Rosamaria Hernandez is a 10-year-old undocumented immigrant living in Texas. Early Tuesday morning, Hernandez was being transported from her hometown in Laredo, Texas to Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi for emergency gallbladder surgery, according to The New York Times. Despite not crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, the ambulance transporting Hernandez had to go through a border checkpoint. Border Patrol agents allowed the ambulance to continue to the hospital but followed the ambulance to Corpus Christi. Hernandez was detained by the Border Patrol on Wednesday evening, according to The New York Times.
According to a petition on DreamActivist.Org, Border Patrol agents waited in the hospital for Hernandez to recover enough from surgery to be detained. Hernandez, who was brought to Texas when she was 3 months old, is being held in San Antonio. Hernandez’s mother told The New York Times that they came to the U.S. to get her daughter better treatment for her cerebral palsy. Hernandez, whose parents remain in Laredo, is being detained more than 150 miles away from her parents.
Aurora Cantu, Hernandez’s cousin, was riding in the ambulance with the 10-year-old. Cantu told The New York Times that Border Patrol agents tried relentlessly to convince her family to sign a voluntary departure form. The family refused. Immigration officials decided to wait for Hernandez to recover so she could be detained.
“I understand that C.B.P. has a tremendous duty to protect our nation,” Representative Henry Cuellar, who represents Laredo, said in a statement, reported The New York Times. “We should be devoting our resources and focus on bigger threats.”
This is not the first time undocumented families have had issues accessing this children’s hospital. Last month, two undocumented parents were transporting their child from Harlingen, Texas to the same hospital in Corpus Christi for life-saving surgery. Border Patrol officials followed the family to the hospital and detained the parents in Corpus Christi while the child, who is a U.S. citizen, awaited surgery.
Read the full story on The New York Times by clicking here.
READ: The Undocumented Parents Of A Very Sick Baby Willingly Let Themselves Be Arrested By Border Patrol To Save His Life