A 10-year-old undocumented immigrant with cerebral palsy has been held in the custody of US Border Patrol, after agents were alerted to her status while she was enroute to a children’s hospital for emergency surgery.
For more than 24 hours, Border Patrol agents took shifts outside of RosaMaria Hernandez’s hospital room on the seventh floor of the Driscoll Children’s hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas, with her family saying that they are facing demands to sign a voluntary departure form that would send her back to her native Mexico — a country that she has not lived in since she was three months old when her family moved illegally to the United States — with it being the only way to keep her from spending weeks or longer in a detention centre. She was later taken to a children’s shelter, where unaccompanied minors are frequently housed while their cases are pending.
“This kind of case puts exactly the reason why we are organizing,” Priscila Martinez, the Texas immigration coalition coordinator with the Worker’s Defense Action Fund, said. Ms Martinez has been working with the family to organize protests, hoping to get relief for RosaMaria and her family. “We think this is completely unacceptable.”
Rosamaria’s path into Border Patrol custody began early Tuesday morning at 2am in the Driscoll Children’s hospital in Laredo, Texas, where doctors told her parents that their daughter needed emergency gall bladder surgery at a sister hospital in Corpus Christi — nearly 150 miles to the east.