Grandparents of #BabyPerez Refused Custody Based on Immigration Status, Demand DCS Reunite their Family
For immediate release
What: Press Conference Denouncing DCS Discrimination against Undocumented People
When: Thursday, October 22 at 11:00am
Where: Puente Movement office, 1937 W Adams St.
Who: Perez Family, Attorney Jose Saldivar, Puente
Samantha Perez was 15 years old when she was raped, became pregnant, and delivered her baby in secret. In response to a panicked call after the birth, instead of aiding the family, Arizona police arrested Samantha and sent her to an adult prison with a five year sentence for attempted murder and child abuse. Her parents, Baby Perez’s grandparents, are willing and able to take care of their granddaughter but were not given the opportunity. In court proceedings, they were denied custody because of their lack of immigration status.
Olivia Perez, Samantha’s mother, says, “First they took my daughter and then they took my granddaughter away from us. We love them both and feel desperate and discriminated against. It’s been two years since they took our granddaughter away from us and we have had no news or chance to visit with her. We love her very much and know she would be better off with us. If anyone knows where she is, please bring her back to her family.”
Francisca Porchas, from Puente, says, “This isn’t the first time that DCS has taken children from undocumented families, but we are committed to making it the last. DCS blatantly discriminates against undocumented people by taking children from family members because of immigration status. We demand an end to this state-sponsored kidnapping and call on DCS to immediately return Baby Perez to her grandparents.”