March 24th, 2011
7:53 am

Duel citizenship should be ended now. Thats the other main reason these people come here. First is work and they do take our jobs. Second is to have a kid in the us and get on the social system, living off welfare and foodstamps, while they work for cash, live 5 families to one house and break the laws.

I believe in immigration, however, I do not believe that Americans should be out of work. 18 million americans are out of work and 18 million illegals are here working illegally and not paying taxes. If the government does not do something to control this then the Americans will have to do it themselves. All those in Washington that are against America and for Illegals will be voted out in November. WE THE PEOPLE ARE SPEAKING AND THEY BETTER LISTEN.

Buzz G

March 24th, 2011
7:53 am

Remember, illegal alien labor is cheap only to the employer. Many of the costs of illegal aliens are passed on to society and we all must pay them via taxes, higher insurance, etc.

Illegal aliens deserve sympathy about as much as any criminals do.

OH WELL

March 24th, 2011
7:55 am

Thank you for calling.

For Spanish press 1, for Indian press 2, for Japanese press 3, for Asian press 4, for English wait till after all out other non-citizens have been take care of.

Would be funny if its not the truth.

MomOf2Girls

March 24th, 2011
7:55 am

I am very much against allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. once they have been identified. Regardless of the other things they may do here, they have broken the law at least once simply by virtue of them being here. Many people follow the legal path to residency and / or citizenship – why should illegals be allowed to bypass the system?

Regarding anchor babies – the 14th amendment was partly a result of the fallout following the Civil War, as part of the effort to prevent Southern states from restricting the rights of freed slaves. It was never intended to be the basis of the anchor babies. I’m sure the legislators of the time never foresaw that usage, or they would have been more explicit about this aspect of it.

As for this specific case, I am confident that the father knew exactly what was at stake and consciously chose not to get his daughter. I’ll bet he figured that with this country’s track record, there would be a big outcry about the girl being separated from her family and she would end up back here without him risking deportation. As far as him not understanding English, he’s been here long enough to have learned the language!

Sorry, this is one area where I have zero tolerance. If the family wants to stay together, do it somewhere where they can all do it legally. If they want to be in the U.S., then do it legally.

Solve the Problems

March 24th, 2011
7:58 am

Want to solve the budget problem, put the fair tax in play. Not only will it even out the income taxes but it will make every single one of these illegals pay for the services with social and medical that they use up in this country. Imagine the rise in revenue if the 30 million illegals started to have to pay their fair share in taxes.. We would have more revenue thats for sure.

vsheehan

March 24th, 2011
8:00 am

What a horrible situation. I wish there was a way to force mexico and south america to pay for schooling of it’s populous through highschool. Therefore they would have better lives in their home countries and get stuck in this horrible situation. Stuck between getting your kid or loosing the only way you can make money to keep that kid from starving. It’s just an impossible situation.

olderandwiser49

March 24th, 2011
8:00 am

While I appreciate the calls for compassion, I think that the compassion of the American taxpayer is coming to an end where illegal immigrants are concerned. Illegal immigration costs us an estimated $113 Billion per year, and that figure is growing. Yes, they came to America for a better life, but at whose expense? The vast majority of the money they make here is sent back to Mexico, not spent locally, so they don’t contribute much to our economy. Instead, they drain it, and take advantage of every welfare and entitlement program they can, usually via a fraudulent social security number. They make little effort to adapt to US customs, but US citizens are expected to adapt to theirs. Why must we “Press ‘1′ for English” rather than insist that they learn to speak English? Why must we educate their young at our expense? Soon, as is the case here, you have the tail wagging the dog. Even Mexico’s president criticizes our immigration laws and Arizona’s stand against illegals, but why should we care what he thinks? He doesn’t want them back since the money they send to Mexico is that nation’s second largest source of revenue. I am all for legal immigration and for immigrants that adapt to our society, while paying proper taxes and staying off the welfare doles. Illegals need to be sent back and go through the proper procedure. One last question for those compassionate ones out there: Would you show the same consideration for someone who broke into your house, decided to live there at your expense, expected you to pay for their food, clothing and education, stole from you, and invited more of their friends to move in, too? Something tells me you would be calling 911 at the first opportunity. Oh, and don’t forget to press “1″ for English!

