Girl pulled from canal is Juarez 5-year-old; father missing
I hate stories like this. I tried to avoid reading it.
Little Eva’s father had a plan.
He had a U.S. residency card, but the rest of his family, who live in Juarez, didn’t have the proper paperwork to enter the U.S. legally, according to officials with the Mexican Consulate in El Paso.
So, on Monday he decided they would make the move to the U.S. as a family.
First, it would be just he and his daughter, Eva Jaredzi Beltran-Aguilar, 5, crossing over. They knew they were crossing illegally. The rest of the family, including his wife, Edith Aguilar, and their two young sons, would follow later, according to consulate officials who have interviewed Eva’s mother.
Later Wednesday, a friend in El Paso called Edith Aguilar and suggested to her that she try and get information about her husband and daughter from U.S. Customs and Border Inspection officers at the Paso Del Norte Bridge, police said.
Soon she was speaking with detectives with the police department’s Crimes Against Persons Unit. She brought up Eva’s photo on her cell phone and showed it to detectives, and they showed her the dress they took from Eva’s body, police said.
Aguilar burst into tears, confirming Eva’s identity.
Eva’s father has not been seen or heard from since Monday. His name has not been released either.
Iliana Holguin, executive director of the Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services in El Paso, said Eva’s story is one example of the risks immigrants take daily in hopes of a better life.
“I think most of us in the U.S. take for granted the horrible conditions people in other countries have to face,” Holguin said. “When people are faced with the possibility of not feeding their children, they’ll do whatever it takes, even it it means breaking immigration laws.”
Holguin said although Eva’s father had documents to enter the U.S. legally and could have filed immigrant petitions on behalf of the rest of his family, it would have taken about 20 years for the family to be reunited.
“With every death that occurs, it’s a greater indication of the need for revamping our laws,” Holguin said. “The entire topic has become so divisive and controversial, many times our lawmakers can’t even get past the rhetoric to look at the rational was the laws should be changed.”
Police released a photo of the dress of a girl who died Tuesday at University Medical Center after she was found in a Central El Paso canal. (El Paso Police Department)