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Posted on Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Undocumented immigrants losing fight to keep children who are U.S. citizens

By Ryan J. Stanton


The Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights is advocating on behalf of immigrant families in Washtenaw County. Since WICIR's inception in March 2008, it reports having received nearly 350 calls, 80 percent of which involve immigrants who have been detained.

Chris Asadian |

Editor's note: Some of the names have been changed in this story to protect the identities of the undocumented immigrants involved in these cases.

Eleven-year-old Marcos will have been in foster care for two years in June, while his mother remains in a federal detainment facility in Texas for being in the country illegally.

Already previously deported once, Gloria, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, was charged with felony re-entry when she came forward seeking custody of her son.

Marcos had been placed in foster care after being abused by his father here in Washtenaw County. When Gloria found out, she set out to reunite with her son.

But it's been an impossible battle with her immigration status working against her, and there's little she can do now from the detainment facility she's in as she awaits deportation.

Other undocumented relatives living in the Ann Arbor area have come forward seeking custody of Marcos, who is a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico, on Gloria's behalf.

They, too, have had no luck.

Marcos has aunts and uncles who say they love him and desperately want to bring him into their homes, but they're finding out their immigration status is a deal breaker.


"These situations are awful legal and human conundrums," said Donald Shelton, chief judge of the Washtenaw County Circuit Court.

Angela J. Cesere |

Political ideologies aside, most agree it's a messy situation.

Judge Donald Shelton, who oversees these kinds of cases, said the intersection of federal immigration enforcement and the child welfare system is where some of the ugliest battles take place.

"These situations are awful legal and human conundrums," said Shelton, chief judge of the Washtenaw County Circuit Court.

Shelton has been on the bench when tough decisions had to be made about children who are U.S. citizens and whose undocumented parents were detained or deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for being in the country illegally.

The first time an undocumented immigrant is caught in the U.S., it's a misdemeanor civil offense. Being caught a second time is a felony.

In Michigan, when parents are detained because of their immigration status, they can be petitioned by the state for abandoning their children.

"From an abandonment point of view, it's a practical issue," Shelton said. "Abandon doesn't mean you voluntarily don't care for them. It means that you can't or won't. They're not present to take care of the children, and so someone has to take care of the children."

And often that ends up being a foster family.

But can the children be placed in the care of undocumented relatives living in the U.S. who risk stepping forward and want custody?

Shelton said there is no clear guidance in the way of federal or state policy, but he doesn't see how it's possible if the relatives are undocumented.

"You start with the premise that the children are U.S. citizens," he said. "The children, either because the United States is their place of birth or because one of the parents is a U.S. citizen, are born with U.S. citizenship, so they are U.S. citizens with all of the rights attached."

And so, Shelton said, it's hard to consider placing a child in the care of someone who could be deported any day.

"To make the analogy, we wouldn't allow a person who had an outstanding (criminal) warrant to be a guardian," he said. "The reason is that we're placing that child with someone who may be gone the next day. So that's right, if they're undocumented, then they're not going to be allowed to be guardians because it's not in the best interest of the children."

The Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights sees the issue differently and argues family reunification — even when the relatives are undocumented — can be in the best interest of the children and shouldn't be overlooked because of immigration status.


Laura Sanders, one of the co-founders of the WICIR, said she's pressed the Michigan Department of Human Services and the courts on the issue and the argument she's heard back is it's "just common sense" that children shouldn't be placed in undocumented households. Here she talks with the families affected by those decisions.

Chris Asadian |

Laura Sanders, one of the co-founders of WICIR, said she's pressed the Michigan Department of Human Services and the courts on the issue and the argument she's heard back is it's "just common sense" that children shouldn't be placed in undocumented households.

"We wholeheartedly disagree that's common sense," said Sanders, who has a master's degree in social work from the University of Michigan and is an adjunct instructor at U-M. "We think common sense is very subjective and that the state needs to be making decisions based on each individual case and what makes sense for that individual case."

DHS officials declined to comment for this story but confirmed there's no official policy that says a child can't be placed with an undocumented relative, but it's highly unlikely to happen.

WICIR is actively speaking out about two local cases it has been tracking where undocumented parents were detained for being in the country illegally. In both cases, the parents fought unsuccessfully for custody of their children who were shuffled into foster care.

"Even though these parents have rights to their children, these children end up getting lost in the system," Sanders said. "This one man just fought like hell and lost his kids."

A new report authored by Seth Freed Wessler, an investigative reporter and researcher at and the Applied Research Center, points out in the first six months of 2011 the federal government deported more than 46,000 parents of children who are U.S. citizens.

The report, called "Shattered Families," estimates as many as 5,100 children are now living in foster care in the U.S. as a result of parents being detained or deported.

A mom and her son

Since WICIR's inception in March 2008, it reports having received nearly 350 calls, 80 percent of which involve immigrants who have been detained.

"And when we look at the family structures of those cases, we know that well over one-third include the separation of children from at least one parent," Sanders said. "So we know that well over 100 cases have included separating a child from their parent."

One of those cases is the story of Gloria and her son. Both the mother and multiple relatives have fought unsuccessfully over the last two years for custody of Marcos.

According to WICIR and family members, the boy was abused by his father and was hospitalized. That's when he came to the attention of Child Protective Services, a division of the Michigan Department of Human Services, and was placed in temporary foster care.

Gloria, who was previously deported and living in either Mexico or Texas at the time, stepped forward to take custody of Marcos.

"She had been previously deported, so she was not supposed to come back into the country," Sanders said. "At one point, she was back in the country and even in Michigan, but she was having a hard time getting custody of her son back from the father."

Sanders and family members said Gloria, risking arrest, went to DHS twice prior to the abuse situation escalating, stating her concerns about how her son was being treated. But according to family members, DHS decided Marcos was better off with his father.


Friends and relatives of Gloria, the mother fighting for custody of her son, talk to on a recent afternoon. They did not want to be identified.

Chris Asadian |

"So when this case came to the attention of the courts, this mother called us," Sanders said, adding representatives of WICIR appeared in court and arranged for Gloria to be on the phone.

But when state DHS workers found out Gloria was going to be fighting for custody, they decided to petition her for abandoning her child, Sanders said.

"We felt there was no reason to petition her," Sanders said. "She had been deported. It didn't mean she doesn't love her child. She didn't abandoned her child."

But she was petitioned for abandonment anyway, and that meant she had charges against her, and she had to follow a DHS service plan if she wanted any chance at getting her son back.

DHS service plans lay out steps a parent must take such as going to parenting classes, demonstrating there's a stable home environment and sometimes requiring drug testing.

But while Gloria was going through that process, she was arrested in Texas for illegally reentering the United States.

"So she was charged with a felony and was arrested … and now has been trying to do this from the place of detainment," Sanders said. "Of course, you can imagine how much that interferes with being able to move through a service plan like taking parenting classes."

Eventually Gloria's sisters in Washtenaw County, Rosa and Maria, came forward to take in Marcos. According to them, they were denied because of their undocumented status.

And so Marcos continues living in foster care with a family that has made clear it does not want to permanently adopt him, Sanders said.

"It is heartbreaking," she said. "He has no permanent place. He's confused."

Sanders pointed out Marcos has dual citizenship, which means he could theoretically go back to Mexico with his mother. Sanders believes Gloria never should have been petitioned.

DHS workers and others who worked on the case declined to comment for this story, citing confidentiality rules.

Family members said Marcos, who turns 12 soon, has had behavioral problems and has acted out at school, which they believe is a response to being separated from his family.

Sanders said it's especially sad that Rosa and her husband, who are aunt and uncle to Marcos, weren't allowed to take him. She said they're "very stable folks," have a "really beautiful family," have young children of their own, and have been in the country for many years so it's possible there would be prosecutorial discretion if they were ever arrested.

Rosa said a case worker came to check out her home and determined it was a safe and stable environment for Marcos. She said the only problem was her immigration status.

"I tried to do everything perfect and they put my nephew with foster care and I don't understand why," Rosa said, adding the foster mother now calls her for help.

With no luck placing Marcos with either of his two aunts in Michigan, WICIR has been trying to help facilitate the young boy's placement with an aunt and uncle in Texas.

"These brave relatives also came forth and they agreed to be licensed by the state of Texas and this licensing process has been going on for over a year," Sanders said.

"I mean, it's just a tedious, extended and, in this case, unnecessary process, because he's got these lovely relatives right here in Michigan."

The man from Guatemala

Another case WICIR is tracking involves a father from Guatemala who fought unsuccessfully for custody of his three children who are U.S. citizens.

The father, whom WICIR is calling "Mr. B," remains in a federal detainment facility in Michigan and is awaiting deportation, leaving behind a 4-year-old daughter and two boys, ages 6 and 8, who live and go to school in Washtenaw County.

Sanders said Mr. B had been deported and was in Guatemala when his children were removed by the state and placed in foster care because their birth mother, who was a U.S. citizen, was involved in drugs — both as an addict as well as a seller.

When Mr. B, who was divorced from the mother, found out his children were in foster care, he came back into the county in hopes that he might gain custody, Sanders said.

"He very bravely brought himself to the attention of foster care, and these are hard things for undocumented people to do because they know they're going to be in front of courts and at any point they could be turned in to immigration," she said.


Dolores, a friend who at one point offered to take custody of the two boys, described Mr. B as a good father.

Chris Asadian |

Sanders said DHS hadn't yet filed a petition against Mr. B, only against the mother who went to jail. The mother later died of a drug overdose.

"So court was coming," Sanders said. "We had a meeting, which was kind of unusual, but we brought all the players together."

Sanders recalled she and Margaret Harner, another co-founder of WICIR, sat around a table with Mr. B's case worker, DHS representatives and an attorney to talk about the case.

"Everybody cared," Sanders said.

She said it was agreed there wouldn't be a petition against Mr. B, and the plan was to reunite him with his children.

But two days later, when they got to court, they discovered DHS had filed a petition, the first sentence of which reported he was residing in the country illegally.

"His immigration status has come up as the first violation against his children," Sanders said. "We felt completely hoodwinked and so did Mr. B."

Sanders said Mr. B agreed to go along with the service plan laid out by DHS anyway, and he spent months following every step.

"He had to get an apartment that was three bedrooms. He had to do drug testing even though he never had a drug problem," Sanders said. "He didn't have a car at the time, so he was zipping around on bike. He had to go visit his kids. He went to all the visits."

But then someone tipped off ICE and federal agents came to the restaurant where Mr. B was working and took him away. Having already been deported once, he was charged with felony re-entry and placed in federal detention.

Sanders said it was difficult to see Mr. B shackled and in handcuffs in court as he continued to fight for custody. She described him as a small-statured man who spoke humbly.

"They wouldn't even unshackle him in order for him to sign papers," she said. "He worked months and months. He would keep coming to court hearings to try to get his kids back."

Sanders said there were talks of seeking dual citizenship for Mr. B's children so they could follow him back to Guatemala.

Realizing it probably wasn't going to work, Mr. B relinquished his parental rights last month. He's now scheduled for deportation without his children.

"They basically wore him down," Sanders said. "In the last court hearing ... he relinquished his parental rights. And he stood before the referee and cried. I talked to a couple of the attorneys and they said everyone in the courtroom was crying."