counterpoint

March 24th, 2011
8:01 am

Families are broken when individuals leave their native country for a “better life” …

why all of a sudden is it our fault when a family is broken when we (US) as them to leave?

shaggy

March 24th, 2011
8:01 am

On one hand, they are illegals, and broke the law to get here.
On the other hand, if I was subjected the same desperation, and I looked north to see the beacon of hope and freedom, I would have crossed…in a nanosecond.

I regularly Thank God that I was born in The United States of America, the Greatest country that has EVER been.

Pepe Lopez

March 24th, 2011
8:04 am

Of course no child should be separated from their family. That’s why they should all be deported back to the parents’ country of origin.

RJ

March 24th, 2011
8:05 am

First, he’s been here since 1996 and doesn’t speak English? Yeah right. No sympathy here. Being born here from illegal parents should make the child illegal as well. Sorry, but they all need to go back to their home country.

Pinche Huevos

March 24th, 2011
8:07 am

We don’t need no stinkin green cards…

Rodack

March 24th, 2011
8:07 am

There should not be automatic citizenship given to children of persons here illegally. That is one reason they come here. Send them all back and revoke the child’s citizenship status. Tired,poor huddled masses need to enter legally.

shaggy

March 24th, 2011
8:08 am

It probably would have been better for all if we had just made Mexico a territory of The United States, when we captured Mexico City and had won the Mexican-American War. Their government was corrupt then and treated the regular people (which are really more Native American descent than Spanish) like serfs…just like they do now in that country.

Marge

March 24th, 2011
8:10 am

All of these anchor baby children have stolen American citizenship and should never have been granted it in the first place. Every immigrant who goes to another country leaves family behind. DUH..that applies to all countries everywhere. They visit family through visas. The purpose of immigration is not to bring everyone you know from your home country to your new homeland. Same with this garbage about the DREAM ACT. There are colleges in every country around the world and illegal alien children have already raped the American taxpayer through funding of their primary and high school education. Send them all back to their own countries. The massive invasion of the Third World is not what America needs and certainly not what we want.

This is Mrs. Norman Maine

March 24th, 2011
8:10 am

@ catlady: re: dropping the race card. Whenever somebody uses “drop the race card” derisively such as yourself, I find that the concerns of racism are usually justified. Look in the mirror.

Re: the American children of undocumented immigrants. In then next 15 years or so, those children will be VOTING citizens and wil become very active in the political process of necessity due to the nasty tone of immigration debates and attempts to change the constitution etc. The laws will be changed alright but not in the way that so many are hoping.

Photius

March 24th, 2011
8:11 am

1. The law regarding illegals giving birth and automatic citizenship for the child should be reviewed and changed.

2. Our immigration laws should be changed since business obviously has a need for their labor. America has in the past allowed for vast amounts of immigrants, let’s change the process to make it legal for the required labor to come to America.

3. Place a $10,000 fine on any business caught with an illegal working for them. If the “food source” for illegals dries up (jobs) the deman will no longer exist.

4. Deportation. Try going to any European nation and overstaying your visa time, you’re shipped out.

5. Every nation has to be able to control it’s borders.

Beavis

March 24th, 2011
8:11 am

Could this be any stupider, quoting the HuffingtonPuss.com as a news agency? Immigration by its very definition breaks up families; do liberals believe that when one person comes here that the whole family now needs to come here? My grandparents came here, first my grandmother with the children then my grandfather 5 years later, when he could afford to do it legally, what a strange concept. But wait should we go back to find more relatives over in Russia and make them citizens also?

