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Mother Deported Without Baby

Sara Rodriguez was deported last Monday to El Salvador without her baby. She, like all women in the Houston area about to be deported, was imprisoned in the Liberty County jail many miles away and without representation.

All that was needed for someone to take the child to the Salvadoran Consulate to arrange travel papers and then take her to the airport at the time of the scheduled immigration flight. Although the INS would allow someone to help, there was no one to help. By the time we learned of it, it was too late. The child was later taken to Children’s Protective Services, where she will be supported indefinitely with welfare funds.

How many other mothers are deported without their children?

Deportation is listed as one of the most serious sins by the Vatican II document on The Church in the Modern World (No. 27) and also in Veritatis Splendor (No. 80), and Evangelium Vitae (No. 3): “There exist acts which per se and in themselves independently of circumstances are always seriously wrong by means of their object, such as murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, and willful suicide; all violations of the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, offenses against human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children, degrading working conditions where men are treated as mere tools for profit rather than free and responsible persons: all these and the like are criminal; they poison civilization; and they debase the perpetrators more than the victims and militate against the honor of the

Houston Catholic Worker, Vol. XVII, No. 3, May-June 1997