In the chaos that followed, Samantha’s mother called 911 because she saw that her daughter was bleeding. When the paramedics arrived, they immediately called the Arizona Department of Child Safety and the police. Samantha was arrested for attempted murder and DCS took the baby into custody. Olivia and Francisco Perez, Samantha’s parents and the baby’s grandparents, were not given an opportunity to care for the baby, now that they were aware of her existence. As they have said, Samantha is a victim in this situation, but is being unjustly treated as someone who did harm.
The Arizona Department of Child Safety refuses to grant custody to Olivia and Francisco, stating that they were unfit to care for their granddaughter because they and Samantha are undocumented.
In the two years that Samantha has been incarcerated, no one in the family has seen or heard news about the baby. Samantha turns 18 tomorrow, already having served two years of her five year sentence in the adult women’s prison in Perryville, Arizona.
To Arizona Department of Child Safety Director Gregory McKay;
DCS Specialist Bailey Berkheimer, DCS Specialist Kristen Kidd;
Family Advocate Cindy Copp:
I am writing to express my outrage about the treatment of the Perez family and the denial of custody of their granddaughter to Olivia and Francisco Perez (Case #JD527094/F1046879). Baby Perez’s mother Samantha was erroneously charged with attempted murder because of a mistake she made during the traumatic circumstances of her baby’s birth after she had been raped. The baby was uninjured and Samantha’s parents should not be denied the custody of their granddaughter.
During the court proceedings, Samantha’s parents were denied custody on the grounds that they were undocumented, which is blatant and unacceptable prejudice.
Now it has been two years since the Perez family has seen or heard any news of their granddaughter. I’m urging you to grant them immediate visitation rights. This injustice has to stop!
Categories: Deportation Cases, Open Cases
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