Stolen Babies? Controversy in Missouri

Undocumented immigrants are separated from their children and then deported.
5:59 | 02/01/12

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Transcript for Stolen Babies? Controversy in Missouri
Crossing the line in search -- a better life it's one of mankind's oldest stories in America. Immigration is behind one of today's fiercest debates but tonight we bring his story. That transcends the argument with a five year old boy whose mother broke America's rules. Only to undergo -- -- for separation the broker hearts and there may be thousands of invisible case is just like it. Tonight ABC's Brian Ross investigates Brian. Bill this is a heartbreaking story -- -- -- five year old boy in Missouri has ended up in the middle of a Tug of war over who his parents should be. A Tug of war triggered by this country's crackdown on illegal immigration. And the subject of an ABC news investigation. Conducted with five journalism graduate students assigned to work with us as Carnegie felt its. His name is now Jamison. Put up for adoption to Melinda and -- moser of Carthage Missouri after a judge there ruled his birth mother had abandoned him. That he would be better off with the molesters. -- cannot love him more. -- he -- out of -- physically but now the adoption is being challenged next month the Moses will face the prospect in court. Of losing their five year old son. Who they say knows only one mommy and daddy tried to do everything that we can you raise our boy as her and her son and he's he's our son. Day. It is a sad story but not just for the -- this is -- and dozens biological -- On -- on by -- ruled that a native of Guatemala who says she wants her son back the son she named harmless or -- -- -- There -- missing people. And the -- feel my love as the month that a -- -- those am the mother of -- -- -- in many for him to be with me soon. It's been four and a half years since her Carlos was taken away from her and put up for adoption against her will she -- -- calling me old. I never gave my consent for the boy to be adopt it. I couldn't give the adoption. Even though was going to be deported back to my country. I wanted to go by what my son -- what a -- Even though she now lives in the same town just blocks away she is not permitted to see him while the case is pending. I start crying and get sad because he's not with me I need him with me -- The last time she saw countless as the day she was arrested. -- federal immigration raid at this Missouri poultry -- And ended up helpless in the federal prison 900 miles away. Pulled his year old boy and Saturday to last for helping NASA luckily due to find out what a nice some kind -- -- -- -- -- medical help me because I don't speak English. The judge ruled her incarceration amounted to abandon. And terminated her parental rights because she failed to maintained regular visitation or contact with her son. A difficult task from behind bars in a factor lawyers say. And -- -- -- punishment for coming to work in America illegally was to have her son taken away. Regardless as to whether how you feel about immigration. This country protects. Family writes. And immigration in itself is not a reason to terminate parental rights. Yet with the growing number of illegal workers being held at the eighteen federal detention centers around the country. Human rights groups say thousands of families being torn apart by similar ruling -- And -- creating a collateral consequence. In which thousands of children are ripped away from their family -- with no real process for being reunited. When parents are detained often -- far away without notice their children appear to local judges to be abandoned. With the parents on able to respond. Both immigration systems and the child welfare systems whether they intend to are not. Are participating. In a process that separates -- from their families. Quite often forever. Jamison -- Carlos is just one of the estimated 5100. Children in 22 states who were put in Foster care or adopted. While their parents were detained or deported. Is -- a federal requirement and some of those detained that they have children special -- -- in. There's no fat troll. Requirement. To the agents just ignore that. As it does not affect some will pay attention to -- others won't others say the blame belongs to the parents. Come into this country illegally in the first place. That is in the nature of what happens when parents break the law they undertake certain amount of risk they're going to be consequences in the case of an Ganassi the judge concluded that smuggling herself into the country illegally. Is not a lifestyle that can provide any stability for a child. But he apparently ignored would -- an us against lawyers call. The serious criminal history and drug use as a teenager of -- adoptive father south moser. -- and his lawyers declined to be interviewed by ABC news but have said that moser has overcome his criminal past. Yeah as for the judge David Dolly he told ABC news he stands by his ruling obviously about -- -- But the Missouri Supreme Court has overruled judge Delhi calling his decision a travesty of justice. For now Encarnacion. Has been allowed to stay in the US so she can go to court. Fight for the return of the son she -- not seen in four and a half years. Yet I think I'm thankful he's in good hands. Best and -- -- mother I need him to be with me because I'm -- -- -- The fate of Jamison or Carlos will be decided in a new trial set to Begin February 28 the necessary. Different judges been assigned to the case and advocates on both sides of the immigration debate are weighing in. -- a difficult decision that will shape this little boy's life.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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