Mr. B at one point made a plan for a close friend to adopt his two boys, but that didn't work out. It now appears likely they'll be placed with relatives of the deceased mother.

Meanwhile, his daughter is in a foster home with a family that is interested in adopting her, according to people familiar with the case.

Dolores, the friend who at one point offered to take custody of the two boys, described Mr. B as a good father. She recalled good memories of cookouts they had together.

"What upsets me the most is he was trying so hard to get his kids. I mean, he was working so hard," she said. "He was going through everything they told him to go through and he was working like three jobs trying to get the apartment furnished for his children."

Sanders called it an injustice.

"They had not even petitioned him until he came forth to get his children, and that's when they decided to petition him," she said. "We feel that there should have never been a petition against him in the first place and that he was discriminated against by the system."

Searching for answers

Shelton said the fact that there's no state policy on the matter, and lack of clear direction from the federal government, makes these types of cases difficult for judges.

He believes the answer is immigration reform.

"It's really a decision that needs to be made on a national level in terms of our immigration policy," he said. "To the extent that we have the federal government making a decision that ignores the status of the children and the state governments being responsible to care for the children but having no control over what happens to the parents, it's an awful situation."

But Sanders said a number of states already place children with undocumented caregivers, so she doesn't see why immigration status is such an impediment in Michigan.


Ramiro, a friend of the family that has been fighting for custody of Marcos, talks with the relatives about their struggles on a recent afternoon.

Chris Asadian |

"There's ignorance and discrimination that is just blatant, and these judges have so much power," she said. "They make decisions out of their own fears."

Sanders pointed to an Illinois state policy that outlines a process for placing children with undocumented caregivers and also helps arrange for emergency care plans for children in the event that their caregiver is detained due to immigration status. The policy even includes an attachment with a list of resources for immigrants in Illinois.

"Illinois has a beautiful policy," Sanders said.

Shelton said he's never seen such a policy.

"I don't know about those, but I would say that it's directly contrary to permanency," he said of placing a child with an undocumented caregiver who could be deported. "That's the reason why most courts will not do it, because it's just the opposite of permanency."

David Thronson, a professor of law at Michigan State University, said immigration matters tend to complicate already difficult decisions that face family courts, but there isn't anything stopping a judge from placing a child with an undocumented caregiver.

The fact that someone is involved in U.S. immigration proceedings should say nothing about their parental rights, Thronson added. But, he said, how that plays out is inconsistent from state to state and different judges make different decisions.

"A lot of assumptions get built in and often it's seen as 'here's someone who's undocumented, they can't possibly be a good caregiver,' but the facts tend to belie that," he said.

Sanders called it a failure of the system that immigration status trumps parental rights. She believes Mr. B and Gloria should have been reunited with their children from the start, even if that meant they might take the children back to another country.

Shelton said it could be considered forcible deportation if the court granted custody of children who are U.S. citizens to parents who are in the country illegally.

"I don't think any court has the ability to forcibly deport a U.S. citizen," he said. "I mean, you can't deport the children and have them go back with the parent who's being deported."

Dennis Moore, director of the Willow Run Tea Party Caucus, said it's a tough issue and he can't fault the families for fighting for the children.

"If it was me, I would do anything and everything," Moore said.

But he still thinks officials are right not to place U.S. citizen children with immigrants who are in the country illegally.

"I hate our government policy that puts families in a situation like that," he said. "It's our government's fault for bad policy and these kids are paying the price for bad policy."

Harner argued Michigan does have relevant policies about placement of children who've been abused, neglected or abandoned, even if they don't mention immigration status.

"It's very clear that we do have policy that family always trumps other placements," she said. "Case workers have to first research possible family members immediately before they place a child with someone who is not a family member."

While Shelton doesn't believe placing a child with an undocumented relative meets the definition of permanency, Harner argues it's a lot more stable than foster care.

"Any kid in foster care knows it's not a permanent family and that they could wake up any day and be moved," she said.

Harner, program director at the Student Advocacy Center in Ypsilanti, said there's no question the long-term ability of a child to graduate and go on to lead a successful life is negatively impacted by being taken from his or her family and placed in foster care.

According to the Shattered Families report, foster youth are more likely than other children to become homeless, abuse drugs, be arrested, drop out of school and be abused.

"Children are not supposed to remain in foster care for more than a year without investigating why," Harner said. "Permanency always trumps everything else and family reunification is your first choice of permanency, followed by adoption. And so immigration shouldn't have any effect on the permanency plan for a child, nor should it have any impact on reunification."

Sanders cited a statistic that 1 out of 10 children in the U.S. lives in a mixed-status home, meaning at least one parent is undocumented.

"That's a lot," she said. "That's 10 percent of our children in the United States. And we don't go in and take children out of their homes because the parents are undocumented."

Shelton said it's not so black and white.

"The concern of most people on this issue is that we would really like to find a way to keep the children with their parents in a stable environment," he said. "We're never going to be able to do that unless the federal government takes a very different approach to the whole question of undocumented aliens and how they relate to their children who are U.S. citizens."

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 3:53 p.m.

DOUBLE STANDARDS : I am glad to read about Roger Kuhlman's concern about "double standards". I truly share his concern about the use of documents that are not valid. In the past, I read several stories in The Ann Arbor News and other news media that reveal that some of the documents are actually issued by officials who are employed by the concerned State/Federal departments or agencies. These false documents work as they are not entirely false. There is a tendency to exploit the desire of individuals to find legal employment and contribute to the society for the benefit of its individuals. As per the stories that I read, such documents are provided by immigration attorneys or the agents who work as middlemen trapping gullible individuals by luring them to give the document for an exorbitant fee. I have to be very careful in the use of terms such as "ILLEGAL". The State has immense financial and human resources to wage battles, to occupy foreign lands and territories and impose its will upon the lives of other human beings. I tend to examine the issue of legality by applying uniform, common standards to the actions and behavior of individual as well as that of Union/State.

Roger Kuhlman

Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 7:39 p.m.

This story is politically motivated and agenda-driven. Illegal Immigrants or Illegal Aliens are not undocumented immigrants. Virtually all these illegals have fraudulent and illegal documentation to present to employers, the police, and other political authorities. Stop dishonestly framing the issue of illegal immigration as a matter of lacking documentation. It is clearly not true. If you folks who want open borders and unfettered immigration are to act honestly and with integrity, you should be out there advocating the repeal of US immigration laws. Quit pushing for double standards in the enforcement of the Law.


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 3:57 p.m.

Individual vs State : As a proponent of Individualism, individual rights, individual freedom and liberty, I find this conflict of interests between that of individual and those of society to be of particular interest. People display a lack of concern for principles while taking stand on issues that involve conflicting interests. United States sends individuals to other countries to fulfil its foreign policy initiatives to provide direct or indirect benefits to its citizens. United States spends billions of dollars on military initiatives to secure its interests which are seen as important to its people. In all of these actions, individuals often enter other countries and territories illegally and since there is a common benefit, people ignore their illegal actions. The same people get very alarmed when an individual enters their country for his personal reason or benefit. The individual lacks the freedom or liberty to choose a course of action for his individual benefit, but this individual is supported if he commits an illegal action to provide a common bene fit. A Mexican child is viewed as a liability and people reconcile when this liability is transformed into a national asset when the child grows up and serves in the U.S. Army. Kindly share with me the numbers; the number of immigrant children who have willingly joined the U.S. Army and then violated international laws and laws of other countries and territories to accomplish their military mission and tasks.


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 2:38 a.m.

The racism and hatred on display in these comments masquerading as right wing talking points is shameful, but not surprising.

Atlas Shrugged

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 11:06 p.m.

Send them all back home, where they belong. It boggles my mind that some would call ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS "undocumented citizens," or whatever. What is not understood by the word ILLEGAL? Of course, the answer lies in political correctness. I will support John Meggitt's comments too. High time that we quit allowing babies born here to foreign nationals to become automatic US citizens, with many of them, and their parents, draining our economy. Go back home!


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 4:04 p.m.

These people whom you wish to return are being embraced in consistently increasing numbers to join the U.S. Army when they get the opportunity to enter other countries and territories for your direct and indirect benefit. I demand consistent application of principles in the actions of Indiviual and that of State. The State must not have Freedom that is denied to the Individual.

Laura Jones

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 8:27 p.m.

The disdain people are showing for a child's right to its parent and the blanket endorsement of forced parent/child separation as a reasonable punishment for illegal entry to the US is morally and legally appalling. This is not an issue of illegal immigrants needing to stay, but of a bureaucratic mess needing to make accommodation to respect the human rights of a family. It's easy, and rather base, to make this a simple case of advocating for illegal immigration. I have not seen anyone doing that here. It is a well-used axiom that one should consider carefully the rights of others one agrees should be trumped by the State in any circumstance, because our legal system works on precedent. These parents loss of the right to their children (or coercion by the state to relinquish them) today can easily become your punishment tomorrow. Moreover, these are not run of the mill rights, these are basic human rights on the most fundamental level. The separation of parent and child is particularly appalling when it is done as a punishment or because of a bureaucratic issue. I believe this is the case here. I have not advocated for illegal immigration anywhere in this conversation. I have advocated for the reunion of parents and children and the legal respect of that sacred parent child bond which has been a tenant of American Conservatism for years. I have likewise advocated for the respect of human rights, another tenant on Conservatism found in the belief that the State has little business in the family unit without exigent circumstances being present. I am appalled that some of you who claim to be conservative stand against the family unit here. I appreciate each and every down vote, however, since it assures me I am not yet so decrepit yet as to have lost the right to my liberty and freedom by handing over someone else's on a platter.

A2 Sense 1959

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 6:45 p.m.

I have to raise my child here, my home Ann Arbor! I have worked with illegal immigrants and legal immigrants and they (illegal immigrants) know there breaking the law and the only thing there worried about is getting caught! They know there taking jobs from people born here because they have done it to me and laughed in my face! They know they abuse the health care system and they told me I can't do it! There buying houses that we are losing! Even the legal one's tell me there losing jobs to the illegal's! How can you people in Ann Arbor be so blind to the big picture, have you no children? Sure give the child back to her mother that's right! But Damn it wake up illegal immigrants and legal immigrants are abusing the system and the middle class is taking the biggest hit!


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 4:12 p.m.

Kindly balance your view with facts; the facts of U.S. Corporations investing in foreign countries to exploit cheap labor, pollute environment, extract natural resources without any social concern. I am very concerned about the costs of health care. Who is looting the Medicare and Medicaid? Kindly count the number of Pharmacists, Doctors, Hospitals and other medical and health care providers who are caught in the acts of stealing public funds for their private gain.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 8:56 p.m.

"the legal ones"? 21st century folks.... 21st century


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 6:10 p.m.

My parents were here legally on a visa when I was born in California. I suppose some folks' interpretation of the 14th amendment would say I should not have been granted citizenship and should now leave. The real issue here is the gaps in the laws. No, I don't support illegal immigrants coming here, staying here, having anchor babies blah blah blah. But maybe when custody issues come up like these messy ones, the deported parent can be given a 2-week temporary visa to legally come, fetch their kids, and take them out of the US. No foster care required at tax payor expense (that should make some of you happy). And if that parent so foolishly decides to overstay his/her temporary visa, well, then he/she really is to blame when the kid ends up in foster care and they in jail, as they rightly should be at strike #2. After reading all these comments, and seeing how every single "liberal" comment has been vote down, the cat is out of the bad - Ann Arbor isn't nearly so far to the left as everyone always accuses it to be. And certainly not offering solutions.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 5:19 p.m.

