Thursday, April 18, 2024

Deported 4-year-old to Reunite with Parents

Four-year-old Emily Samantha Ruiz who was deported to Guatemala earlier this month will rejoin her family in New York on Tuesday, according to family attorney David Sperling.

As reported in La Plaza, Ruiz, a U.S. citizen was on her way back home from a family trip to Guatemala with her grandfather, when he was detained by immigration authorities in Washington, D.C., when their flight was diverted to due bad weather.

Though Emily’s grandfather is a non-citizen he did possess a valid work visa, but was detained after immigration officials discovered he had entered the U.S. illegally in the 1990’s. Officials presented two options: Emily could remain at a juvenile center in Virginia or return to Guatemala with her grandfather. According to Emily’s father, Leonel Ruiz, he was never given the option of picking up his daughter from the airport.

If her parents traveled to Guatemala, they risked being detained.  Sperling, traveled to Guatemala in their place, to pick up Emily and said the two will be flying home Tuesday and have been assured by authorities she will have no problem re-entering the country.

“We have received information that there will be no problem, and we’ll keep our fingers crossed that that will be the case,” Sperling said. “We will arrive tomorrow (Tuesday) in New York and we hope she will be reunited with her parents and that they will have a happy ending to this story.”

In a statement released by Sperling, Emily’s grandfather said, “I’m filled with happiness that my granddaughter can return to her parents. I trust that this trip will be better than the one we took a few weeks ago.”


Miami Herald