Thursday, November 22, 2012
As we enjoy company and a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, one heart-wrenching story -- and ironic -- from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch should remind us all of what we should be thankful for.
Encarnación Bail Romero, an undocumented Guatemalan immigrant who lives in Missouri, until a few weeks ago worked at a local turkey plant. Bail, and other workers like her, put in long hours of grim work for little pay, all while facing the threat of deportation. Bail's American-born (and U.S. citizen) son, Carlos, is 6 years old. She has not seen Carlos since May 2007 when the plant where Bail worked was raided by immigration agents. Mother and son have never spent a Thanksgiving together.
Bail was detained while the court terminated his mother’s parental rights and Carlos was put up for adoption. She did not speak English. She did not know what was happening to her.
Bail is allowed legally to stay in the U.S. as her appeal to regain custody of her son continues winding through the Missouri courts. Carlos lives with a Missouri family that adopted him while Bail was awaiting deportation.
The Missouri Supreme Court took the case and sent it back to the trial court. The trial court decided last summer to keep Carlos with his adoptive parents. Lawyers for Bail have asked the Missouri Supreme Court to take the case again.