The solution seems obvious to me. Grant parents of US citizens citizenship themselves. Also siblings. Then these people wont be breaking the law and they'll be free to contribute to our nation in the same way that other immigrants have. (and lets face it, unless you are Native American, you're an immigrant or a descendent of immigrants.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 3:25 p.m.

This is such a sad situation, only made worse by the numerous insensitive, perhaps even supremacist views of so many. It's disappointing that this is the society I must raise my kids in.

Pooh Bear

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 3:24 p.m.

For all of those that feel it is okay for "Undocumented Immigrants"/ ILLEGAL immigrant to be here I guess it would be okay for someone to commit a B&E at your home too after all it is just a "LAW that is being "BROKEN." There is no reason that the child could not have gone home with his Mother in the first trip. It is allowed. She made to decision to leave her son behind if she had not broken the law in the first place he son would have been with her.


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 4:17 p.m.

The mother may have left behind her kid to give him an opportunity to finish high school education and get enrolled in U.S. Army and then break the international laws and laws of other nations and territories to provide you a benefit. If United States has no direct benefit, why is it spending trillions of dollars fighting all over the globe?

Greta Picklesimer

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 2 p.m.

All the more reason for anyone trying to enter the U.S. illegally to stay home. Makes sense to me: stay home, keep your kids, come here and lose them. Why aren't the kids being deported too?


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 8:47 p.m.

The child is a U.S. citizen


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 3:25 p.m.



Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 1:09 p.m.

Of course the parents' poor decisions brought this on. That's the same for all kids in the foster care system. But our system is broken - there has been a lawsuit against MI foster care since 2006. It's one of the worst in the country. Regardless of what federal laws the parents might have broken, we do not have the time or money or resources on a state level to just absorb these kids into foster care. Either the feds need to make immigration policy that recognizes the situation for the minors, or we need to embrace options that care for these children without placing them in foster care - even if that means temporarily living with an 'undocumented' family member or friend.

April Griffin

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 12:49 p.m.

Wow, the compassion here is very nearly contemptible! Does no one see the big picture here? are all the judgmental comments made by people who have never broken the speed limit or turned right on red, even if there is a sign posted not to do so? The bigger picture here is that DHS is taking these families and ripping them apart. making them jump through hoops and more hoops until they are so warn down and exhausted by trying to prove they are good parents, that there is no time left to actually be a good parent. and the fact the DHS, in more cases then not, rushes to petition the court for abandonment, instead of just sending the children to the parents in the native country proves that the bottom line is nothing more than making money on the backs of children. The System is corrupt and innocent people are footing the bill. no matter who they are or where they are from.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

Absolutely correct, April. CPS/DHS has morphed into something diabolical!


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 3:24 p.m.

but why do we have to fund people who for whatever the reason shouldn't be allowed to be here because they are ILLEGAL.

j hampton

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 12:20 p.m.

For all of you haters, Three Dog Night said it best: Easy To Be Hard How can people be so heartless How can people be so cruel Easy to be hard, easy to be cold How can people have no feelings How can they ignore their friends Easy to be proud, easy to say no Especially people who care about strangers Who care about evil and social injustice Do you only care about bleeding crowd How about a needing friend, I need a friend How can people be so heartless You know I'm hung up on you Easy to be proud, easy to say no Especially people who care about strangers Who care about evil and social injustice Do you only care about bleeding crowd How about a needing friend, we all need a friend How can people be so heartless How can people be so cruel Easy to be proud, easy to say no Easy to be cold, easy to say no Come, on, easy to give in, easy to say no Easy to be cold, easy to say no Much too easy to say no

Michele Dziubinski

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 4:39 a.m.

I am appalled by the lack of compassion for the child in most of the comments below. It's become a far more common approach to hot button issues in the US lately: forget about human welfare and apply the letter of the law, no matter who gets hurt by it. Are none of you parents? How would you feel, if you had to leave your child behind with an abusive parent while you were being deported? Wouldn't you make every effort to retrieve your child, regardless of the consequences? Yes, the woman was here illegally, but does a child have to pay for that mistake? I'm wondering if the mother was properly informed of her rights to bring the child back to Mexico with her and whether it was necessary to charge her with abandonment in the first place. It seems unreasonably cruel and inhumane.

Usual Suspect

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 11:56 a.m.

Why in the work would I ever be deported? I'm a citizen. The mother made the child pay for her mistake, not us. The dad and the child could have both gone with her when she was deported, then they would have all been together.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 3:59 a.m.

I thought Ann Arbor was a compassionate and diversified community. I can't believe all the haters that I read in these hateful comments. The haters are too stupid to realize that most countries in the world--including the United States--make birth a right to automatic citizenship. If the haters want to change the constitution they must do so properly, changing the constitution and that is very difficult,...thank God. The last attempt to changethe US Constitution was when woman wanted to have a pro-women rights amendment and that failed years ago. I can't believe the courts are separating children from their parents based on what country you are born in. The United States is supposed to be a Christian or at least a religious nation. But this hate mail is the work of the Devil and so is the hatemail.

Usual Suspect

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 11:58 a.m.

The court didn't separate the child from her family. When the woman was rightfully deported, the dad and child could have also gone (nobody was stopping them) and then they would not have been separated. The parents caused the separation.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 2:12 a.m.

The person with the most agency to manage the first situation in the article was Marcos's father, a legal U.S. citizen. Ultimately, it was the father's illegal actions, proven child abuse, that put Marcos in the middle of a custody battle. There should be more discussion on this page about the irresponsible role that the father played when he illegally battered his 11-year old son rather than the desperate actions taken by the mother to maintain the safety of her son in his home country. Let us raise our civil expectations of legal American citizens.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 1:05 a.m.

Wow! Super long article with "heartbreaking pictures" trying to drum up sympathy for illegal immigrant rights is completely backfiring judging by the comments. Kudos to Ann Arbor citizens for not drinking the liberal kool-Aid this time around! There is hope for this town yet!


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 2:59 a.m.

@LMG09. Now we can talk about stereotyping which is typical of liberals. Nothing illegal about crossing city borders unlike crossing nations borders so your argument falls flat on its face. BTW I cross that border everyday to go to work and pay money into your precious cities local economy on my gym membership dues. Ann Arbor is a nice place to work but I wouldn't want to live there anyway. I have lived there in the past and moved out by choice.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 1:07 a.m.

Should have said Kudos to Ann readers as not everybody commenting is from Ann Arbor, my self included.

Sandra Samons

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 12:10 a.m.

And we condemn other countries for human rights violations! Shame on us for being so regimented and legalistic in our thinking that we lose sight of common humanity. I guess you should only love your neighbors if they were born where you were born. This attitude is the grass roots mind set that creates an environment in which war becomes possible.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

hey soft Sandra this is a nation based on laws NOT pc for illegals.

Usual Suspect

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 1:15 a.m.

The plight of people who willingly and intentionally violate and show disrespect for our country and our laws is a human rights issue? They're not victims - they volunteered for the appropriate consequences when they decided to break the law.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 12:20 a.m.

Ridiculous !!!


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 11:28 p.m.

What do you not understand about the word "Illegal". Why is the new word for ILLEGAL undocumented. Are you people crazy its called Illegal. Let everyone know what the group that is opposite of this WICIR so everyone including me can contribute too. Illegal immigrants are a big part of what is wrong with this country. It is a huge drain financially and economically to every american. Send them all back and their children even if the kids where born here. If they where illegally here and kids where born here why should they be american citizens. What is wrong with this picture. You say the government should take a different approach and I say yes get rid of them all.

Usual Suspect

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 12:55 p.m.

"Let everyone know what the group that is opposite of this WICIR" I think that group is just regular, law-abiding Americans.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 10:03 p.m.

If we want "THE PEOPLE'S" America back, Voters must punish the Politicians, Governors, Mayors, special interest groups and the whole blend of elected officials that are harboring foreign nationals, who have implemented Sanctuary cities ordinances, who have driven policies of the Dream Acts, Chain migration ID Theft, Voter Fraud and other catastrophic Comprehensive Reform packages. But more important than anything else is to remove this President before drives us into further debt, which we cannot possibly survive. Even citizen voting privileges are not safe anymore, from groups like ACORN involved with voter fraud. Every voting precinct in America need to check their election rolls, as Non-citizen voting is a Federal felony and should be prosecuted as such. Investigative reporter James O'Keefe rendered proof positive that organized hordes of illegal "voters" can extensively warp the results of elections throughout the nation, just by claiming the identities of registered voters in those particular districts.


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 2:37 a.m.

ACORN wasn't involved with any voter fraud whatsoever. None. Literally none. You are literally repeating completely fabricated lies made up to defame an organization who's goal was to put poor people in homes.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 7:52 p.m.

Who needs undocumented voters to throw elections when you can get the Supreme Court to do it!?!


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 10:02 p.m.

The stunning investigative report by Andy Pierroti of NBC-2 in Fort Myers included interviews and voting documents illuminating nearly 100 non-citizens who are illegally registered and in some cases have voted in elections as far back as 2001. One Naples, Florida voter admitted she was not a U.S. Citizen, nor a legal immigrant – but election records show she voted six times in the past eleven years. The U.S. citizenry must step forward and adjoin with the TEA PARTY "THE PEOPLE'S PARTY" to stop the erosion of legal rights, which are being reduced by this administration. Remember the TEA PARTY is millions of like minded members in chapters across our nation, who does not discriminate against any race, color, religion as long as you entered the United States legally. Both parties have abused immigration enforcement, by neglecting the fence and the incompetence of acknowledging that ID theft is out of control, that every foreign worker is committing a felony by using U.S. victim's Social security number and identity in the majority of cases, but nothing has been accomplished to halt these issues.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 2:05 a.m.

About 10 years ago, I had a Russian girlfriend here on a student visa. She was hot so I taught her to drive and helped her get a driver's license. She took the test (in Russian), passed it and at the counter the SS woman gave her a voters registration form. She used her passport for ID so the woman was well aware she was not a citizen. The fact was that if she ever did vote, she could have been deported!! The contempt people who work for "the government" have for laws they clearly don't understand and have little intention of enforcing is disgusting. The SS woman should have been fired.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 10:01 p.m.

There are many Constitutional minded, a non-profit organization whose dedication is to lower immigration and enforcement of immigration laws, that unless them two parties start by securing the border and have remained inert to increasingly alarmed public of their deteriorating quality of life due to sprawl, congestion, overcrowded schools, lost open spaces and increasing restrictions on their individual liberty caused by the new population explosion! Stop this travesty that is being deliberately bypassed by the Senate and House. Close all the loopholes in the law, which is pandering to the illegal alien invaders.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 10 p.m.

