Justice for Emily Ruiz, 4-Year-Old US Citizen Sent to Guatemala
  • Petitioned Cecilia Muñoz

This petition was delivered to:

Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, White House
Cecilia Muñoz
Secretary of Homeland Security
Janet Napolitano
Assistant Director, ICE
John Morton
President of the United States
New York-02
Rep. Pete King

Justice for Emily Ruiz, 4-Year-Old US Citizen Sent to Guatemala

    1. Petition by

      Long Island Wins

Despite being an American citizen, a four-year-old girl was subjected to de facto deportation to Guatemala last week with her parents left helpless on Long Island, according to her family and a lawyer representing them.

Emily Samantha Ruiz was returning to Brentwood after a vacation to Guatemala with her grandfather when their flight was rerouted to Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC. Her grandfather ran into immigration problems at the airport related to an infraction incurred in the 1990s, and the pair never made it back to Long Island.

When her father, Leonel Ruiz, finally tracked her down, he learned that she was in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Ruiz spoke with an official despite a language barrier—Ruiz speaks some English, the official did not speak Spanish—and he says that the official gave him two options: Place Emily in a children’s facility in Virginia or send her back to Guatemala with her grandfather, who was being deported.

He chose to keep her with her grandfather. Over the past few days, Emily's story has attracted national media attention and Long Island Congressman Steve Israel has pledged to reunite Emily and her parents, and hold customs officials accountable.

Sign the petition to reunite Emily with her family and demand that the Department of Homeland Security establish clear guidelines to keep this from happening to any other child.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 250 signatures
    2. Emily is home -- reporting by Long Island Wins

    3. How an American Preschooler Ended Up a Deportee in Guatemala

      When Emily Ruiz and her grandfather stepped off a plane near the nation’s capital on March 11, the plan was for the duo to be reunited with family members after months away in Guatemala. Instead, Emily and her grandfather stepped into an...

    4. CNN reports that Emily may be back with her family tomorrow!

    5. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Rebecca Garcia ENTERPRISE, AL
      • over 3 years ago

      This is not right and it just goes to show that the u.s has no heart what so ever.. who are we anymore should we be proud of who we are is this what are men fight for im very sure we some fighting right now that guatemalan but u.s citizens.

    • Ashley VanderHoek SEATTLE, WA
      • over 3 years ago

      Let's not play politics with the life of this beautiful little girl

    • shirley gonzalez AMERICUS, GA
      • over 3 years ago

      Im beyond words. Let the little girl go back with her family. When I was young my father kept me from all the ugliness of the world I understand why now. Im sure she is scared.

    • Debora Gapasin LOS ANGELES, CA
      • over 3 years ago

      The decisions of the customs official to not do the unquestionable right thing by returning Emily immediately to her parents should be arrested for kidnapping and illegal trafficking of a minor to another county. By abusing their authority and issuing her parents a choice of 2 negative options is ungodly. Speaking of God, I can only wonder how they're going to explain this one when St. Peter gives them THEIR CHOICES!

    • Gloria Monroe GRANTS PASS, OR
      • over 3 years ago

      I think our immigration is a little too over zealous..or just plain stupid, is that why they work for the Feds??


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