Rosamaria Hernandez was traveling by ambulance when agents apprehended her
A 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy is being held in a shelter for immigrant children following emergency gall bladder surgery this week. She is without her mother right now. And she’s at risk for deportation.
The child, Rosamaria Hernandez, was traveling by ambulance from Laredo, which is a Texas border city, to a Corpus Christi hospital for the emergency operation when she was apprehended at a Border Patrol checkpoint, according to HuffPost. Rosamaria is undocumented, but was traveling with a relative who is a US citizen. Agents followed the ambulance 80 miles to the hospital and waited outside of her room as she recovered. The moment she was medically released from the hospital, agents detained her.
Currently, Rosamaria is under the jurisdiction of the US Department of Health and Human Services until a custody determination has been made by an immigration judge, according to The Guardian. She is reportedly receiving adequate medical care, but she is without her mother and could be for several weeks. Her mother, Felipa Delacruz, who also lacks legal immigration status, is in Laredo. Can you imagine how terrifying this must be for her and her young daughter?
— DreamActivist (@DreamAct) October 25, 2017
“Per the immigration laws of the United States, once medically cleared she will be processed accordingly. The Mexican Consulate has been advised of the situation by Laredo Sector Border Patrol,” the agency said in a statement.
An attorney for the family, Alex Galvez, told KRIS-6 News in Corpus Christi that he and the girl’s family had received assurances that she “will not be deported.” However, a hearing has not been scheduled yet.
— Niraj Chokshi (@NirajC) October 26, 2017
Additionally, Galvez said the Department of Homeland Security will conduct a study to determine if Rosamaria can be released to family, according to USA Today. Reportedly, her case has been flagged by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement and will be expedited. We can only hope that she is reunited with her family, especially her mother, as soon as possible.
“The child has never been apart from her mom,” Galvez said. This right here is a gut punch. Where’s the compassion? This child and her mother should not be separated right now.
While it seems like a total nightmare for any parent there does seem to be some hope. Galvez thinks Rosamaria’s case is strong because she is not a flight risk (obviously) and she’s disabled, so he believes she’s not considered “a threat.” Hopefully someone with authority (and a soul) realizes this as well.
This recent case comes on the heels of the Trump administration cracking down on unauthorized immigration. There is chatter among activists that there has been an uptick in the number of arrests in “sensitive” places agents used to avoid like courthouses and medical facilities. Many of the people arrested in these areas don’t even have criminal records.
This is leading many to question what’s really going on here. Democratic state Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa is being vocal in pressing for answers regarding federal immigration officials’ priorities in the case.
“The situation with Rosamaria Hernandez is not uncommon in South Texas or along the Texas-Mexico border. What is uncommon, is the Border Patrol or Immigration Customs Enforcement taking such an interest in a case involving a 10-year-old girl requiring immediate medical attention,” Hinojosa said in an email to the Caller-Times.
“While there is no doubt that we are a country of laws that must be followed, we are also a country with compassion. We have situations where certain discretions must be allowed to protect the rights of a human being.”