When did this country genuflect to the crazy environmentalists, stopping us from drilling for more oil? Our country can be self-reliant as we have huge deposits of oil, natural gas and coal, which will last generations. The land doesn't belong to Congress, but all of the people who live here. We should not be paying $3.98 a gallon, when we could be importing oil from Canada. Stop the huge banks from speculating over on oil; at least reduce the percentage to 10 percent for speculators? The illegal alien occupation are racking up over a $100 Billion dollars a year, with no end in sight. How much more money will Obama soak us for, to pay not just for illegal aliens, but U.S. residents who are perpetual welfare recipients? Did you know that illegal foreign workers are estimated to wire over $40 Billion dollars annually outside this country to foreign banks? Do you think that "Obamcare passes" that illegal aliens will have to pay their own insurance? Health Care for illegal aliens is already a unfunded Mandate for the 50 states, for these people pouring through every bloody hole or flying into America from God knows where is going to pay—ZERO. NOTHING! Just like they do now for education, as they pay nothing for all their children who have swamped our school system. Foreigners have become cannibals of taxpayers' money, forced on the public by the courts. Yes! They pay some taxes, but not enough to cover this country's huge deficit, paid out to them?

Laura Jones

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 7:56 p.m.

Tea party? Not much fact, lots of rhetoric. So tired of it.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 2:15 a.m.

You are clearly not up on how things work. There is much misinformation listed here. The one I will comment on is that you say we have lots of oil and gas reserves and should be self-reliant while also saying our self reliance means importing oil from Canada, which is the opposite of being self reliant! But the point of which you are most mistaken is believing that we consume all the oil/gas we produce. We sell our supplies on the international market, along with Saudia Arabia and all oil/gas producing countries. That means that if we produce 100 barrels of oil a day, for example, we sell 100 on the international market. The US market might buy 2 barrels. We do not produce 100 barrels and then sell to the US 100 barrels. If we want to produce all the oil/gas we have and use it here, prices would go up even higher as companies would have a much smaller market on which to sell their goods. We'd haven even less oil/gas available because we'd be stuck using only what we can produce. We'd have to ration it. Plus, petroleum is used to make goods we use, which would further decrease availability for homes and cars. We use on avg. 20 million barrels of oil a day, we import 13 million barrels of that 20 million we use a day.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 10 p.m.

Obama is skirting the laws of the Congress, to implement another sordid avenue, to covertly allow illegal aliens to stay and in addition allow family members to join them. You can also learn more of the Obama government ignoring your Constitutional rights of citizens and they can easily be located by surfing the net with keywords as illegal aliens—costs—ID theft—Voter fraud. Enter several words in Google, Yahoo or any search engine, with spaces in between. These are website that the Democrats and Liberals don't want you to view. It allows the reader to investigate a daily helping of articles of National and rural media, not compliant with the liberal agenda of "Political Correctness" established by the by Left to divide the country. Learn more about the E-Verify program to extract illegal aliens from the workplace and other policing applications as the "Secure Communities" for local police to detect and criminal aliens by fingerprints for another resource for ICE. Please copy and Paste where you can. Distribute freely.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 7:40 p.m.

Yes, because everything one can read on the internet is proven fact...gimme a break!


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 9:43 p.m.

What is wrong with you people ( meaning the commenters so far)? Instead of being angry at the REAL CRIMINAL here -- a father who abused his son -- you have gone off the rails to discuss, debate, and comment on immigration policies. Young Marcos had no issue or problem with immigration status -- he is a legal citizen and his father is apparently so. Not until his father ABUSED him and he ended up in the HOSPITAL, did Marcos (or his mother's immigration status for that matter) come to any authoritiy's attention. All blame for Marcos' difficult and sad situation lies firmly with his FATHER, not his mother. Let's remember the real victim here -- an eleven year old child who was abused by his father, not his mother or the system trying to protect him. I am angry at that man. Isn't anyone else?


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 7:45 p.m.

Pickfordick: duh. read the article. it's there.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 12:29 a.m.



Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 12:04 a.m.

Can you show some proof of your allegations please?

rusty shackelford

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 11:13 p.m.

Most commenters here are just angry at all Latinos, whom they consider ipso facto "illegals."


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 8:58 p.m.

Undocumented adults or kids get documented or they get sent back.whatever the case they're not legal residents of the United States therefore they have NO right to ANYTHING this country offers. so the parent have the choice fill the paperwork out for the kid or he/she/they get deported.In the case of an adult same rules apply. Undoubtedly these people are wasting taxpayers money by sucking up welfare of one sort or another. Stop it NOW.Send them Back where they CAME FROM.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 8:31 p.m.

If only foreigners thought about what might happen to them and to their kids if they came into the country illegally or overstayed their visas instead of being selfish enough to think that if they are careful, nothing will go wrong. This naive way of thinking puts their childrens' lives in danger, whether the children are US citizens or not.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 8:59 p.m.

We need to show them who is who and what is what.RIGHT NOW!!!!

Ron Granger

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 8:20 p.m.

"Trojan horse" strategy fails. Meanwhile, large corporations like Boeing bring in otherwise illegal workers under B-1 guest visas.

Homeland Conspiracy

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 7:38 p.m.

They may be "Undocumented immigrants" But that won't change the FACT that they here illegally!

Chase Ingersoll

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 7:36 p.m.

It's not just being born here that binds us as Americans, even if we don't have another country to go, by virtue of dual citizenship. No, what binds us is what makes us Americans - the US Constitution, our birth right. The conflict in the country today, is between those who understand the relevance of that birthright and value it for the liberty that it guarantees each individual and those who are either unaware of it, or interpret freedom to demand that others forego freedom and private property to provide for the sustenance of those who could but do not work. Ironically, many illegal aliens share the freedom to work definition of the Constitution, rather than the "ability of a majority that does not work to forcibly extract provisions and sustenance from those who do work" that is bitterly clung to by many of our "natural born citizens". Chase Ingersoll

Laura Jones

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 7:59 p.m.

I have never seen Chase Ingersoll labeled a liberal before. That's a first. I thought it was actually a well written and thought provoking comment.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 11:46 p.m.

I do believe the word Liberal would define the people that are for letting illegal immigrants stay here.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 7:33 p.m.

It is sad that our laws are a such mess, largely due to paranoia and uneducated opinion. Yes people have broken the law, Poor people who care about their children and have few options for getting them. Few noticed that these parents did not come back to the US until their children needed them. I would hope that you care for your own children enough to take a similar risk. Most of these peole are hard working honest people doing jobs that citizens are "too good" and/or unwilling to do. They don't want to work that hard. Is time get on our congressional nitwits to get their act together and hammer out a reasonable and sane set of immigration laws that actually accept the fact that there are people working and living here who are contributing more to this economy than some real citizens who have had nothing but a negative contribution since they became "adults". If we really live out the values of this nation claims to live by then there has to be a better solution for these famiies.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 3:27 p.m.

Tell that to citizens who have had family killed by drunk driving illegals or illegal gangbangers who should not have been here in the first place.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 9:41 p.m.

ShariB said, "Most of these peole are hard working honest people doing jobs that citizens are "too good" and/or unwilling to do. " Hogwash (pardon the pun). With many tens of millions of unemployed Americans these companies could get highly skilled and educated people lining-up to do them if these companies paid a living wage for Americans. No American can work for like a $1 or 2$ or even $5/ hour. As long as corporations are allowed to instead of paying living wages to legal U.S. Citizens and legal Residents, are allowed to pay many $ Millions $ to make the Government look the other way, the problem will continue unabated.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 9:02 p.m.

Do you understand what the word ILLEGAL means/this is what those people are and they should be dealt with NOW.

sue grimes

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 7:14 p.m.

It is too bad that people put their kids in this situation. I blame the undocumented illegal aliens totally. They come here illegally, have kids that we pay for, then cry when they get caught and deported. If they came here legally, they would not have put their kids in this situation. The kids have no choice in the matter. The adults made the choice for their kids to come here illegally. It is too bad, but our system should not be blamed. You come here legally, live by our laws, no problem. You sneak in, have kids cause THEM the problems and they are the ones who are going the pay the most. Think of your kids before you come here illegally.Better yet, don't have kids and knowingly put them in the situation that they are in. Think of your potential kids first instead of yourselves. Illegals think of themselves first, then think if they have kids, everyone will be sorry for them and they will let them stay because of the kids. They knowingly put their kids in this situation. I do not feel sorry for the adults. They know better.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 9:03 p.m.

So we send the whole bunch of them back.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 7:05 p.m.

I don't completely understand why it's forcible deportation under the law if non-citizen parents have custody of their own kids and then take them out of the country. Say a visiting scholar at the U of M from, say, Germany, whose presence in the USA is completely legal, has a child. Her child could be a citizen of three countries: USA, Germany, and maybe Turkey if the mother is Turkish-German. When she finishes her term at U of M, she takes her baby, goes to the airport, and flies home. Why is the case of the Mexicans or Guatemalans any different? They were here illegally when the children were born, according to the article, so all the more reason to encourage them to leave. Telling them that they can't take their child with them seems unfair, and, again, I don't understand the difference. Does this only apply to families who are involved with the foster care system in the first place? To be clear, my position is and has always been: if you are in a country illegally, get your things and go home. Today, not tomorrow. When I go to countries, I follow the laws about visiting and residence. And I don't sneak into countries where it is illegal for me to go. So if the only charges pending against the parents in the article are immigration-related charges, I suggest that the court give them and their children tickets to the home country. If the parents come back again after this, they can't claim that they were "just looking for their kids", therefore it would be appropriate to punish them harshly under the law.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 6:35 p.m.

For those of you who want to make an exception to the current laws so this woman can remain in the US with her child -- if she had NOT had a child (because of infertility, choice, whatever reason) would you still be arguing for her to remain in the US?

Usual Suspect

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 9:40 p.m.

If she had taken the chile with here when she was deported, they would have been together and she would not have had to come back for the child.

Laura Jones

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

Who said we are arguing for her to remain here? I am advocating for the reunion of mother and child wherever that can occur and since he is under the jurisdiction of our US Courts now, that the mothers attempt to reenter and obtain custody of him not be held against her - despite active filings by DHS to the contrary intent. Re unite them both in her home country - just reunite them. Same thing with the father who was coerced into relinquishing custody. I believe that was the POINT OF THE ENTIRE ARTICLE!!!


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 6:24 p.m.

The social worker cited in this article, Ms. Sanders, is not well versed in the laws of our land. These illegal immigrants knew exactly what they were doing. They broke the law, and now they are whining about their status? Give me a break!


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 6:13 p.m.

KNOWINGLY BREAKING THE LAW HAS BAD CONSEQUENCES. No surprise, or there should be no surprise when it comes back to bite you when you are knowingly breaking the law. Feel bad for the Kids, but CRIMINALS get penalized when they get caught. What is the news about that.

Usual Suspect

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 6:06 p.m.

They're not "immigrants." They're trespassers.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:53 p.m.

I am only going to comment one time, so feel free to attack, but I will not respond. To whoever said that the majority of product in mexican markets are made in China, wow. I dont know what mexican markets you go to but certainly not the same ones I do. To pretty much everyone else on here, blaming immigrants from every problem that America has You can preach about how people should just get a visa before coming and we would have no problem but have you actually tried that? Do you have any idea what its like? No, you dont. It is an expensive and confusing process, where if you accidentally omit something on an application or misunderstand one of the thousands of questions, you can be permanently denied a visa. Immigration is a VERY complicated process, even if you have a lawyer. And many who want to obtain a visa are wanting to do so in order to work and make a better life for their family. So where are they going to have the money to hire a lawyer? Another thing. Undocumented immigrants DO NOT receive food stamps, cash assistance, social security benefits, or any such types of assistance. The government vigorously checks immigration status of anyone who even applies for these things. So before you go blaming them for unfair laws that only allow in a certain few number of people that meet specific qualifications, try, just TRY to place yourself in their position. Why is their country ruined by drugs? Where do you think it all goes. Here. To the United States. So we should take some of the blame.

