Seeking Justice for Mexican-American Girl

In memoriam: Reyna Candia, right, the mother of 4-year-old Luz Gonzalez, and the girl’s father chose not to attend their daughter’s funeral in Mexico due to fears they would be stopped at the border amid the crack down on immigration under President Donald Trump, according to Gonzalez’s godmother Fabiola Mendieta, left. (Photo by Stefano Giovannini via Brooklyn paper)

The parents of a four year old girl who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Bushwick last month sent her body to Mexico for burial and decided not to accompany her, for fear of not being able to return to the U.S., writes Julianne Cuba in Brooklyn Paper.

Young Luz Gonzalez’s godmother said the White House’s crackdown on immigration led her parents — who she said are not citizens like their American-born daughter, but are working to apply for green cards — to forgo attending her July 3 burial, and instead fly her corpse to the Latin American nation alone and hold a commemorative service in Kings County that same week.

“Right now, with the president we have, it’s hard for anyone to leave the country and try to come back,” said Fabiola Mendieta.

While the driver was stopped after the hit-and-run on June 28, she was not arrested or charged, and family and friends of the young victim are seeking justice on her behalf. That’s one reason why they declined to go to Mexico.

Deciding to stay in Brooklyn while their daughter was laid to rest in their Mexican hometown — where one of Gonzalez’s four brothers, grandparents, and other kin still live, according to Mendieta — was heart-wrenching for the dad, who works at a local business, and stay-at-home mom, according to the godmother.

But the parents, who Mendieta claimed have been questioned about their immigration status before, ultimately chose to stay because going would have likely meant they couldn’t return for months — forcing them to abandon their attempts to seek justice for their little girl, she said.

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