After Losing Freedom, Some Immigrants Face Loss of Custody of Their Children



CARTHAGE, Mo. — When immigration
agents raided a poultry processing plant near here two years ago, they
had no idea a little American boy named Carlos would be swept up in the

One of the 136 illegal immigrants detained in the raid was Carlos’s
mother, Encarnación Bail Romero, a Guatemalan. A year and a half after
she went to jail, a county court terminated Ms. Bail’s rights to her
child on grounds of abandonment. Carlos, now 2, was adopted by a local

In his decree, Judge David C. Dally of Circuit Court in Jasper
County said the couple made a comfortable living, had rearranged their
lives and work schedules to provide Carlos a stable home, and had
support from their extended family. By contrast, Judge Dally said, Ms.
Bail had little to offer.

“The only certainties in the biological mother’s future,” he wrote,
“is that she will remain incarcerated until next year, and that she
will be deported thereafter.”

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