After much grief and outrage, Emily Ruiz, the four-year-old US citizen who was forcibly removed to Guatemala, is on her way back to Long Island to be reunited with her family.
Emily’s story broke over two weeks ago when US immigration officials forced her to return to Guatemala instead of releasing her to her parents in the United States. Emily had spent the winter in Guatemala and was flying back to Long Island with her grandfather, who was denied admission due to an alleged age-old immigration violation. U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Emily’s parents that because they are undocumented immigrants, they had only two options: allow the U.S. government to place the child in some sort of child detention center, or send her back to Guatemala. The Ruiz family chose to send Emily back to Guatemala due to their fears that the child would be put up for adoption if they sent her to a custodial facility.
Emily’s is now on her way back to the U.S. and tomorrow her lawyer and others will describe her joyful reunion with her family at a news conference in New York. At the press conference, her pro bono attorney, David Sperling, will speak, along with SEIU official Ben Monterroso, and former Executive Director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Jeanne Butterfield. Be sure to check the AV blog or our Twitter feed tomorrow for updates!