Musings on Immigration

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The Foundling

I saw an interesting article in the Dallas Daily News today about a man called Robin Whiteley. In 1974, a midwife in El Paso, Texas, placed a day-old baby in the arms of Lora and Royce Whiteley of Fort Worth. Six years later, they officially adopted Robin. Neither the United States nor Mexico has a record of his birth. He grew up, went to school and eventually got married and started a family of his own. Unfortunately, Whiteley, who doesn’t speak Spanish, was recently deported to Mexico on the assumption that it was his country of origin. Although Mr. Whiteley’s parents followed the advice given to them by immigration officials and tried repeatedly to help their son, they were never able to regularize his status. It’s a shame that the immigration officials didn’t understand the laws they supposedly enforce and were not able to advise them correctly. Children who are found in the United States are presumed to be US citizens absent evidence to the contrary. Alternatively, they could simply have applied for an immigrant visa on his behalf because they legally adopted him before he turned 16 years of age. He now lives as an undocumented immigrant in a one-room cinderblock apartment in Reynosa, Mexico. Whiteley can’t work in Mexico because he doesn’t have proper documents, and if caught working illegally, he would be deported from Mexico!

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