In Dallas' Time-Crunched Immigration Court, a Mom Watches Her Teen Daughter Get Deported

Categories: Immigration

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Ammodramus
Gaby's options were limited in Honduras, but without a legal way to stay in the US, she was out of options. She was given an order of deportation today in downtown Dallas' immigration court.
On November 21, 2013, 13-year-old Gaby entered the United States via Hidalgo, Texas. She had journeyed there, alone, from Honduras. She was apprehended by border patrol, and after a stay in one of the federal shelters, was released to her two parents, who live in Dallas.

Gaby had last been seen in court in late July, when she'd been granted an extension to find a lawyer and prepare her case. On Thursday, unable to secure a lawyer, she was out of options. She slumped in her chair, her curly hair a veil to hide her face. Her mother was left to plead her daughter's case her to Judge Michael Baird.

Gaby is one of scores of children who grace Baird's court each week. What had previously been a generous, lengthy court process -- by some accounts, kids were given around 60 days to find a lawyer and prepare for their trials -- has morphed in recent weeks into a conveyor belt of life-changing decisions. Immigration judges are under increasing pressure to move these cases through the system as quickly as possible, over the objection of lawyers and advocates who say finding a lawyer and preparing a claim for asylum or other relief takes more time than they're being given. "You are well aware that these cases are moving at a brisk pace," said Baird today, addressing one lawyer who requested more time, "but I have orders to follow as well."

See Also: Dallas' Immigration Court Is Pushing Through Juvenile Migrant Cases Faster Than Ever

Gaby's mother tried to explain why Gaby had come to the United States. She glossed over a quick description of how Gaby and her younger brother were frequently assaulted when they went to the local marketplace, opting instead to paint a rosier picture of why Gaby had come to the United States. No one told her that the grisly marketplace details may have bought her more time, possibly allowing her to plead asylum.

She described Gaby's limited options if she had stayed in Honduras. "There are jobs, but you have to know English," said Gaby's mother in Spanish. To know English, you have to get an education, difficult in Honduras. Gaby's mother explained to the court that Gaby had come to the United States to study, to learn English, and to reunite with her parents, also undocumented, whom she had not seen in a few years.

Baird carefully explained to Gaby and her mother that Gaby was not eligible for any type of visa, and would likely have to leave the country. By choosing voluntary departure rather than an order of deportation, Gaby would avoid any fine, stay until December, and could apply for future US immigration benefits. Although Gaby would not be able to appeal the decision, it was a better option than the legal penalties of deportation.

Logically, Gaby's mother understood that the voluntary departure option was the most sensible choice for Gaby. Several times, Baird read the conditions of voluntary departure to Gaby and her mother. But when he reached the end of his litany, he was required one final affirmation from Gaby's mother that she wanted her daughter to leave. Each time, Gaby's mother answered no, despite having agreed to the order minutes before.

Eventually tiring of the circling questions, Baird issued an order of deportation against Gaby, which her mother reluctantly agreed to.

"The truth is, I don't want her to leave," said Gaby's mother finally.

"I understand that you do not want to be separated ma'am," said Baird. "But you're asking for her to stay. And there is no legal way to do that."

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71 comments
rogjohns64
rogjohns64

What kind of mother chooses to stay here and watch her child go back to Honduras alone?

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

Tearing an innocent child away from her mother seems to give Republicans an AWFUL lot of satisfaction.


Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY INDICTED ON TWO FELONY CHARGES!

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY INDICTED FOR ABUSE OF POWER!

roo_ster
roo_ster

WHy is not Mom getting the boot, also?

bill.holston1
bill.holston1

I'd like you to reflect on a question. If a child seriously fears violence in a country where the police are completely ineffective, would you ever permit that child to pursue humanitarian relief in court? 


Remember there is no legal way for that child to come to the United States and pursue that remedy. These children came to the Border, called themselves to the attention of Border Patrol and then when in Court, seek time to file their claims for relief. This is the same thing that Political and Religious refugees do. They have no other choice in most cases. 


If your answer is no, well then I don't really have an argument for you, other than international law says that we should have a fair legal system to adjudicate those claims. 


If your answer is yes, than all of this is about a system in court to fairly determine if these children have legal relief available to them. 

russp
russp

So let me get this straight. The parents came here illegally leaving their kids behind. Now one of the kids has shown up illegally. Why weren't they all put on a bus and immediately deported? 96% of immigrants from Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia manage to navigate our immigration system legally yet only 50% of those from south of the border bother to do so. The immigration system works and needs no reform, just enforcement.

