Judge places illegal immigrant's child in foster care

ST. LOUIS

A little boy and his mother are at the center of a raging debate about undocumented immigration. A debate leaving a community divided.

The case centers on a judge in Missouri who ruled that because one mother was undocumented, she was putting her son at risk, so he ruled to take him out of her custody, and he was later placed up for adoption. 

The mother, who is a native of Guatemala, lost her son after being arrested five-years ago in a federal immigration raid at a Missouri poultry plant.

The mother ended up helpless in a federal custody battle after her son was adopted by a couple in Missouri. 

The woman said no one could help her because she couldn't speak English. 

 Judge David Dally, who made the ruling, said he terminated her parental rights because"illegally smuggling herself into the country is not a lifestyle that can provide stability for a child."  Now this story is gaining national attention after it was revealed through an extensive ABC World News investigation. 

The woman now has the help of an immigration attorney but this case is shedding light on a huge problem that's growing in the U.S., where over 5,000 children are placed in foster care while their parents, who are illegal's, are either detained or deported.

One lawyer for the Mexican and Guatemalan government says the U.S. is sending an ugly message to Latin Americans over custody cases like this one.

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