Beavis

March 24th, 2011
8:14 am

Gee I bet there are no leftwing extremists on the HuffingtonPuss.com staff, ya think?

Tom E. Gunn

March 24th, 2011
8:16 am

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT!!!! Just what part of ILLEGAL do people not understand. IF we just turn our backs on this issue, then let’s free all the frug trafficers, heck nothing REALLY wrong with marijuana is there? Let’s quit enforcing DUI, those people are usually headed home anyway. Let’s don’t jail any murderers, they were just having a bad day, and do really really want to seperate them from their families?

Erica

March 24th, 2011
8:19 am

The immigration issue has seemingly become the source of many of the alleged ills in America. Lack on jobs? Blame the illegals. Underperforming schools? Blame the illegals? High government debt? Blame the illegals. We are a nationis doomed to repeat our history (and not in a good way) because we have forgotten it.

A brief elementary school history lesson: This country’s founding fathers were “illegals”, all of whom fled England to escape religious persecution, etc. in their homeland. They promptly arrived and began “eliminating” the Native American population, as they began occupying the land. They were not American citizens; they made America their own. Through ingenuity and hard work, the America that is touted today by many proudly as “my country” was born. That is the history of our founding fathers. Now, compare and contrast that to the current immigration issue. Yes, there are some differences: 1) the majority of those who have come here are indigenous, Spanish speaking people, 2) most of them are here simply to work and are willing to take the lowest paying jobs, 3) the vast majority of them are not here commiting crimes, nor have they displaced any Americans from their land, possessions, etc. Just food for thought, simply my opinions. Do I think that there needs to be more aggressive border control? Certainly, it’s a national security issue at a minimum. However, this is an issue that has long been silently ignored for YEARS, and not just for the Spanish speaking illegals, but also for all of those who came here on student visas AND NEVER went home (the highest number of those in this country illegally statistically). I think the feds will have to look at this realistically. To deport 11 million people, to include children who were born here and are U.S. citizens is not feasible and is more costly than their “illegal stays” here. Yes, they should have to pay some sort of penalty (sizeable) for their illegal arrival, and go through a rigorous process towards getting legal residency. But here are some facts: 1) most illegals actually file and pay U.S. income taxes (the ones who work), 2) most of them cannot receive any type of federal/state benefit because they cannot prove citizenship, and 3) economy(esp. Ga. construction boom in early 2000s benefitted GREATLY from them as skilled, cheap labor. So know the facts first, please. Read. The statistics and information is out there.

Now to address the current question. If the child is a proven U.S. citizen, with birth certificate and passport, she should be allowed back into the country of her birth, period. The key question is whether she would have someone to care for her here, as her grandfatehr was taken into custody. The attacks on kids who were born here, have birth certifcates, and are U.S. citizens, is a complete red herring. When we as a nation start playing semantics regarding who is considered a U.S. citizen (either by birth or immigration), and in particular, when we start attempting to reinterpret and misinterpret the 5th amendement of the Constitution, a slippery slope begins.

RoswellJacket

March 24th, 2011
8:20 am

It’s called ILLEGAL immigration for a reason. We have a system in place to enter this country and become a CITIZEN. These adults knew what they were doing when they entered and stayed here illegally, then birthed a baby to become a citizen. Send the family back to their country of origin. Any of them who are US citizens can come back anytime they like.

shaggy

March 24th, 2011
8:28 am

TWG,

You are going to get (already have) many “too long to read” comments on this topic. This is a polarizing issue that trancends the family aspect.

