The Canadian Press covered the blocking of 4-year-old Emily Ruiz from returning to the US, as did news outlets throughout Latin America. It was a major story on Univision and Telemundo and it was picked up by CNN. The New York Times, the New York Daily News, and Newsday all covered the return of little Emily.
My favorite article so far, though, is from syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette.
Navarrette called the choice to send Emily to Guatemala a “shameful decision.” He said the Obama administration was at fault for her deportation:
Yes, I said: “deport.” I will not be cajoled into referring to what happened to Emily as a “de facto deportation.”
Baloney. The girl was on U.S. soil, and then she wasn’t. And she was sent back to Guatemala, her parents’ homeland, under the authority of the U.S. government – specifically, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. And she was, throughout her ordeal, in the custody of the U.S government. That’s a deportation.
You can say the process was misapplied in this case because Emily is a U.S. citizen. But let’s not allow the government or anyone else to lessen a grave injustice by calling it by anything but its proper name.
Navarrette says that sending Emily back is a slap at the citizenship rights of Latinos born in the US.
Americans have spent the last six years arguing over proposed reforms of the immigration system because both the right and the left agree that U.S. citizenship is a big deal. The right wants to deny it to illegal immigrants as badly as the left wants to grant it to them. Because both sides agree that the classification matters, it has weight. But it didn’t mean squat for Emily, who, according to her family’s lawyer, David Sperling, was detained alone for several hours at Dulles while authorities tried to figure out what to do.
The columnist writes that Homeland Security’s treatment of Emily will not soon be forgotten:
What should be of greater concern to Americans is how government agents behaved during all of this, and whether they could have tried harder to get what was no doubt a scared little girl home to her parents. Or whether they wanted to wash their hands of the whole ugly situation as fast as they could. Too bad for Customs and Border Protection, some stains don’t come out in the wash.