Undocumented immigrants are not necessarily big news but what these agents learned about Amaya was surprising. Initially, Amaya indicated he was a Mexican citizen but later they learned his father had abducted him from his mother and the home they shared in Chicago when David was a toddler.
Agent Troy Matthews said there was something intriguing about the man’s story and they decided to check it out. In doing so, they discovered Amaya’s birth certificate issued out of Chicago and through that they were able to locate his mother.
Matthews said when they got the call, they were stunned. The voice on the other end of the line said Amaya’s story was true and that his mother had been looking for him for the past 30 years. When they broke the news to Amaya, Matthews described the man as being visibly overwhelmed with emotion.
Amaya looked from face to face, trying to make eye contact and verify that what he was hearing was true. As the realization settled on him, Amaya put his head in his hands and wept. Matthews said everyone present teared up as well.
Working with a translator, Amaya explained that his father had told him he had been abandoned as a baby, that is mother had left him. His mother heard this and replied that it wasn’t true. She asked that the interpreter explain it wasn’t true, that she had been looking for him.
The agents at the Imperial Beach Border Patrol were so moved by the man’s story that they started a collection box on his behalf. Amaya was called in to receive a donation of about $200 to help him make the trip to see his mother for the first time in 30 years.