The Parents, Not The System Are At Fault For Splitting Up The Families Of Illegal Immigrants

by John Hawkins | April 4, 2007 4:00 pm

Newsday wrote a sob story[1] about the children of illegal immigrants who are forced to either go back home with their parents or stay with friends/relatives/foster parents when their parents are deported.

“Twelve-year-old Adrian Ramirez huddled with his two sisters on a bench and tried to find the words to describe his feelings about their mother’s pending deportation to Mexico.

“I want my family to be together,” he said, wiping away tears as Yadira, 10, and Adriana, 6, stared at their shoes. “I want them to stop these laws. I don’t know what life would be like in Mexico. My home is in Palo Alto.”

Adrian’s lament is becoming increasingly familiar as immigration officials step up efforts to seize illegal immigrants. Many of the 18,000 men and women deported under Operation Return to Sender since June were raising families — including children born in the United States.

Adrian’s father, Pedro Ramirez, who had worked at an Albertson’s supermarket, was deported in February. His mother, Isabel Aguirre, was arrested and ordered deported at the same time but given a monitoring ankle bracelet and some time to make arrangements for the children and to purchase a ticket home.

In cases like this, the U.S.-born children can stay with friends or relatives, or they leave with their deported parents.

Ramirez and Aguirre had evaded deportation orders and notices to appear in court since 1997, immigration officials said. They said the couple ignored the law and consequently were arrested.

“We’ve been working with these people for years,” said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Lori Haley. “Now it’s up to the parents what they want to do. They can take the children with them, or leave them with relatives or people they can entrust them to.”

But the predicament of deported parents is tearing many families apart, said clergy and immigrant advocates.

“Is it really a choice? Staying in foster care, or leaving with their parents?” asked Samina F. Sundas, the founder of American Muslim Voice, which is trying to help the Ramirez family.

For the youngest Ramirez children, the choice was clear: They want to live with their parents. But they said they’re sad about leaving their friends, and worried about enrolling in a school in Mexico and having to write in Spanish, which they haven’t learned.”

…Priests who are helping the families, such as Father Richard Wilson of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in New Bedford, signed the religious leaders’ statement against such raids.

“God calls on us to protect the weak, especially children,” Wilson said in a statement. “Instead we are ripping apart the fabric of the community and leaving children behind.”

California religious leaders who are familiar with the Ramirez family’s plight agreed.

“No matter how we feel about immigration reform, leaving children abandoned and violating a person’s constitutional rights are wrong,” said Rev. Anna B. Lange-Soto of El Buen Pastor Episcopal Church in Redwood City.

Here’s the sad reality: kids pay a big price for having lousy parents. If dad commits a murder and goes to jail for 20 years, he’s separated from his family. Is that the fault of the system or the fault or the murderer? If you have a single mom and she’s too lazy to work for a living and ends up sponging off of everyone else, the kid is going to be poor and embarrassed by the situation. Whose fault is that, the system or the parent? If the parents have terrible moral values, get a divorce, or just plain old aren’t good parents, the kids get hurt by that. Did the system create those problems or did the parents?

And if you come to the United States illegally, you’re putting the kids you have here or bring with you in a bad position because the law requires you to be deported if you’re caught (and that has been the case for a long, long, long time). So, the problem these kids have isn’t the law, it’s that they have lousy, irresponsible parents. If they cared more about their children, they wouldn’t have put them in this position in the first place.

  1. Newsday wrote a sob story:,0,7238185.story?coll=ny-leadnationalnews-headlines

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