Remember that ’80s movie Born in East L.A? It starred Cheech Marin (I guess Chong was unavailable to join him) and it was about an American-born Latino who gets deported to Mexico when he is mistaken for an illegal alien. It wasn’t the funniest movie, but it had a funny premise. Amazingly, the plot of that movie actually happened recently – to a 4-year-old girl no less – and we have the Obama administration to thank for it.
It should come as no surprise that the same Obama administration that can’t run Social Security, can’t run an ObamaCare website, and can’t run medical care for our veterans, can’t run our immigration system either. Throw into that mix the newly-militarized Department of Homeland Security, who oversees Customs and Border Patrol, and you have yet another government agency with little oversight running amok.
According to The New York Times and the American Immigration Council, the four-year-old left her family in New York to spend the summer with her grandfather in Guatemala, as the harsh New York winters aggravated her asthma. When her grandfather, a Guatemalan citizen with a valid U.S. visa, tried to escort her back to America by plane, they were detained at the airport in Washington, because Border Patrol officials claimed the grandfather committed an unspecified immigration infraction over twenty years ago. Since the grandfather was not allowed to enter the country, government officials decided not to let the young girl in either. According to a lawsuit the family later filed, the four-year-old girl then was treated like a common criminal:
The lawsuit alleges that when the child arrived at Dulles Airport in Virginia she was detained and deprived of any contact with her parents—held for twenty hours in CBP custody with her grandfather and given nothing to eat other than a cookie and soda and nowhere to nap other than the cold floor—and then deported back to Guatemala as her parents awaited her arrival in New York.
After her deportation, the child’s father hired a local attorney to fly to Guatemala to retrieve her. Once home, three weeks later, she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by a child psychologist, who concluded that this was a result of her detention and her separation from her parents.
The family claims government officials gave them two options: she could enter Child Protective Services in Washington (where she was detained) or be deported with her grandfather. They allowed the deportation rather than risk losing custody.
Despite claims that Obama and DHS are lax in their immigration efforts, the truth is the President has already deported more individuals than any President in history. Most of the deportees aren’t the hardened criminals you would hope DHS would go after, but family members, who are much easier to find and deport.
Although the government refused to admit any wrongdoing, a judge ruled in the family’s favor, and the Obama administration settled with the family for a mere $32,500. That’s not even enough to buy a nice car!
Apparently, in Obama’s new America, if you’re brown enough, some government official somewhere will treat you like an illegal. And yet, somehow, Republicans alienate Latinos enough that they still vote largely Democratic.