L.I. Rep. Wants Review Of Immigration Case As Young Emily Ruiz Returns Home

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A little girl from Long Island at the center of an immigration battle returned home to Suffolk County Wednesday.

Four-year-old Emily Ruiz was back in the arms of her family at JFK Airport after being sent back to Guatemala with her grandfather.

“It was an emotional scene,” Attorney David Sperling said.

The Brentwood girl was traveling to New York from Guatemala with her grandfather two weeks ago when their flight was diverted to Dulles Airport near Washington.

Customs and border control agents stopped the two after discovering that Emily’s grandfather had tried to enter the country illegally years ago.

Emily’s family said customs officials gave the grandfather two choices: go back to Guatemala with Emily or leave her with custody officials in Virginia.

Emily’s Long Island parents are undocumented immigrants, and her father, Leonel Ruiz, chose to have Emily leave with her grandfather out of fear that she would end up in foster care.

Customs officials insist Emily’s family was given the option to pick her up in Washington but decided not to. The attorney for the Ruiz family, however, said Emily’s parents were never given that option.

“Emily is a U.S. citizen, was never given the opportunity to have legal representation or to be put in touch with the Guatemalan embassy, or some other third party, she was simply deported, I know that’s not the legal term for it but that’s in effect what happened,” Sperling said.

Sperling added “we’re going to make this right and make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

“There are over five million children here in the United states with at least one undocumented parent and four million of those are like Emily — U.S. citizen children,” attorney Jeanne Butterfield said. “We request and demand the CBP investigate the incident of Emily Ruiz and issue clear guidelines to their staff so something like this never happens again.”

Long Island Congressman Steve Israel was calling on the Department of Homeland Security to do a formal review of how this all could happen.

“This bureaucratic overreach and utter failure of commonsense has left a little girl, a U.S. citizen no less, stranded thousands of miles from her parents,” he said.

Was there bureaucratic overreach in this case? Leave a comment below…

  • Anthony Natale

    This is a typicla case of where we use to do nothing,pre 9/11, to doing something so stupid and illogical as to deport a 4 year old.WoW, she must have been some threat to security

  • gen

    Oh, and its obvious Steve Israel is on illegals sides..OUST THIS MORON!

  • gen

    Next we’ll reward bank robbers then killers…if you break laws in society you are applauded and held up as a saint! Deport them all, stop the anchor baby loophole and any politician that refuse’s to defend our sovereignty should be run out of office! Bet my tax $$ payed for her prenatal care,birth and puts food on their tables while the father works for cash and pays no taxes! I think we need a more Draconian society with TOUGH laws!

  • InBus F Good

    For all of you with an isolationist bent, who believe that immigrants are not allowed here, send this link to your well meaning Tea Party folks, and let them fill in on the vital underpinnings of our economy. I’ve worked with field migrant workers, and also saw how this important element of the economy functions in California. The bias against those that are new to America, is a long standing and illegal position of the extreme conservatives, hearkening back to Mayflower Compact days(see Rhode Island’s formation as an example). Guess that the melting pot has a few cracks, and they are calling themselves Tea Partiers. Well, GOP, the Party is over.

    Here’s that link.


  • badman

    what are all your problems with illegals? did they steal your job cleaning toilets?

    bunch of crybabies and bullies, full of rage at their own impotence, finding an obvious and vulnerable group to blame. this country is becoming uncompetitive and going to hell bc of people like you, not illegal immigrants.

  • Robert Lew

    Deport the Parents ! They are violating the law being here illegally. Also deprt the half ass congressman for supporting the illegal law breakers.

  • anothergovtgoof

    The reason the father/parents opted for Emily to return to Guatemala w/the grandfather is they’re both here illegally. They panicked when faced with this situation. Understandable. For a congressman to make such a spectacle of the case — when I truly believe the parents are not telling the whole truth — and for lawyers to hover ’round as the parents “consider filing a lawsuit,” well, it’s a sign of how nuts this country has become.

    Meanwhile, US Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) says Tea Party members do not deserve constitutional rights.

    Like I said, NUTS.

  • spaul

    All Americans should be united in condemning illegals. All illegals should be sent home. If they made babies in the US, well, that’s their fault. Let the babies stay, and still have those parasite illegals go back where they came from

  • Motherbear

    I just do not get it. It looks like a child neglect. What was she doing without her parents in Guatemala? What her parents were thinking? If she has a stable household in Guatemala, may be that is a better option for her than foster care or negligent parents in US.

    • Just Cause

      Obviously you did not read the case above. Please read again but this time with focused attention.

  • Trishe

    All the comments here seem to want to know why the parents have not been deported since we all now know that they are here illigally. So why is CBS looking for public sentiment?? WE ARE TIRED OF THE ILLIGAL ALIENS!! SEND THEM ALL BACK!!! I HOPE CBS GETS IT NOW.

    • maddy

      The USA needs to stop allowing illegals to have kids, so the kids can be citizens.If your not here legally,your kid isnt a citizen.End of discussion

  • nyc

    Hey – where ever this child ends up ,please make sure she eats healthy and drops some weight. She appears to be very overweight. Stop anchor baby status !

