When Oscar and Irma Sanchez learned that their 2-month-old child needed urgent, life-saving surgery, they hesitated. Not because it was costly, but because they are undocumented. The Sanchez family knew they would have to drive through a border checkpoint to get their child from a Harlingen, Texas hospital to Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas, according to NPR. With no other option left to save their child, the Sanchezes, with urging from the hospital staff, made the decision to go to Corpus Christi.
According to a statement from Border Patrol to NPR, a hospital staff member called the Border Patrol and alerted them about a child in need of urgent surgery with undocumented parents that would have to cross a border checkpoint. Soon, Border Patrol agents arrived at the Harlingen hospital and escorted the couple to Driscoll. NPR reports that while waiting for the child to have surgery, the couple was taken to a Border Patrol station to be fingerprinted and booked as part of the detention. The Border Patrol told NPR that they allowed one parent to be with the child while the other was processed. Both parents will face deportation proceedings.
“You feel vulnerable,” Oscar told NPR about how the agents followed he and his wife everywhere they went in the hospital. “We didn’t know if they were going to let us stay with our son or not.”
The Border Patrol praised its agents for helping save a baby’s life.
“CBP was notified by the Harlingen hospital that there was a child with undocumented parents in need of urgent medical care and that the family would have to go through a checkpoint to the Corpus Christi hospital,” Manny Padilla, the chief of the Rio Grande Valley sector of the Border Patrol, told NPR. “To get the child to the care it urgently needed, Border Patrol agents did everything in their power to assist the family, including escorting the ambulance, unimpeded, through the checkpoint.”
You can read the full story from NPR by tapping here.