Usual Suspect

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 6:18 p.m.

"Why is their country ruined by drugs? Where do you think it all goes. Here. To the United States. So we should take some of the blame." Sorry, no, I was never dumb enough to use drugs. No blame here.

Usual Suspect

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 6:05 p.m.

"just TRY to place yourself in their position." You mean go enter another country illegally and then try to use a child and appeal to emotion to get them to ignore the fact I broke their laws? Sorry, I'm just a bit better behaved than that.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 6:05 p.m.

Our elected representatives, that fail to represent us in lieu of the lobbyist, are not going to go after potential voters like the ones abusing their bridge cards, pathetic isn't it?


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:54 p.m.

And just because someone is an undocumented immigrant, that doesn't mean that they are having children just to "anchor" themselves here. Maybe they just want children. If you want to talk about illegal activity, why don't we go after for example the people I see standing outside stores that offer to pay your groceries with their bridge cards, and you pay them only half the bill in cash. They are making a profit and completely abusing the system. THOSE are the types of people the DHS should be focusing their time on.

Keith Cameron

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:38 p.m.

There's a very simple solution. Do not enter this country illegally.

Laura Jones

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:30 p.m.

Sallyxyz: Clarence Thomas is one judge out of 64 appointed since the ratification of the 14th Amendment, hardly much of an argument that the SC has less than stellar judicial minds over the years. Your comment lacks relevance.

Laura Jones

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 1:19 a.m.

:-) By default mhirzel


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

Ron Paul, Laura?

Laura Jones

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 10:14 p.m.

15crown00 I am a Republican and a conservative, but not a lunatic. Can you imagine the difference? I am not a liberal, but if it makes you somehow feel like to you do not have to actually think about the complexities of the issues here, by all means, name call away. It's a sad commentary on the unwillingness of so many of my fellow GOP members to even listen to issues which do not have simple one phrase answers. That you cannot see any level of depth to the problems posed in this article just makes me shake my head and pray for more in depth civics classes in schools.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 9:07 p.m.

And so does yours LIBERAL.

rusty shackelford

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:07 p.m.

Just want to reiterate: Ryan, this is an outstanding article. Great profile on an underreported issue that takes in to account many view points. I really hope to see more articles like this on the Com. Hope you can get more time/leeway to work on these kind of larger projects.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 7:27 p.m.



Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:06 p.m.

An excellent and heartbreaking article. I find it shocking that the judicial system places so little value on keeping families together. Placing a child who has loving relatives who want to take care of them into the unstable foster care system sure doesn't seem like "common sense" to me. Those of us who value the importance of family and human rights need to work harder to push for more just and human immigration policies. I'm so incredibly tired of the silly outraged rhetoric about how "illegals" should go home. No human being is illegal. Besides there are over 12 million undocumented people in the US and they are a huge pillar supporting not only the economy but the social security system. If they all went home voluntarily the agricultural industry in Michigan would collapse not to mention a lot of local restaurants would immediately go out of business. But even if that weren't the case- every human being regardless of their country of origin is worthy of being treated with respect and dignity and have the right to raise their own children in decent conditions. Bravo WCIR for your important work. My heart goes out to the parents and children who are suffering due to these irresponsible and cruel decisions.

Usual Suspect

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 6:01 p.m.

I find it shocking that the mother places so little value on self-responsibility.

rusty shackelford

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

Hear, hear. I'm amazed at the lack of humanity on display in people's reaction here. The folks in charge have done a really good job at transforming justifiable class anger into race per usual in this country.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:04 p.m.

To Rusty Shackelford and Laura Jones: I am entirely with you. Lonely, isn't it? To Ryan Stanton: Thank you for this article. (Cue the down vote of those who don't want to see any balance on an issue like this.) As Rusty has pointed out, this article would be better if it included discussion of the effects of NAFTA - which, had the economic effects of "laws" like this been reversed, we'd all be trying to sneak into Mexico to feed our children. It would be our duty as parents. I also think it would be essential to look more deeply at what Child Protective Services has become due to "laws" that have created financial incentives to snatch children from their families and fight like hell to keep jurisdiction over them. That department is an absolute cesspool, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the best interests of the child.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 7:26 p.m.

I was referring to the Dept of Human Service's own corruption via Child Protective Services. I am not speaking of foster parents, but the agency, CPS, itself, from Maura Corrigan on down to the "social workers" who forge judges' signatures on child removal orders. The agency is financially rewarded for removing children from families.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 9:57 p.m.

In 1990 the Mexican economy was about 250 billion. In 2010 it was about 1 trillion. I think the moves are less about economics and more about quality of life. I agree with your observation about "snatching" children. My guess is the foster family knows they have a low maintenance child on their hand and does not want to take a paycut. Rates appear to be about $15.00 per day up to $80.00 per day, depending on what the foster family negotiates (negotiate is the term the State uses).


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5 p.m.

"It's high time that the we quit allowing babies born here to foreign nationals to become automatic US citizens." Couldn't agree more. There are some 11 million illegal immigrants in the US, and many use the "anchor baby" law to stay. Check on hospitals in Arizona and Texas, and see how many of those anchor baby moms have health insurance to pay for births they are having in US hospitals across the border. Who is paying for those expenses in ERs and hospitals? You and me and every other legal US citizen. I, for one, do not want to use my tax dollars to fund health care for illegal immigrants, which also raises premiums on health insurance for everyone else due to increasing unfunded health care expenses. This is terrible US policy and only encourages illegals to come to the US through this channel, rather than have the adults go through proper immigration channels BEFORE having a child in the US. The absolute mess that this situation in the article describes, not to mention the court costs to US taxpayers, is a great example why this law that allows anchor babies to declare US citizenship needs to be repealed.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 8:35 p.m.

If illegal parents can be deported, then their children born in the US are not "anchors" keeping the parents here with them. I hate that term. It feeds into the Fox News and GOP belief that illegals get to remain because their US children are here.

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 4:51 p.m.

I think we should be taking care of our own people before we even consider taking care of illegal immigrants.

Usual Suspect

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 6:21 p.m.



Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

I agree.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 4:06 p.m.

I can't believe the preponderance of vitriol and mean spirit expressed here. Go get'em, tigers, and kick the children to the curb.

Laura Jones

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 7:23 p.m.

Why should anyone be sympathetic to her plight? Human decency? Your position is then that removing a child from its mothers or fathers custody is a suitable punishment for illegal immigration? I don't even know where to begin with the level of revulsion and disgust I have for that position. It is a moral cesspool where I hope this nation never goes again. We did this to native Americans once, to our collective shame later on. There is simply no excuse for this type of practice. None. If its ok for the government to do it to them today, then who is next? There are certain rights endowed to all men by their creator, and the right to their children is one of them.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

Why are they called "undocumented" when they are "ILLEGAL". I feel sorry for the families but just think if you don't pay your taxes, you know some day the IRS will knock at your door. The same is true the ILLEGALS, some day they will be shipped back.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 3:12 p.m.

Sad story because it is the children who are the victims BUT, there are NO undocumented immigrants, only ILLIGAL ALIENS! The parents made the choice to break our laws. They are at fault. Send the kids home to Mexico with their parents. End of story!

William Flewidity

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

"Anchor babies" should not receive citizenship. I agree, deport the parents and the babies!

rusty shackelford

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:16 p.m.

It's not really legal to deport US citizens...


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:49 p.m.

State or Fed could fix this easy by making E-Verify the law for employers. Its already been out for years and works perfect. Why continue to accept fake IDs when we have E-Verify in place? No jobs here unless documented would solve the problem. Why is this not the law? I managed a hotel in AA that started using E Verify, all 14 of our hispanic workers failed, many had been with us years using fake ID. I saw most of them working at McDs, Old Country Buffet etc within a week of leaving us. You have to wonder- Whats really going with our government ?


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:52 p.m.

ES The US corps are following the law. That is my point- we need to change the law to mandate E-Verify. FYI- We called the Michigan Talant Bank (Unemployment office) for replacement workers in a hurry. The reffered LEGAL workers to us that day who applied and were hired. Plenty of Americans (myself included) have and will work these type of jobs.

Elijah Shalis

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

Yeah lute poor undocumented HISPANIC workers get pensions lol. It is the US Corps that are knowingly violating the law and reaping the benefits from cheap labor and their culture of being docile complacent service workers. I can't see most Americans doing those menial service jobs.

Ryan J. Stanton

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:48 p.m.

A spokesman for DHS who declined to be quoted when we talked by phone relayed some information via email after my deadline for this story. In case anyone finds it interesting, I'll post the most relevant parts: "On the question of relative placement of children to undocumented relatives--- it's a little less clear, but in reality perhaps very clear indeed. There is nothing spelled out in policy that explicitly says we cannot place a child with an undocumented relative—however, we are required to choose and document a prospective living situation in which the responsible party can provide safety and stability for the child, without the likelihood of being arrested ( based on their background—and what is KNOWN about the individual) The relative party/provider must also be willing to engage actively with service providers—and the court system—and they need to have a verifiable, legal income. Those could be very problematic in this situation. There is a list of past criminal conviction that would preclude someone from being considered as a relative provider, but being an illegal alien is not among them. However, the reality of the situation would probably make this a less likely 'typical' situation, indeed." And this is what the DHS spokesman had to say about the possibility of Child Protective Services becoming involved in cases like this: "Our policy is in the process of modification to require that in cases when complaints of abuse/neglect may be confirmed, and a complaint is going to court, and there is knowledge of the parent being a resident of another country, CPS must notify the consulate office for that country. That policy is in the FDR process—Final departmental review."


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 4 a.m.

Hi Ryan, Hoping you may direct me with someone or an organization in Southeast Florida which may be involved with this issue in terms of policy making or legislature. Thanks,


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:02 p.m.

Ryan - There missing facts in the story: 1) Why was the mother picked up for deportation, was it a random sweep, or had she done something to bring her to ICE's attention? 2) Why did she not take Marcos with her when she left, as she was entitled to do? 3) What is the citizenship/immigration status of the father? 4) Were the parents married? 5) Why did ICE pick Gloria again, purely for being in the US, or was it because of the act behind the original deportation? Without the rest of the facts, it is difficult to really understand the story. If you have these facts, posting them would be helpful to the readers.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 4 p.m.

The United States has become mired in democrat vote buying schemes - of which the legalization of children of illegal aliens is one of the grandest (next to multi generational poverty). Democrats know these legalized illegals have been fooled into voting for their party as they enter adulthood so the more the better and cost to the US economy has no limit when it comes to clawing out more political power. Concurrently, obama's need to pay back the labor unions for their massive funding conflicts with illegal aliens taking jobs from American workers, resulting in a confusing slight of hand policy where illegals are praised in speeches while "reality" sees them deported in record numbers! The worst president in a century can only get away with this nonsense because our press is in the pocket of Washington bureaucrats and will not print anything unflattering about their beloved government.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

And I bet they verify using E -Verify rather than a DL , SS card or other easy faked documents.