    • Americathebeautiful

      Ha ha ha that’s a good one! ROFL! Exacltly!

    • Justcause

      I completely agree with you, nyc. Child obesity is beging to shape itself with this little girl. Parents must be more careful with the type of food they provide. They must hold off on the hotdogs and burgers.

      • SPaul

        Let me elaborate… free hotdogs, free burgers, Food stamps galore for illegals, courtesy of very hard working Americans. And not to mention free education. All illegals must be celebrating and laughing at us for being soooo stupid. What part of the world where can you find people blatantly disrespecting laws? Only in America, my friends.

  • halibut

    Let’s first start by reviewing the 14th amendment and require that being born in the US only makes you a citizen if you mother is here legally.
    So now what? Do we allow illegal aliens, such as this grandfather, to come into the country if they are accomapnying a US citizen child? Great. let’s create another loophole for illegal aliens to use.
    And where is the director of CBP? Why aren’t they defending the actions of their officers instead of letting the press and this dispicable attorney carry the conversation?

    • halat

      hey halibut do you really have common sense?you cannot board an air line without a visa.stop the hate

  • Moral Truth

    It is not right they are making the 4 year old out to be a princess and that’s the moral truth

  • Americans first

    This country cannot continue to absorb every illegal who sneaks in. Half the world is poor or living in a politically unstable land. Are we supposed to take in the entire population of all those countries? What then? Do we then claim ownership of those lands? Give me a break , the sheer numbers of poor wretched people out there is drowning us.

    • Cribblyd

      Read Garret Hardins book. Tragedy of the lifeboat. You have to look at America as a giant life raft. We can onlyu carry soo many in the boat before we have to stop accepting any more. THe resources are limited and we cannot accept any extra.

  • mike garangelo

    send her to Arizona

  • PraiseOurCountry

    My family applied to immigrate to this country the legal way. Get them all the hell out of my country! Out out out now! take your grandpa and your illegal parents and out now little girl! Out out out! Stop entering illegally go back to your country and apply legally to return here! How dare they drop a baby to stay here in my country!

  • MIcha

    By the way, CBS: We could have done without the picture at the top of the girl sadly playing with her doll. We get it, you want us to feel bad… How stupid does the media think people are?

  • Micha

    I read yesterday on CNN that customs did offer to allow the parents to pick the girl up, but the lawyer said the father didn’t understand what was being said to him. i’m not sure if thats it, or the parents were just selfish enough to decide that they didn’t want to come forward for fear of being deported. I feel badly for this little girl, I really do. However, the media needs to stop making it seem like this is something the government did to her. Her parents did this to her- no one else. Her parents should be deported and she should go with them. If her parents are illegal, then they aren’t paying taxes. But I bet money they’ll be enrolling her in public school next year for kindergarten. Ha- and they wonder why the schools have no money.

    • halibut

      Yes, and the attorney first said that CBP didn’t call the parents; now he says they called but the parents didn’t understand. You can’t tell me that a Spanish speaking officer didn’t make that call. C’mon.

  • JIM


    • PraiseOurCountry

      Exactly JIM! I totally agree!

  • Cribblyd

    Maybe Steve Isreal needs to concentrate on the loss of jobs, high unemployment, high taxes instead of pandering to illegals. Just a thought.

  • Idratherbegolfing

    Maybe Steve Israels’s time would be better served trying to figure out how to control the illegal immigration problem instead of publically criticizing customs officials for doing their job correctly. I don’t get how this is even an issue. Her parents were given the choice to pick her up in DC. They choose to send her home in fear of being sent back to Guatemala themselves. Case closed. The sad part is the next chapter of this story will be the families’ lawyer filing a lawsuit against the customs department for emotional distress caused by this situation. The lawyer already has a US congressman on the record saying it was “bureaucratic overreach”.

  • Unreal

    And thus comes the term “anchor baby”.
    Any parent has a choice of where they want to live. It is not the U.S. government’s job to decide that their native country is not where this family belongs.
    This is a layup, DEPORT, let her come back when she’s 18 if she wants, and stop letting children of illegals automatically become citizens.
    Sorry to dazzle you libs with logic and reasoning.

  • Ironweed

    Incredible how political correctness means throwing our country to the illegals.

  • Whoiwonder

    Okay, so when are the parents going to be departed since it’s been confirmed that they are here illegally?? what has this media come too when an anchor baby has become top news. And process needs to be reviewed??? They Grandparent was illegal, the parents are here illegally, I don’t see a problem

  • Garrett Spellman

    This is how I want my tax $ spent. There has got to be more things for this congressman to be trying to fix..

  • Whoiwonder

    Okay, so when are the parents going to be departed since it’s been confirmed that they are here illegally?? what has this media come too when an anchor baby has been top news.

  • bill

    Why can’t the parents go back to Guatemela with the Grandparents? OHHHH, they CHOSE not too.

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