Girl with cerebral palsy underwent surgery, then taken away by U.S. Border Patrol
A 10-year-old girl living with cerebral palsy is at risk of deportation from the United States after border agents discovered she was undocumented while she was en route to a children’s hospital for surgery.
Rosamaria Hernandez was born in Mexico but has been living in Texas since she was three months old, according to a GoFundMe page.
On Tuesday, the girl was being transferred via ambulance from a hospital in Laredo, Texas to another hospital in Corpus Christi for emergency gallbladder surgery. U.S border agents then stopped the ambulance at a border patrol check and asked for documents.
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When agents discovered that Hernandez was undocumented, they allowed her to continue to Corpus Christi but followed the ambulance the rest of the way, which was around 128 kilometres.
She was reportedly travelling in the ambulance with a relative who is a U.S. citizen.
After Hernandez underwent surgery, border agents were waiting outside her hospital room so they could take her into custody as soon as she recovered, her mother told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
According to DreamActivist, an immigrant rights group in the U.S., the Border Patrol agents took Hernandez to a shelter for child immigrants in San Antonio, Texas.
Global News reached out to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for comment.
“We encountered her at the checkpoint — and due to her condition, escorted her to the hospital where she could receive appropriate medical care,” a spokesperson said in an email.
“As the law dictates, once medically cleared she will be processed accordingly. The Mexican Consulate has been advised of the situation by Laredo Sector Border Patrol”
Hernandez is currently in the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It’s not known if she will be returned to her family or taken to a government-run shelter for immigrant children.
Joaquin Casto, a Texas congressman, tweeted out about Hernandez and criticized her detainment.
“The Trump administration plans to rip this ailing girl from her family, and ship her off, by herself to a detention center,” he said in a statement. “A small child who just had surgery is not a threat to Texans’ safety or our national security.”
He accused immigration officials of violating their own “sensitive locations” guidelines, which advices against detaining people at hospitals, schools and houses of worship.
The girl’s mother, Felipa De La Cruz, said she brought her family illegally to Laredo when the girl was three months old, seeking better opportunities and medical care
— With files from Reuters
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