The case of American teenager Luis Martinez and his younger sister, who were taken to Mexico by their grandmother, was not one of children adrift because their parents had been deported. This is the story of a U.S. citizen who, when her husband was deported, took her young grandchildren — U.S. citizens both — to a country where they lacked basic survival skills.
This resulted in having to smuggle those children through a desert to return them to their country of origin, where they received assistance from the Mormon Church as well as disability benefits, the same things the grandmother probably would have received had she kept them all in Utah.
Ultimately this is a story of poor parental judgment.
There is no reason for Luis Martinez, his sister and his grandmother to be going between Mexico and the U.S. They are citizens, and Utah’s apparent failure to provide social services is disgraceful.
Utah offers kinship care to grandparents to care for grandchildren who have a parent who is incapable of raising the children, the exact situation of Luis and his sister. They should have had social workers appointed when their mother went to jail.
Utah has an obligation to provide Luis and his sister the social services they are entitled to.