On June 17, 2004, "Baby Girl Doe" was born in a Salinas, CA. lettuce field.
Let the above sentence serve as your alert that a sad story follows. Proceed only if you have a strong stomach.
The mother, a 17-year old Mexican Indian girl who had recently arrived from Oaxaca abandoned her 3.5-pound infant in a portable toilet adjacent to the field where she worked. When nearby workers heard the child's cries, they found her floating face up in waste.
"Baby Girl Doe," seven weeks premature, was first taken to Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital. When the Director of the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit, Dr. David Kasting measured her temperature at 80.5 degrees, he feared brain damage.
"In all my years, I have never seen a newborn this cold,'' he said. [Baby found in portable toilet Mom, 17 Arrested In Salinas Valley, Monterey County Herald, Jun. 18, 2004]
Dolores Cruz, the mother's 20-year-old sister, said she had no idea the teenager was pregnant. Cruz ,married and with a child of her own, said the teen had completed junior high school in Mexico. Beyond that, Cruz stated she knew little more about her sister.
The mother, described by United Farm Workers union organizer Juan Moran as "a little slow," received care at the Navidad Medical Center in Salinas for nearly a month. When released, she was charged in juvenile court with attempted murder, child abandonment and child endangerment.
The Monterey County District Attorney's Office chose not to prosecute her as an adult although it has that option.
Two Salinas lawyers, Blanca Zarazua and Miguel Hernandez, will represent the mother at her August 9th trial. Zarazua is honorary consul for the Mexican government. Lideres Campesinas, an advocacy group, is also assisting.
Santa Clara County Assistant District Attorney Karyn Sinunu told me in an interview that these tragic cases are not uncommon.
"Child abandonment falls into three general categories: the cheerleader types who cannot face their parents, the mentally ill and the illegal immigrants who are completely at a loss."
According to Sinunu, during the three-week period leading up to the Salinas incident, Santa Clara County officials uncovered two more grisly cases involving illegal aliens and their children:
A cruel irony in the Baby Girl Doe case is that the mother, under the California "Safely Surrendered Baby" law enacted in 2001, could have dropped off her baby—no questions asked—at a hospital or firehouse.
So far, however, word about the legal option is slow getting out. Since 2001, 56 newborns have been anonymously dropped at hospitals. But, 115 babies have been found abandoned—24 of them dead.
And because it was easy for this unenlightened teen—who may already have been pregnant— to cross the border and get a job, the American taxpayers absorb the financial and social consequences of her misjudgments.
But I learned that there may be even more taxpayer expense involved.
Penny Blake, who works for child support services in the Santa Clara District Attorney's office, told me that in abandonment cases, her unit is motivated first and foremost by the goal to reunify the child with a family member.
And, according to Blake, in cases like "Baby Girl Doe" where no family is nearby (illegal aliens are not allowed to adopt) that may mean that social workers will travel to Mexico to interview immediate family to evaluate them as prospective parents—again, at taxpayer expense.
In this column, I've reported three incidents involving criminal behavior by illegal aliens that took place within a 30-day period in a small 75-mile radius in Central California.
But similar crimes go on every day throughout the nation.
I wish for a happy ending for everyone involved in the Baby Girl Doe case.
And I salute the tireless efforts made by social workers and medical care providers.
After nearly five years as President of Mexico, Fox has done nothing to improve the lot of Mexicans. So, the young and the old, the healthy and the sick, come north to take advantage of America's largess. If only Fox spent as much time in Mexico helping his own people as he did in the U.S. advocating for his citizens, maybe Baby Girl Doe's mother would have stayed home to find work.
And Bush, despite all evidence that it is imperative, refuses to seal our borders.
Bush remains blind to the harsh realities of cases like Baby Girl Doe and her mother.
He leaves it to the rest of America to deal with that.
Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.