Peru officials seek girl who questioned first lady - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Peru officials seek girl who questioned first lady

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First lady Michelle Obama, right, talks with students, including the second-grader, far left, who told Obama during the first lady's visit to her gym class that her mother said President Obama was "taking everybody away that doesn't have papers." First lady Michelle Obama, right, talks with students, including the second-grader, far left, who told Obama during the first lady's visit to her gym class that her mother said President Obama was "taking everybody away that doesn't have papers."

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland (AP) — Peruvian officials in the U.S. were seeking the family of a second-grader who told first lady Michelle Obama that her mother "doesn't have papers," so they can help them with documentation from their home country, a consulate official said Wednesday.

The 7-year-old told the first lady during a visit last week to New Hampshire Estates Elementary School in the Washington, D.C., suburbs that her mother had said President Obama was "taking everybody away that doesn't have papers." The girl then added that her mother "doesn't have papers."

Mrs. Obama tried to reassure her that the president was working to solve the immigration problem and "everybody's got to work together in Congress to make sure that that happens."

Consul General Cesar Jordan in Washington said the girl's parents are Peruvian and their national identification and passports have expired. He said consulate officials learned the girl's nationality after Peruvian media ran stories featuring interviews with the girl's grandfather.

Jordan said he has visited several homes and reached out to immigrant advocacy groups, Catholic organizations and the girl's school to find her, but the family has not yet contacted the consulate.

"If the family has any problem with their legal situation in the States, any help or any travel would be more difficult because of the expired documents," Jordan said. He said he could also offer consular protection to the girl and her parents, although a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said last week that federal immigration officials are not pursuing the family.

"We want to be sure their migratory paperwork is treated in a fair way with equal opportunities and be sure they don't have any problems or harassment," Jordan said.

Peruvian President Alan Garcia, who is scheduled to meet President Barack Obama next week in Washington, has been quoted in Spanish-language publications saying he was "full of pride" that it was a girl of Peruvian descent who highlighted immigration problems in the United States.

 

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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