Here’s the Heart-Wrenching Story of a Two-Year-Old Kid Facing an Immigration Judge

Fernanda Jacqueline Davila was taken from her grandmother when they approached the U.S. border in late July. Just two years old, Davila has spent the past two months communicating with a caseworker and translators before finally being brought before a judge.

The New York Times offered a heartbreaker this morning, publishing a profile of Davila’s journey through the makeshift judicial system that’s become the U.S. immigration courts. Davila was the 26th child Judge Randa Zagzoug ruled on that day; she was followed by four more to round out the afternoon. She was still the youngest ever to pass through the courtroom, according to the paper.

In the time between the American government entering her into its steadily growing stable of migrant children and her court date, Davila stayed at Cayuga Centers in New York City. The Times notes that “many” children were allowed to spend the night with foster families but that they had to remain in custody during the day. What this belies is the increasing number of cases in which the parents and extended family of detained children are being denied in their attempts to reconnect their families. As MSNBC reported in August, those reunification efforts are made even more difficult by the fact that, of the hundreds of undocumented children still detained after being separated from their families, most of their parents have already been deported. Take a recent report from the Associated Press, which similarly focused on the drama surrounding two-year-old Alexa.

Her mother, Araceli Ramos Bonilla, had applied for a U.S. visa in an attempt to bring her daughter to America and escape an abusive relationship with Alexa’s father. But the visa process dragged on, leading Ramos to pack up with Alexa and travel to the Texas border in 2015, before Trump’s ghoulish policy had set in. As the AP reported, she was stopped by Border Patrol and Alexa was taken from her custody. The agents told Ramos she would never see her daughter again and deemed Alexa an “unaccompanied minor.”

By Nick Martin SPILNTER
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