Oh, about the topic – what Photius said…I like his take on a going forward solution.

justmy2cents

March 24th, 2011
8:30 am

No more anchor babies…if they were born here of illegal parents, she should automatically be illegal too! Change the laws! Kids should be required to speak English before entering school. Get rid of ESOL classes! Don’t like it? Leave! Along those lines…you should have to be able to pass a drug test to receive any welfare/food stamps/free medical care AND prove citizenship to receive any of that. Can’t meet the requirements? No benies for you, and go back to where you came from. Quit burdening the tax payers!

shaggy

March 24th, 2011
8:34 am

Erica,

I need to respectfully disagree on your history lesson. For all we now know about human migration, EVERYBODY on the planet, except the Africans that never left (think Dinka tribe) are illegals…somewhere on the planet.
Humans did not arise in the Americas, Europe, Australia, Asia, Anarctica. They all, Native Americans included, came from somewhere else.

Techmom

March 24th, 2011
8:38 am

@shaggy This is also what happens when they put a link to the blog on the home page of ajc.com. I’ll wait for the next topic…

cc

March 24th, 2011
8:40 am

I agree! If you are here illegally then the children you have are illegal. Imigration can work if everyone goes through the right channels. It is such a burden on our resources!

James

March 24th, 2011
8:44 am

Ship them all back including their kids.
Tired of my tax dollars paying to educate,
feed and handling their medical issues at
our local hospitals. Let the crooked governments
of Mexico and other Latin Countries take care
of them. If we don’t change this policy America
will become a 3rd world country in the next 50
years– its looking that way now in some cities….

counterpoint

March 24th, 2011
8:46 am

Illiegal aliens need LOOK no further than what is going on in Egypt and Libya to get why Americans are so angry. They should have stayed in their country and fought for their freedom and rights for a “better life” on their own soil. Instead the US has been “used and abused” for decades by our “neighbors” and all of a sudden we are the “bad guys”.

I really don’t understand why we (US) keep having to defend ourselves on these talking points.

Again, families were “broken” when these folks snuck in, why do we continue to have to blamed for something they started by coming here illegally.

Lori

March 24th, 2011
8:53 am

Wow, I haven’t read so much hatred and lack of compassion in this blog before. It makes me sad.

MomOf2Girls

March 24th, 2011
9:06 am

@Lori, before you get so sad about the lack of compassion, think about what you normally see on this blog (from many of the same people). Perhaps it’s an indication of the issue rather than the people. I personally am a very compassionate person, but the abuse of the system has pushed my compassion past its limit on this.

Erica

March 24th, 2011
9:09 am

@Lori: My sentiments exactly. As an Atlanta native, as a minority, and as the mnother of a Spanish speaking child (yes, my husband in Latino and is very much a U.S. citizen, 3rd generation), I have some serious concerns and misgivings about rearing my child in a city filled with so much ignorance, bigotry, and hard – hearted sentiments. This country’s very back bone has been its diversity, of culture, of language, of thought, of ethnicity. The very blatant movement backwards to a mindset of exclusion vs inclusion is very disheartening and sad. I think the backwards movement in terms of thought and dogma can arguably be one of the reasons that both the metro area and the state have had the slowest economic recovery. What company would want to relocate to a state with such a limited mindset? Would its international employees, let alone its Spanish speaking ones, be subject to harassment or ill treatment?

We are very seriously considering relocation, even though we both have strong roots here, due to some of the limited thinking and attitudes that have been displayed on this blog before.

@Catlady: I kind of cringed as I read your comments about your illegal students. I have to wonder how many of your students are subject to your underlying biases and prejudices due to their nationality, their parents’ nationality, citizenship status language, etc. Do they not deserve a quality education?

Anon

March 24th, 2011
9:14 am

@Erica – this is not being directed at anybody but those here illegally. I suggest you understand what people are saying here before getting on your high horse. And no, illegal students do not deserve a quality education here, where neither they nor their family have contributed to the tax base that pays for it.

shaggy

March 24th, 2011
9:17 am

Erica,

Sadly your argument sounds more racist than anything. Personally,
I couldn’t care less where you came from or what your race is, however a country’s border is a country’s border. Turnabout being fair play; the Mexicans don’t play fair. Go and illegally cross into Mexico and tell me what happens. Also, an American citizen can’t own land in Mexico. Why is that?