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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

"Deported" U.S. Citizen Girl Reunited with her Family

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Emily Ruiz, a four-year-old citizen, has been returned to the United States after being "deported" to Guatemala by the Obama administration.  CNN has reported that she was flown first class, and is now back with her parents.  

That's the good news.

The bad news is that the administration is now trying to spin this incident as a simple miscommunication, and their spin is being bolstered by Emily's parents who have no lawful status in the United States, and who may become subject to the same fate that already befell their daughter. No motivation there.

Ruben Navarrette Jr. has properly characterized what happened to this young girl.  He writes

I will not be cajoled into referring to what happened to Emily as a "de facto deportation."

Baloney. The girl was on U.S. soil, and then she wasn't. And she was sent back to Guatemala, her parents' homeland, under the authority of the U.S. government - specifically, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. And she was, throughout her ordeal, in the custody of the U.S government. That's a deportation.

You can say the process was misapplied in this case because Emily is a U.S. citizen. But let's not allow the government or anyone else to lessen a grave injustice by calling it by anything but its proper name.

So let me ask you this rhetorical question: Would the Obama administration have "deported" Emily, a United States citizen by birth, if she was white, and was returning to the United States from England?

I'm just sayin'.

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