LittleJoe
LittleJoe

Why do you guys care so much? How are they directly affecting your life? Have a heart. If you were born in poverty you would have made the same decision many immigrants make every year.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@bvckvs

Republicans had nothing to do with the child's abandonment, perfesser.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

I never thought the democrats saw him as this much of a threat.

Tom DeLay, Ted Stevens, Scott Walker, now Rick Perry, who, like the others targeted by the corrupt democratic machine that gave us Obama, will be cleared after the elections.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@bill.holston1

My answer to your Q: Yes, of course.

My return Q is this: Why haven't the parents pursued our fair legal system in the many months, probably years, in which the child was apparently hiking to this country? Why are these parents not at all prepared with documentation, even an English-speaking representative? Bill, you're a big-hearted man, and I respect your labor even as I think it's wrong-headed, because of that big heart.

ivyhall
ivyhall

@bill.holston1 I don't understand why parents would leave their own kids for years in a" violent country where the police are ineffective" in order to live illegally although with greater personal comfort in another country thousands of miles away.

LittleJoe
LittleJoe

Have you tried coming from Mexico legally to stay? It is impossible unless your rich or have something really special to offer the US.

You can come legally for a few months at a time but not permanent.

ivyhall
ivyhall

@russp Simon Bolivar observed- in the 19th Century- that exercising the rule of law in South America was as futile as "plowing the sea".

wcvemail
wcvemail

@LittleJoe

1. Collective expense of adjudicating willful and repeat lawbreakers who can't be imprisoned nor effectively banned from the country.
2. Extra expenses born by school districts, hospitals, and other public services. These poor immigrants will contribute NOTHING to those costs, but are users.

ivyhall
ivyhall

@LittleJoe Desensitization is a psychological phenomenon where over exposure to a given stimulus makes one less sensitive to it.  We no longer have actual news coverage of events by most  media outlets-we have an endless series of "human interest stories" some of which are so devoid of facts or actual data to ponder, that they provoke a seemingly inappropriate response from the observer.

bill.holston1
bill.holston1

@wcvemail @bill.holston1 thanks for the courteous reply. Many are prepared for documentation, But truly this requires a lawyer, Most cannot afford a lawyer and there is no pro bono help available before arriving in the United States. The forms for Special Immigrant Juvenile Visa is quite complex. 

russp
russp

@LittleJoe Those from all the countries I have mentioned seem to be able to figure it out. And I don't think the US does enough to make sure those wanting to immigrate here have something to offer. Go to the Canadian government immigration website and fill out the questionnaire about eligibility. Unless you already have an offer of employment or work in a field where they need workers, you are not eligible. They don't want people coming who will just compete with their citizens; we shouldn't here either.   

LittleJoe
LittleJoe

That's were your wrong, how do you think immigrants get to work here? How are they working in all these big companies? How are they your electrician, carpenter, all the warehouse workers, truck drivers and many more?

Yup, they have social security cards. Not legally obtained but they have them. And guess what, yup, they have to pay taxes too. Immigrants pay billions of dollars in taxes and you know what? As long as they are illegal they will never see any of it again. Unlike you and me.

LittleJoe
LittleJoe

Immigrants get arrested too. They have to follow the same law.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay

Wow, no profanity. Our little Donk is growing up!

wcvemail
wcvemail

@bill.holston1 @wcvemail

Bill, blaming a form's complexity for utter unpreparedness, and ensuing utter dependence on the over-burdened American justice system, is not an answer to my Q. The need for legal representation was well known long before the trek, as those parents have been in this country for years. 

This is not a case of Yazidis being helicoptered off a mountain, minutes ahead of their killers. These are cases where preparation and savings have gone on for years. 

My Q stands unanswered.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@LittleJoe


I think you meant to reply to another comment, since your responses don't specifically address mine. I didn't mention SS. Since you brought it up, though, since they're using fraudulent SSNs, how does that affect the true owners of those SSNs who are innocently paying their own way?

Taxes paid by illegal immigrants do NOT compensate for the 70% illegal alien births at Parkland Hosp. I think FW's hospital is actually higher than that. That use of facilities, beyond the costs, is impeding the access of U.S. citizens to our own facilities.