Ryan J. Stanton

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:49 p.m.

Additionally, on the subject of foster care: "Foster Care workers MUST (per federal law) verify the citizenship or immigration status of ALL children entering foster care (2006 Public law 109-432) The verification is based on the child's status, not the parents status. If determined to be unlawful, workers must give that information to their supervisors. Any child who is not a US Citizen is considered a foreign national. When a foreign national is taken into custody for protection, or to be placed foster care and or supervision—the appropriate consulate is to be notified within 48 hours. When it comes to funding for foster care children, federal Title IV-E funds are limited by law to US Citizens and qualified aliens only. The Tax Relief and Health care Act of 2006 requires a state agency to have procedures in place to verify the citizenship or immigration status of ALL children in its foster care. And on the medical side, all medical assistance coverage for children who are not US Citizens or qualified aliens is limited to emergency services only."


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

Let me see if I have this right: Adults living in other countries have little hope of making a living there. These desperate adults sneak into the U.S. illegally. Once here, they get jobs and start having children. Then they get arrested and deported without their children (who are "automatically U.S. citizens"). Then they come back and face a felony charge. At that point, they are "automatically" abandoning their children and the state takes care of them (to no one's benefit). NOW - we are blaming our government for HAVING RULES. Some are saying these rules are wrong. What about the initial decision which says, "I will break the law in a foreign country and use that as the foundation for building a life for me and my future family which I don't have yet."?? One wonders what the news and word of mouth stories are like back in those Central American countries. Do they even have the concept which says: "This is a BAD IDEA" there? What about the governments down there? Aren't they responsible for creating conditions which cause their citizens to take such desperate, unwise decisions?

Laura Jones

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:20 p.m.

You are always so reasonable in your posts, (truly) so let me ask you this. In what nation is the permanent forceable separation of a parent from their natural born children an acceptable and reasonable (or humane) punishment for non violent crimes? I agree about the risk taking and about the need for nations of origin to get on the ball about repatriation of families. I think that people do have a concept that it may be a bad idea, but in some cases, abject desperation over rides common sense.

Elijah Shalis

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

Due to NAFTA Mexican agricultural jobs were destroyed and these people now live in shacks and squalor. American companies are the ones paying these illegal immigrants and violating the RICO act, maybe they should all be seized and liquidated. By your logic the poor Mexicans with no future should stay legal and live in squalor for the rest of their lives. Mexico used to be a well off nation until the Mexican-American War when the US invade, raided it and stole their land.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:22 p.m.

Those that enter the US illegally have to realize the potential consequences that their children must bear when they are caught. Unfortunately that's the penalty. Period. It's not the 1920s anymore where anyone can just stream IN. I'm tired of hearing the excuse of "oh, they are only seeking a better life." The same can be said for the prostitute, the drug dealer, .. whose pursuits are also considered illegal in the U.S. today as they too seek to grasp a better life. I'm tired of non-U.S. citizens getting benefits that U.S. born citizens can't. If illegals are caught in the U.S. they should forfeit any assets they own as ill-acquired gains as in the RICO act. They knew from DAY 1 their illegal status and that their act is criminal in the United States as they take jobs and benefits that are supposedly earmarked for U.S. citizens. The government should also go more vigorously after employers of illegals, stiffen the penalties, ..., but those are the moneybags that support politicians, so don't expect much.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 2:42 a.m.

Hi Lute1812, I actually agree with your statement, "Those that enter the US illegally have to realize the potential consequences that their children must bear when they are caught." My only question is: " How do we accomplish that?" Have you been to Central or South America? Have you seen the impoverished areas and are you aware of the incredible vast ignorance that exists? How do we get your idea across when it is highly unlikely that the low-economic population that makes up the majority of immigrants that come across the border illegally knows very little about laws in their own countries much less the U.S. Really, I think that you have hit on a crucial issue, there should be knowledge of the potentil consequences that their children will suffer if caught...I'm just wondering how do we do that? Will they allow us to put ads on that issue on the local media?....I don't think so...what ideas do you have on how to dessiminate that type of information in another country?

Usual Suspect

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 6:29 p.m.

Elijah, then you must agree that strong border enforcement is a very good idea.

Elijah Shalis

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

The RICO Act is for organized crime. I am part Native American and you came here illegally, get off my land and go back where you came from.

stephanie atkinson

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:09 p.m.

It's simply absurd to think we should consider putting american children in the hands of undocumented immigrants who should be deported. The "american" children should not be given that status to begin with and if this were the case, also deported. Michigan should have a law mirroring Illinois' law outlining a path to place children of undocumented immigrants with family members who are undocumented and have not been deported 'yet', how about? I think not. Their law makes no sense whatsoever.

Basic Bob

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:08 p.m.

The Michigan DHS is hard at work doing what it does best - treating people like criminals. Only the court and the "Friend of the Court" prospers, in the name of the Law. Families and children suffer needlessly.

William Flewidity

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 8:26 p.m.

Sorry that happened to you Elijah but it backs up the notion the children should not be in foster care, they should be deported with their parents.

Elijah Shalis

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

I was a foster kid, my dad died of a heart attack when I was two and when I was 3 false allegations were made against my birth mom that she was sexually abusing me. One time the lead social worker at Bay County (Jane Smith) told me to go over to my birth mom and tell her to stop abusing me. None of the social workers I interacted with were nice or had kids of their own. In foster care I was raped by a older foster brother.

Dog Guy

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:06 p.m.

"Undocumented immigrants losing fight" reads the headline. In the future, please refer to schoolyards as "undocumented dog parks." Other needed revisions are "undocumented bank withdrawal," "undocumented sparring partner," "undocumented spouse," "undocumented tax collector," "undocumented roommate," and "undocumented muralist" among many others.

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:05 p.m.

Bring em all over here and we the taxpayers will gladly give them Welfare, food stamps, bridge cards, free medical and anything else they may need but we will refuse to pay for our senior citizens to live better and we will tax the daylights out of our seniors to pay for these illegal immigrants.....sounds fair to me since our seniors are the ones who made this country great and served in the military to protect it...sounds fair to about you?

Laura Jones

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 12:55 p.m.

What does owing the world something better have to do with anything discussed here? I fail to see where dealing with the issue using facts is liberal - I would argue it is a true Conservative position. I don't drink anyone's kool-aid. I do point out when people are drinking someone else's - right, left or center. Facts are facts and are uniquely position neutral. Reason should be applied to them, not to fluff from any party. I do have a position on the reuniting of children with their natural parents and fail to see where that is a "liberal" position. When did the left gain a monopoly on humane reasoning? Is the GOP reduced now to being the party without humanity? Really? We no longer are willing to act other than in our own selfish interests, morality be damned? That is not what Conservatism has ever been about - ever. Not for one day.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 11:58 p.m.

Laura............please tell me you are not that out of touch with what is happening in our world today. Do not listen to these liberals that want you to believe that we Americans owe the world a better life....We do not. Get out and see the truth of what is going on. I strongly disagree with your reasoning.

Laura Jones

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 6:35 p.m.

How many WORK under the table and receive free bridge cards, social security and welfare? Seriously? OK. Illegal aliens are eligible for NONE of those benefits. Some do obtain food benefits illegally, but normally when they are NOT working since its a real risk of being apprehended and deported. It is less likely to be able to obtain other benefits illegally as the chance of being caught goes up with the demand for documentation of eligibility - ending with social security benefits which is nearly impossible (see the facts presented above). Where do illegal aliens cost us? Interestingly enough, in law enforcement, confinement, courts and hospital costs. You will see many figures which muddy the waters with legal immigrants numbers added in - you can normally tell because they suddenly switch to the term "immigrants" when numbers are discussed. Not exactly the truth. I am not advocating for illegal immigration. I am actively advocating for a discussion using facts and some humanity where these children are concerned.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:49 p.m.

How many are working under the table yet receiving free medical, bridge cards, SS and welfare? I do not buy into your argument. We need to deport all illegals now.

Laura Jones

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:38 p.m.

Pcikfordick. Facts are lovely, aren't they? How about these from the Seattle Times report. "In 2009, the last year for which figures are available, employers reported wages of $72.8 billion for 7.7 million workers who could not be matched to legal Social Security numbers. That total hit a record $90.4 billion, earned by 10.8 million workers, in 2007, just before the recession. Some of those were legal workers who simply made paperwork mistakes, but the majority are believed to be illegal immigrants. Because those wages were reported by employers and not paid under the table, Social Security and Medicare deductions had to be made. A total of 12.4 percent of those wages went into the SSA system — 6.2 percent paid each by the worker and the employer. An additional 2.9 percent was paid into Medicare, half by the worker and half by the employer. That means about $11.2 billion went into the Social Security Trust Fund in 2007, and $2.6 billion went into Medicare. While that money will be used to pay retirees and health-care beneficiaries, it most likely will never be claimed by the illegal immigrants who contributed it."


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

Laura....Do you actually think the illegals are paying SS tax? They are collecting, not paying.

Laura Jones

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:12 p.m.

Really? I think this new crop of young folks are the best hope of continued liberty and prosperity we have. They are less bigoted and more interested in the common good than their own selfish acquisition of wealth. Since we are discussing seniors and people paying - do some research on paying for current social security benefits. Seniors should be praying for more and more immigrants who will work and pay taxes into the system. They are the best hope of your continuing to get good benefits. We are not full, we have plenty of low level jobs going begging - jobs for people who will work hard and pay taxes. Seems better to me to have low level earner immigrants than higher educated ones who will take the jobs the rest of us actually want.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

I really hope you are jesting with this one. California I believe has the highest undocumented illegal entry rate in the nation. Why else are they building a wall to keep them out?

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

I think the seniors are unhappy about what your generation is doing to America....not what they did...they are proud of their accomplishments but very sad about your unwillingness to continue their efforts in a positive manor.

Basic Bob

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

Your generation made the country what it is today. Sorry you are unhappy with the result.

Richard Wickboldt

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 1:50 p.m.

It is a very messy situation indeed. It is a crying shame that our politicians allow this to happen. They could have prevented most of this mess if they do what is needed to control our borders. Second; it is so many of us who actually hire illegal immigrants either directly or via an employer. Yes the citizens of this country are to blame also. We intuitively know when a person coming to work at our home is illegal. We should just send the child back with its mother the first time. The child had dual citizenship! Making him/her eligible for all rights and privileges of Mexico; the home country of the mother. There is nothing wrong with sending a child along with it's illegal parent. I am living proof. My father was born here in the US as a citizen and then returned with his mother to her home country in Europe as a baby. Survived WWII and only returned to the US when the draft board needed him to serve in the US military. My father has had a successful and healthy life, which is continuing today.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

Richard- Employers have the ability to use the Federal E-Verify system. It is not required by law (You only have to show your fake IDs) to gain employment. Why the Feds don't require E-Verify for EVERY employer shows that they really don't care to stop this problem. I managed a hotel in AA that started using E-Verify- All 14 of our hispanic workers failed and had to be let go. Within a week I started seeing them working all over town at Mac Donalds, Old Country Buffet and other food joints. The only reason I can think of for the Feds not requiring this is income tax. All these "undocumented" workers have taxes taken out for the fake Social Security number. They never file returns, so the Feds keep the money.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

The parents should've thought about this when they knowingly and consciously broke the law. What did they expect? Surely not sympathy.

