A 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy, who has lived in the U.S. since she was 3 months old, is facing deportation to Mexico after being discharged from a Corpus Christi, Texas, children’s hospital where she recently underwent gallbladder surgery.
Rosamaria Hernandez, who is undocumented, was transported to Driscoll Children’s Hospital on Tuesday and followed by Customs and Border Protection agents from a nearby immigration checkpoint, the Caller-Times reported.
The girl’s adult cousin, who is a U.S. citizen, escorted her to the hospital, the paper reported.
A border patrol spokesman told the New York Daily News that the girl and her cousin “approached the primary inspection lane” at a border checkpoint east of Laredo, Texas. Due to her medical condition, “Border patrol agents escorted her and her cousin” to the hospital.
The New York Times reported that the agents waited outside her hospital room until she was released.
“Their orders are to process her,” Leticia Gonzalez, her San Antonio-based associate, told the paper. “At this point, our argument to (immigration agents) is. ‘There is a doctor’s directive, why aren’t you following it?’”
The agency told the newspaper in a statement that the girl’s situation does not make her exempt from enforcement of the law.
The statement reportedly said, “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 Times reported that family members said agents took the girl to a facility in San Antonio, 150 miles away from her home. The Times reported it was “rare, if not unheard-of, for a child already living in the United States to be arrested — particularly one with a serious medical condition.”
U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, said in a tweet that a sick 10-year-old girl should “not be a @dhsgov priority.”