10-year-old’s Detention ‘Shows a Stunning Lack of Compassion’

Communications Associate

October 27, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rosamaria Hernandez, 10, is alone in immigration detention following her arrest at a Texas hospital where she had just undergone emergency gallbladder surgery.

“Let that sink in,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum.

Rosamaria has cerebral palsy. Early Tuesday, as an ambulance sped toward Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas, from the girl’s home in Laredo, it was stopped at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection checkpoint. Agents then traveled with the ambulance to the hospital and waited through the surgery. When Rosamaria was medically cleared, they took her into custody.

Rosamaria has been in the U.S. since she was 3 months old. Her parents, who also lack legal status, have been in the country for more than 10 years and have no criminal record.

“Detaining a 10-year-old at a hospital shows a stunning lack of compassion. The Trump administration’s effort to deport her is a stunning moral failing,” Noorani said. “Everyone should be asking the administration: Why is Rosamaria a priority?

“When candidate Trump spoke of ‘bad hombres,’ no one pictured a 10-year-old girl separated from her parents and in line for deportation after a hospital stay. America is better than this.

“Congress should demand answers from the White House and the Department of Homeland Security. Priorities that adhere to our values should be a central focus of the confirmation hearings for the Homeland Security secretary.”