Laura Jones

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

Sallyxyz: Exactly when did I say I had no demand for humane treatment of US Citizens or that I value their humanity over that of US Citizens. I believe that demanding respect for humanity BY DEFINITION means you DEMAND IT FOR ALL. Not some "me first" the rest of you can rot attitude.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:09 p.m.

Laura Jones: How about some humanity for LEGAL US citizens first, including the poor and seniors, many of whom are living in poverty. The US gov't allows this to happen, but you are suggesting that the gov't show some humanity for ILLEGALS first. I don't agree.

Laura Jones

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 4:37 p.m.

Simple humanity from the greatest nation on earth?


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

Gosh, I read that post three times and saw no mention of the mothers color. Could you point it out for US? Or are you just shooting from the hip and assuming things to make criminal activity sound like racism?

rusty shackelford

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:02 p.m.

It's true. You'd think non-white people would know better than to expect sympathy in the US by now.

Local Lady

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 1:40 p.m.

As a nation we need to enforce our laws even when that hurts people. but we also need more rational laws. 1. improve the part of the immigration law related to family reunification since with modern air travel and Skype that is longer as important. This would allow us to have rational categories of immigrants while keeping the numbers in check. 2. improve the temporary visa options to allow laborers into the country legally

rusty shackelford

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 12:50 p.m.

I wish all of the people so concerned with what they call "illegal aliens" entering our country would think for 2 seconds about why so many more people have taken desperate measures to come here in the last two decades. We screwed over Mexican farmers and workers with NAFTA as much as the treaty screwed over American manufacturing workers. Since they started off poorer than we did, their situation became much worse. Seeing how much hostility they encounter here, I'm sure most of these people would rather make a decent living in their home country. American and Mexican elites colluded to make that impossible for them. The same thing is happening to us in slow motion. So how about a little empathy? Why should we have "open borders" for products but not for people? Are things more important than humans?


Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

Thanks, more common sense and some supporting facts, as well! They'll still hate it, but good job, Rusty.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 11:35 p.m.

There are ways setup to become a US citizen the legal way or have you and many others forgotten this.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 8:24 p.m.

No Mr Shackelford, the US and others did have an impact. But NAFTA was not a problem in the way you want to play it. Prior to NAFTA, farm equipment was only for the truly rich. When NAFTA hit, good farmers could afford it. They improved production, bought or rented neighboring land and drove many people to the cities. This the real problem with NAFTA - we improved agriculture to the point that instead of 50% of the population needed to raise food, Mexico now mirrors the US with less than 7% of the population needed to grow food. They grow a lot more and for a lot less cost. Food is cheaper, but without the land to work, people now need jobs, since food is not free, hence the move to cities and to try to go North. A taxi ride of an hour's length in Mexico City is about 80 pesos (about $6.50) when you subtract the cost of the taxi and the gas, the driver is making maybe $1 a hour. So going north for a $8 an hour job is a wonderful idea. Until the government is less corrupt, the crime is reduced and wages rise, people will want to come north, it is just that simple, your ancestors decided to move to North America for opportunity. I am all in favor of legal immigration, and higher quotas for Mexico and Latin American countries. I am even in favor of a landed immigrant program and a resident alien program that allow people to come under those terms to jump the queue. Illegals end up working off the books, for less than minimum wage, living in unsafe conditions, accepting unpaid overtime, and working in conditions that are unsafe. There is little or nothing they can do about it. Making all immigration that happens legal is good for everyone. If you don't believe me, think about "white slavery" and forced prostitution.

rusty shackelford

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:11 p.m.

OK, let's assume you're right and things are amazing in Mexico. Let's assume that the US had nothing to do with the conditions in Mexico or Central America whatsoever. So... why are so many people leaving their homes and traveling thousands of miles to work minimum wage jobs in a hostile country? Just to piss us off?


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 3:40 p.m.

Rusty, in 2009 Mexico was the 4th biggest corn producer in the world. In 1990 Mexico produced 10.9 million tons. In 2009 Mexico produced 20.2 million tons. How is that destroying?,%20wheat,%20sorghum%20and%20soybeans%20in%20Mexico%201990.pdf


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

Mr Shackelford - Obviously you have not been in a Mexican store lately. The manufactured goods are mostly Chinese. If you had been at a border crossing lately (especially in the winter) most of the trucks coming north are full of fruits and vegetables coming to the US. Goods mostly manufactured in China and finished in Mexico (typically labeled and packaged) fill many of the rest. You can blame corn all you want, but the US now uses more corn for ethanol, than for any other purpose and corn prices are well above any price supports (there is only a subsidy to NOT grow corn, no one is paid to grow corn). Price supports actually put a floor under the price of corn making it more expensive.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:15 p.m.

Right, because nobody was entering the country illegally prior to NAFTA. Nice try. This is on the criminals that are in the country illegally, not the citizens of the country that are here legally. Sorry, logic fail.

rusty shackelford

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2 p.m.

For starters agriculture, especially though not exclusively corn. The purpose of including Mexico in NAFTA (US and Canada had already had an agreement that was substantially the same since the 70s) was 1. to provide a new market for subsidized US grain producers and 2. to get labor at costs and safety standards lower than what Americans accept. We seem to object to (2) only when the labor comes here, rather than the factories going there. Strange.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

Rusty, the biggest threat to the Mexican economy is homegrown weed. What other part of their economy did "we" destroy?

rusty shackelford

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 1:11 p.m.

That doesn't change the fact that we destroyed large segments of the Mexican economy and many people's livelihoods in order to get slightly cheaper consumer goods.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 1:09 p.m.

Imported products are subject to regulations and, yes - documentation. The borders are hardly "open" for them, nor would you want that. Undocumented food? No thanks.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

It's disappointing that's apparent editorial position is that it's OK to break laws as long as you have a good, subjective reason. Don't like the immigration laws? No problem - just do whatever you want. Don't have a dog park within walking distance of your house? Easy - just go to the nearest school and let your dogs run off-leash even though the signs prohibit it.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 7:04 p.m.

"It's disappointing that's apparent editorial position is that it's OK to break laws as long as you have a good, subjective reason. Don't like the .... laws? No problem - just do whatever you want." Journalism is SUPPOSED to be about presenting both sides and letting reader make up his own mind..... Not that we see journalism much anymore. However, the "position is that it's OK to break laws as long as you have a good, subjective reason. Don't like the .... laws? No problem - just do whatever you want," has been adopted by the current and former residents of the White House, in case you haven't noticed.

rusty shackelford

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 12:46 p.m.

Excellent story, Ryan.

Laura Jones

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 4:35 p.m.

Because this issue has become a "mob mentality" battering ram where many folks think they know all the facts and can jump on the bandwagon of rabid advocating against illegal aliens in every circumstance. So much so that pointing out the Constitution is wrong is seen as a winning argument. People are objectified with labels and basic human decency is allowed to be discarded because those who suffer can be blamed for their predicament. What people refuse to deal with are the rights of the child, who is surely blameless in this situation. The child has a right to be reunited with their parent in any circumstance where the parent is fit. We have seen this validated over and over again right here in A2 - the only difference here is that one parent is an illegal alien. Our local government as shown in the article actively moves against this reuniting with their filings. Deporting children with parents is not done when the child has US Citizenship - which is patently stupid. Establishing a treaty to return children to their natural parents when they are foreign nations would make sense, but rather than push for that, it feel better to slam the parents and gloat over their punishment (seriously, in what human society is separating a child from its natural parents a reasonable punishment - its disgusting) People can call me whatever they like - I really don't care. I find people's attitudes here base and demeaning to our national morality.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

Because in America, we have the right to disagree. Seems like a foreign concept to you.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 3:13 p.m.

Because we can Rusty. Just because we can.

rusty shackelford

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:03 p.m.

Baffled as to why people would "negative vote" this comment...


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

Too bad this mom put her kid in a bad situation. She broke the law, not once, but twice. The mothers actions resulted in a bad situation for the kid. Best solution? Take the anchor kid back to Mexico. Yep, I get it, this is tough due to the mothers actions. Common thread....oh yes, the mothers actions.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 12:32 p.m.

" Undocumented " is just political correct speak for illegal...if it's against the law ( be the law good or bad ) it's against the law ..if you rob a store and you end up caught, you will pay for your actions ..if you enter the USA illegally then you may as well suffer because you broke the law ..if your going to do things that are illegal you have to be smart enough to understand the possible consequences before you do it and be willing to pay the price....


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 12:32 p.m.

I thought an earlier article claimed there were only 2 illigegals foun in Wastenaw county! And I agree with with John above.If you can't do the time don't do the crime. And coming to the USA illegally is a crime. What do you think would happen to you if you moved to Mexico illegally?


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 7:39 p.m.

@ rusty re: "They only realized I was there in the first place BECAUSE I was leaving. They don't put a lot of effort into corralling up non-violent people who they suspect might be foreigners." You shouldn't compare your instance to her. She has NO intention of leaving. If she did, she would not have illegally entered the US again.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

The 52nd state? Oh my.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

Mexico has illegal immigration? When did this occur? I thought we were talking about those who come here illegally. I really think we need to just make Mexico the 52nd state then this would end a lot of problems. Maybe.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:23 p.m.

"As someone who's done that, I can tell you the answer is "basically nothing."" Oh crap, Wikipedia must be wrong!! "Illegal immigration has been a problem for Mexico, especially since the 1970s. In 2006 Mexico detained more than 182,000 people who entered the country illegally"


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

Mr Shackelford - Gringos yes, people from further south no. There are hundreds of reports of how Mexico deals with people from Latin America in Mexico illegally. A little reading on the topic might do you some good.

rusty shackelford

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 1:58 p.m.

They only realized I was there in the first place BECAUSE I was leaving. They don't put a lot of effort into corralling up non-violent people who they suspect might be foreigners.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 1:26 p.m.

Rusty you paid your fine and left. However, if you had stayed on, what then?

rusty shackelford

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 1:01 p.m.

"What do you think would happen to you if you moved to Mexico illegally?" As someone who's done that, I can tell you the answer is "basically nothing." I paid a fine of like $1,500 MXN when I left the country for overstaying the visa I got on entry. No one seemed to think throwing me in jail and encouraging annoying nationalists to feel superior by insulting me was a sensible idea.

Charles Stevens

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 12:29 p.m.

While this is a bad situation for the child the parent brought it on. When a parent is deported the child should have his citizenship revoked and be deported also. If the relatives are undocumented then they should also be deported. This woman broke our laws not once but twice, she should be treated the same as any other criminal that has broken a law teice only in this case instead of languishing in prison for a long time as a habitual criminal she should be deported again and told the proper way to accomplish her desires.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:28 p.m.

This is beginning to have the sounds of a man without a country issue.

Usual Suspect

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

Felony re-entry is a "whim?"


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 1:58 p.m.

Collective punishment on children! Such a thoughtful idea!

rusty shackelford

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 1:04 p.m.

