One of the most popular stories at Yahoo! News on Monday featured Daisy Cuevas, the Peruvian girl who told Michelle Obama her mother was an illegal immigrant. In a story with no space for border-enforcers, AP reporter Carla Salazar relayed that the girl is famous in Peru, and Peru's president sounds just like Mexico's president in lecturing Arizona:
Daisy, meanwhile, has become a celebrity in Peru. "I'm really proud that a young girl of Peruvian origin is highlighting the enormous problem with Latin American immigration in the United States," President Alan Garcia told reporters last week.
He said it would be scandalous if her parents were deported. "Do you know how much President Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama would stand to lose?" he said. Garcia called the Arizona law a "completely irrational response" to the illegal-immigration question, and said he would express his thoughts on the matter to President Obama during his visit to Washington.
Team Obama was very explicit that Daisy's family had nothing to fear from federal officials after the girl spilled the beans in a Silver Spring, Maryland grade school:
These are tense times for people like Daisy's mother, a maid who arrived in the United States with her carpenter husband when she was two months pregnant with Daisy.
Daisy's parents are fearful of U.S. anti-immigrant sentiment, which for many Latin Americans is epitomized by an Arizona law taking effect in July that gives police the right to demand ID papers of anyone suspected of being in the country illegally.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has said it is not pursuing Daisy's parents. Immigration investigations, it said in a statement, "are based on making sure the law is followed and not on a question-and-answer discussion in a classroom."
Nonetheless, Daisy's mother asked the AP after the May 19 incident not to name her or her husband.
The AP story ends on a sad note, on the daughter left behind in Peru:
While Daisy has automatic U.S. citizenship and lives full time with her parents, her 9-year-old sister, July, has not been so lucky. July was left behind with her grandparents when her parents moved to the United States to escape poverty.
The two sisters met for the first time last year when Daisy spent a month visiting her grandparents in the working-class San Juan de Lurigancho district of Lima.
But July misses her parents, who are unlikely to visit Peru because of their illegal status in the U.S. July has only seen them in photographs and in video chats with a webcam.
"She cries," [grandfather Genaro] Juica said.