Wrongfully deported U.S. girl reunited with family

March 31, 2011

NEW YORK – Four-year-old Emily Samantha Ruiz, a U.S. resident and victim of an erroneous deportation by U.S. authorities, returned to New York this week where she was reunited with her undocumented Guatemalan parents.

On March 11, an error led to the girl’s deportation to Guatemala while she was traveling to New York from Guatemala with her grandfather. The pair’s plane was diverted to Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. due to bad weather.

Emily’s grandfather had a file of immigration infractions dating to the 1990s, but it’s not clear if he entered the U.S. with expired documents. His attorney, David Sperling, said he has a current H-2B visa.

According to Sperling, who traveled to Guatemala to escort the minor home, immigration officials told the girl’s father that the family had two options: transfer the girl to a detention center for minors in Virginia, or send her to live with her grandfather in Guatemala.

“Emily is finally back with us. Words cannot express how happy we are to see her, hug her and kiss her again,” said Emily’s father, Leonel Ruiz. The family was reunited at the JFK Airport in New York.

When Emily was deported, the Ruiz family sought help from the media, announcing that a U.S. citizen and minor had been wrongfully deported. 

You may be interested

PHOTOS: International Museum Day in Costa Rica
Arts & Culture
30 views
Arts & Culture
30 views

PHOTOS: International Museum Day in Costa Rica

Mitzi Stark - May 21, 2018

May 18 is International Museum Day, and Costa Rica celebrated with 31 mini-museums all in one at the Casa del…

Costa Rica, Panama refuse to acknowledge Venezuelan election results
Latin America
52 views
Latin America
52 views

Costa Rica, Panama refuse to acknowledge Venezuelan election results

AFP - May 21, 2018

Costa Rica and Panama were two of 14 countries in the Americas to announce they would not acknowledge the results…

5 questions for US painter Suzahn King
Weekend Arts Spotlight
153 views
Weekend Arts Spotlight
153 views

5 questions for US painter Suzahn King

Elizabeth Lang - May 20, 2018

Suzahn King's paintings, known for their intricate details, are currently focused on her surroundings in Costa Rica, a country she…