Thankfully, we live in a country where citizenship can only be revoked under extreme circumstances that the revokee expressly requests. And usually not even then. Would you want to live in a country where citizenship could be revoked on a whim?


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 12:18 p.m.

To John Meggit and others: And yet I'd venture a guess that you don't consider the current application of 2nd Amendment rights to be out of the realm of the framers' intentions? Strict interpretation or not? It's not in fashion to think in humane terms, but consider why these folks might have risked so much to establish a family here. And to contribute to the community. And please, everyone, don't trot out the public assistance argument, because by now it's been proven weak.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 6:48 p.m.

Geezzzzz "Patriot" (or is that Parrot?), Haven't you read the news lately? Bush and Obama have cancelled "the rule of law."

Woman in Ypsilanti

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 5:02 p.m.

I wouldn't be too concerned about the vote downs. I am pretty sure someone is cheating with that and it doesn't reflect people's actual views or at least not those of most people in this area. But for what it is worth, I agree with you and hope that as a society, we can learn to deal with these situations in a much more humane and less xenophobic manner.

Laura Jones

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 10:05 p.m.

"Go to France"; such retorts are the last vestige of those without reason to support their positions. In THIS United States we have long recognized that human rights flow from God - not man. The basis of which in Natural Law was the founding principle of our nation - that those men and women could no longer tolerate the abrogation of those rights which flow from God and so made a new nation which was to fundamentally respect them, among those life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but not alone. When one studies law, one surely will find rather early on that there is a law which predated our Constitution and which was wholly accepted and respected then as now. It is called Natural Law and does address the absolute right of parents to their children. You may not like it, you may not understand it, neither one of which makes is less pertinent or relevant to the legal position here in the USA. As to your point on "rule of law", the rule of law applicable is that the children have citizenship by law. So live with it. They also have right to the care, love, guidance and affection of their natural parents and hopefully someone will step forward and sue for these children and their rights. I find the use of labels a poor way to try and marginalize people when one disagrees with someone but cannot rationally discuss their differences or support their own position in debate. I have been called a RINO, never a liberal. I would wear the moniker of humane speaker with some small pride. Human rights matter especially when they are yours, but they should matter even more when they are someone else's.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

The issue here is "rule of law" not the liberal kool aid thinking of lets make everyone happy with humane terms. John Meggit has it right - fix the law so no one gets citizenship through unlawful means. USA citizenship is extremely valuable. Don't cheapen it with liberal humane thinking crap talk. If you want that - go to France.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 4:40 p.m.

Look at that, Adrienne..... So many of our fellow citizens dissing you (via vote-downs) for suggesting humane considerations ought to come to play in decisions about families and children. You have it right: It's "not in fashion" to think in humane terms.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 12:18 p.m.

I feel bad for the children who end up in this situation through no fault of their own. I have no sympathy for the illegal immigrant parents. They illegally entered and setup residence in this country and knew what they were getting into. Their negligent parenting is what put the children in this bad situation.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 2:22 a.m.

Hi bbb, It is difficult to judge what is negligent from afar. If you are a parent who is trying to do the very best for your children, do you stay in a stay in an economic, perhaps dangerous situation in your country where your children will have no future, or do you risk everything you've got and take them to the land that you falsely believe is nothing less than "milk and honey" and risk the chance of giving them a future. Which of these two choices is more negligent? Most latino immigrants have very little knowledge of how the law works because they come from cultures where corruption reigns. So, I'm not sure I would agree with your perception that " they knew what they were getting into." I have worked with a low socio-economic mmigrant population most of my life, and I can assure you that the norm is great ignorance!


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 1:06 p.m.

Negligent parenting puts lots of kids in horrible situations. But it costs thousands of dollars every month to care for a child in the foster care system - and of those who 'age out' of the system, most end up in homeless, unemployed, and vulnerable. Whether or not their parents are undocumented, it makes more sense on a state level to let the kids stay with family members who are caring for them, especially if the only negligence is failure to comply with a complicated and unfair national immigration policy.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 11:49 a.m.

Undocumented Immigrants? These people entered this country illegally. They are illegal aliens. They should be deported or they should go home and enter this country via legal means. They should take their "anchor children" with them.

rusty shackelford

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5 p.m.

To huffy commenters: you'll notice that the comment to which I actually replied refers to "these people," while only one person in the story has actually been found guilty of anything--a point I made in my original reply. Voila my comment.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

Agree. The legal term is "illegal alien." Due process rights that are provided in a court of law do not carryover to determinations of immigration status so this nonsense about "innocent until proven guilty" doesn't apply here.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:09 p.m.

Mr. Shackelford - In the case of the lead person in the story, we don't know why she was deported. In that time period more than half of the people deported had been convicted of a crime in the US. This is yet another missing piece of the story that AnnArbor.Com only 1/2 finished.

rusty shackelford

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 1:06 p.m.

Um, no. We have this little concept in the U.S. known as "innocent until proven guilty." Most of the people referenced in this article--whom you call "these people"--have not been found guilty of anything, i.e. have not been proven to have done anything illegal. I don't call you an "illegal driver" just because I assume without evidence that you don't have a license.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 11:31 a.m.

if Marcos is a dual citizen and there is no family here who is a citizen then he can move to Mexico to be with his mother when she is deported. He can return when he is 18 to go to college or get a job and is considered an adult capable of keeping a roof over his own head. for the rest of those here illegally if you don't want to be in some mess like this involving your children than don't put them in the situation yourself. I also agree with John Meggitts comment.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 11:07 a.m.

This is a tough, tough situation. The mother should have worked through the embassy or consulate in Mexico. Instead she broke the law again. Yes, it is a mother trying the best for her child and emotions play heavily into decisions. There is no reason that the child could not have gone home with her on the first trip. It is allowed. The article does not state the citizenship of the father. It may be that the father was in the US legally. If so, and he was married to the mother, then there was a second route to regularizing the status of the mother. A lot is missing from the article on the specific case. Regardless, it is difficult when someone has broken the law and gets in trouble and there is family involved - it does not matter what the law is. Reform of the immigration laws is badly needed - ALL of the politicians in Washington (both parties) are doing the US a disservice by not fixing the laws.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 2:13 a.m.

Hello DonBee, I am a newcomer to this issue of what to do with the US born children of illegal immigrants. Have no personal stake in the matter, other than try to help. I live in southeast Florida. Any ideas who I may approach that may be working on legislation on this matter? Thanks,


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 9:09 p.m.

Kelly - Yes, and yes. I have worked with the Embassy and I have worked with DHS not only in this county but elsewhere. It takes being firm, polite and patient. When you get an unexpected answer, always ask for a supervisor. If you don't like that answer, go back in a week on a different day and at a different time. Get a different agent and/or supervisor. When you get the answer you want, get it in writing and signed. Move to the next issue, repeat until done. Government today, as practiced by the Federal one is so much of an adventure. Much more thrilling than a theme park. It takes months, if you know the law, it takes years if you are trying to make law. Asking your congress person for help can quickly reduce the time, if you know you are right.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 1:02 p.m.

Have you ever tried to work with the embassy in Mexico? Or with the DHS of washtenaw county? I've done both - and in much less trying situations than fighting for my own children. Let me tell you - there is no common sense in either location, no clear outlines of rules that must be followed, or consequences for not following the rules. It's complicated and messy and confusing and scary and horrible on the best days. I do not think that I would be willing to sit around for years and follow arbitrary rules when my kids were in danger. The first time entering the country illegally is a misdemeanor & I would commit any levels of misdemeanors if it meant helping my children.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 11:02 a.m.

Just waiting for the Snyder haters to make an appearance.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 10:35 a.m.

It's high time that the we quit allowing babies born here to foreign nationals to become automatic US citizens. It is a gross misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment which was put in place during Reconstruction after the Civil War to grant citizenship to the freed slaves. Not for citizenship tourism.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 8:56 p.m.

There was a article in the Free Press( written by maturity room staff) about folks from the middle east who flew here just to give birth and were anxious to get back to their home country before staff thought it was safe for them to travel. Google it.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 7:06 p.m.

John Meggitt is correct: the 14th Amendment NEVER was intended to give birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens born in this country. That interpretation came about in a footnote (mis-used and pretty far-fetched as legal footnotes go) by Justice Brennan in Plyler VS Doe, 1981. See case here: The footnote isnt included in the text because it's not actually part of the decision.The decision itself actually terms these children as illegal aliens. The footnote (basically Brennan saying he didnt see how you could distinguish between children of legal citizens vs those of illegal citizens-and based that statement on an obscure book written in 1912 by Charles Bouve attempting to address how to proceed with lawsuits against foreign nationals . . not at all relevant) has been repeated misused and cited as the basis of birthright citizenship. The footnote, in fact, didnt even fit the case-it was a blatant example of judicial activism and should have been clarified and corrected long ago. Birthright citizenship isnt common anywhere in the world-and never has been. The original writing of the 14th Amendment clarified that it did NOT include birthright citizenship for aliens under the jurisdiction of another government and was further clarified by background transcripts and writings. It has caused us continuing legal problems and acts as an 'attractive nuisance' in attracting illegal immigration and anchor baby birth.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 4:38 p.m.

Laura Jones says: "Apparently the Supreme Court for decades, arguably some of the best legal minds of our nation, disagree." In case you haven't been following the Supreme court lately, Justice Thomas has not spoken in open court in 6 years. He says that the reason is because he already has decided how he is going to vote before hearing arguments in open court. Is this an example of the "best legal mind" in the country? I think not. The SC recently ruled that strip searches are legal for even the most minor offenses, which would include minor traffic violations. Is this decision the result of the best minds in the country? I think not. If you think so, I hope you are not arrested for a minor traffic violation.

Laura Jones

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 4:21 p.m.

Apparently the Supreme Court for decades, arguably some of the best legal minds of our nation, disagree. That you do not like it in no way makes it wrong or a misinterpretation of the law. I am inclined to believe that your vehement dislike of it is a strong argument for its solid foundation in our law as such positions against minority groups has often been one of the basic reasons for enshrining rights in the Constitution. It's all about the rights of the individual being held over the wishes of the majority - who can be fickle and trample those they do not like.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

Interesting that obama has deported more illegal aliens then past administrations while running on a platform attempting to cater to illegals. I guess you can do that when you have a press that refuses to report the truth if those truths are unflattering to their beloved failing government. I know many immigrants who've come to the US in the last 20 years LEGALLY and this entire issue is a slap in the face to them. Characterizing illegal aliens ignoring the LEGAL PROCESS available to them and streaming across our southern boarder as somehow noble is ridiculous. ....for those who disagree and think ignoring US laws are admirable, feel free to start a movement to abandon all boarder separation with Mexico and see how that goes! LOL The solution is a rigorously documented and enforced national ID card. No card, no life in USA.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

I hate to say it, but this is what our founding fathers wrote in the constitution. Aren't they trying to repeal it?


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 11:52 a.m.

And yet I'd venture a guess that you don't consider the current application of 2nd Amendment rights to be out of the realm of the framers' intentions? Strict interpretation or not? It's not in fashion to think in humane terms, but consider why these folks might have risked so much to establish a family here. And to contribute to the community. And please, everyone, don't trot out the public assistance argument, because by now it's been proven weak.