Here's the Snopes link for the 70% figure:
http://www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/parkland.asp

ivyhall
ivyhall

@LittleJoe So if you are "born in poverty" and you come here illegally and you remain poor with no chance of upward mobility.  Why come here?

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@LittleJoe You're being a bit obtuse here aren't you?  Immigrants who come in through established ports of entry and follow established and codified process for gaining citizenship follow law.  Illegal immigrants, by definition, are breaking the law, not following it.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@LittleJoe

No, they don't follow the same law. Eventually, a U.S. citizen with multiple convictions is put away for life or long enough. These immigrants have no effective fear of not following the law -- witness these stories of not caring enough to be able to fill out a form properly, or find someone to help in the MONTHS if not years they have to prepare. Even if deported, they will return over and over. The bank robber can only commit his crime a few times before he's incarcerated.

bill.holston1
bill.holston1

@wcvemail I wasn't very clear. There's nothing someone can do to simplify the process before they are in the United States and talk to a pro bono lawyer. Their case starts when they sit in a law office here, and the process in court now is not giving people sufficient time to find a lawyer and pursue their case. 

LittleJoe
LittleJoe

The problem is immigrant parents always believe what the media tells them or another person makes them believe. "Don't worry go to the border and you'll get papers" " Pay me 5 grand and I'll get you to the United states, I'll turn you over to border patrol and just say your running away from the violence in your country and they will give you papers" All lies!!!

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@wcvemail @LittleJoe 

"Since you brought it up, though, since they're using fraudulent SSNs, how does that affect the true owners of those SSNs who are innocently paying their own way?"

Just wait until you get a notice from the IRS about wages that you didn't report from full time jobs in CA and NC while you already have a full time job in TX.


You have to prove to the IRS that you did not hold those jobs.  Simply saying "No", doesn't cut it.

LittleJoe
LittleJoe

It's not mainly for them, it's for their children. My parents came here illegally for a better life and hope. They worked hard for many years, had 5 children born here and until President Reagan signed the amnesty my parents became legal. My mother is a permanent resident and my father is a proud American Citizen now. And thanks to them we are all living a wonderful life.

And that's what many immigrants are coming here for. The Dream.

eddiecamacho42
eddiecamacho42

The undocumented people who commit crimes are prosecuted, sentenced, serve prison time and then are deported. I don't know where you get your information from but I work in the immigration field. No one (with or without papers) is allowed to commit a crime and face no consequences.

LittleJoe
LittleJoe

You need to stop listening to all these media. If an immigrant breaks the law he will be arrested and then deported. After multiple offense he will stay in jail. It also depends on the crime, let's say a immigrant gets caught with some drugs, he gets arrested and then deported. If a citizen does the same he will spend a few days in jail and then released. But If a Immigrant Is caught with pounds of coke or Marijuana, he won't see the outside of a jail for at least 15 years and same goes for a citizen.

LittleJoe
LittleJoe

Yes, I understand. The IRS can be asses, but the government is not moving a finger. All they want is me me me. This country is a land of immigrants and was built by immigrants but the government as long as they are getting their taxes they could care less. The immigration problem is so bad that there is nothing the government can do that's going to reverse what's already been done.

The government needs to at least give working visas to all who show clean criminal background and job history. You can't get rid of immigrants because the job market is demanding it!!!!

ivyhall
ivyhall

@LittleJoe "The End Justifies the Means" argument is always a little morally diffuse. Sorry.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@eddiecamacho42

Eddie, the parents in this case committed the crime of illegal entry to this country, yet face no consequences.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@LittleJoe

You need to quit jumping to conclusions. I don't even own a teevee machine, yet read and ponder much more news than you can comprehend.

Deportation does not work, even after a jail sentence. In fact, repeated law-breaking leads to desensitization toward the legal system, meaning that lawbreakers feel freer to break more laws.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@LittleJoe

You can't get rid of immigrants because the job market is demanding it!!!!

The last thing American working poor need is competition from cheaper, black-market labor.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@LittleJoe

"The government needs to at least give working visas..." 


We're in complete agreement there. Have those aliens start lining up and identifying themselves, along with the job they've been hired for. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@TheRuddSki ... so besides being a lowlife racist piece of shit, you're an economic imbecile too, aren't you?


TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay

Your explanation of labor market dynamics is fascinating.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  


So suddenly you KKKonservatards are against the "Free Market" when it comes to immigrant labor, eh hypocrite?



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