U.S. frees 10-year-old undocumented immigrant with cerebral palsy


Rosa Maria Hernandez, 10, was detained by federal immigration brokers in Texas after she handed by means of a Border Patrol checkpoint on her solution to a hospital to endure surgical procedure. (Courtesy of Agustina Arroyo)

Federal officers on Friday launched a 10-year-old woman with cerebral palsy who was detained in Texas Oct. 25 after present process surgical procedure as a result of she was an undocumented immigrant touring with out her mother and father.

Rosa Maria Hernandez was transported from a federally funded shelter in San Antonio, the place she had been held for 10 days, to her household’s residence 150 miles south within the border metropolis of Laredo. She was born in Mexico, however has lived in Texas since she was three months outdated.

“I am incredibly happy that she’s going to be reunited with her mother and the rest of her family,” mentioned Andre Segura, authorized director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, which filed a lawsuit looking for her launch this week. “The family is obviously very excited to have her back.”

The woman’s case sparked nationwide outcry from members of Congress, physicians and attorneys who urged the federal government to let her go. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) referred to as on the Senate Judiciary Committee to carry a listening to and even celebrities bought concerned, resembling Tony-award-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, who tweeted #FreeRosa.

On Friday, as federal workers drove her residence, advocates cheered the federal government’s choice and referred to as on the Trump administration to drop any plans it could nonetheless need to deport the woman.

Her attorneys mentioned Rosa Maria has been served with a discover that she may face deportation however expenses haven’t been formally filed in immigration court docket.

“This family has gone through enough,” mentioned Michael Tan, a workers legal professional with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “It is the most outrageous case I have ever worked on.”

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.) additionally urged the Trump administration to drop her case, saying, “The United States should not be a place where children seeking life-sustaining medical care are at risk of apprehension.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which handles the fees, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark late Friday.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services additionally declined to remark. The company oversees the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which cares for unaccompanied minors and arranges their launch to folks or guardians.

The episode started within the early morning of Oct. 24, when Rosa Maria left her Laredo residence in an ambulance to move to a scheduled gall bladder operation at a hospital in Corpus Christi.

Her mom, Felipa de la Cruz, who can also be undocumented, didn’t accompany her daughter as a result of she feared being detained at a Border Patrol checkpoint a number of miles inland. Instead, she signed paperwork authorizing a U.S. citizen cousin to journey with the kid.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers screened the automobile on the checkpoint and found that Rosa Maria was undocumented. They mentioned federal regulation required them to take her into custody as a result of she was undocumented and with out her mother and father.

Border brokers trailed her to the hospital, guarded her through the surgical procedure after which took her into custody. The brokers then turned her over to the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

While she was on the shelter, Tan mentioned, the woman’s mother and father instructed her she was in a hospital, to keep away from scary her with the prospect of deportation. She has the cognitive capability of a 6-year-old baby, and had by no means been away from her household earlier than.

Still, throughout a go to together with her father, Tan mentioned, the woman burst into tears and pointed to the therapeutic wound from her operation and requested why she couldn’t go residence.

“She’s profoundly traumatized,” Tan mentioned.

Lawyers and advocates argued that the federal government shouldn’t have detained Rosa Maria as a result of she had a household — mother and father and two sisters — in Laredo.

The case marked the second time in a month that the ACLU had sued the federal authorities over an undocumented minor in federal custody. Earlier, the group represented a pregnant 17-year-old who had been blocked from acquiring an abortion whereas in a government-funded shelter. The D.C. appeals court docket ordered the federal government to let her have the process.

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