Saturday's Brooke Adams' story in the Salt Lake Tribune updating the case of the undocumented couple who were jailed ---after a photo processing company turned over to the police pics of the dad kissing his baby on the butt and the genitals was deeply disturbing.
It catapulted me back to the month I spent last spring following a Mexican grandmother, Rosaura Garcia Murillo, in her desperate bid to get her granddaughter out of the clutches of DCFS and the Anglo family that adopted her. Murillo went home to Jalisco, Mexico empty sided, her valiant struggles documented in a City Weekly cover story called 'Gone, baby, gone.'
As I read Adams' story, in particular the quote from DCFS director Duane Betournay, "I want more than anything for [mother and child] to get back together," the same impotent anger that Murillo felt all those months she was trying to get someone to help her, burdened though she was by her nationality as far as the courts were concerned, built inside my chest.
In the St George case, here was a father expressing his love for his child before the camera so his relatives in Mexico could celebrate the baby's birth. The father's already been deported. Now the mother, Alma Vasquez, faces not only a deportation hearing but also a fight to get her 9-month-old out of the child welfare system, after being wrongly accused of sexual exploitation.
The question I'm left with is how many children of undocumented couples thrown into the legal system by carelessness, indifference or cruelty, have ended up being raised by Anglo Utahn families?