Demand the Release of 10-Year-Old Rosa Maria Hernandez

Rosa Maria Hernandez isn’t like most 10-year-old girls. Hernandez was born with cerebral palsy, a disorder of the developing brain that causes muscle impairment, loss of control and,áin some cases, confinement to a wheelchair. Hernandez also has developmental delays, with the mental capacities of a child half her age, according to some reports.

But she does have one thing in common with so many other children: parents who would do anything to see their child grow and thrive to the best of their ability.

Andáit’s for that reason that her parents brought her just across the U.S.-Mexico border to the town of Laredo, Texas, as an infant. They simply hoped thatátheir daughter could access high quality medical care — but now, 10 years later,áthe U.S.áhealth care system has ripped Rosa Maria from her parents.

Officials have placed the girl in a detention center usually reserved for undocumented and unaccompanied minors who just entered the country, andánow theyáthreaten to send her back to Mexico –áall because she had to travel further into Texas for emergency gall bladder surgery. Immigration agents seizedáRosa Mariaáwhile she recovered in a Corpus Christi hospital afteráidentifyingáher as undocumented in a checkpoint stop.

Thisácase shows just how extreme immigration policy has become under the oversight of Republican President Donald Trump. Under Democratic President Barack Obama, detention and deportation was primarily reserved for those undocumented immigrants in the country who had been arrested and proven to be criminal or violent — mostly older males.

President Obama also signedáan executive order to allow those brought into the country as children the ability to move freely, enroll in school, obtain jobs and otherwise live in the U.S. without fear of deportation, recognizing that children could not be held responsible for their parents’ acts — and that many of them didn’t remember or even know their countries of origin.

With President Trump, however, non-violent undocumented immigrants are just as much of a target as those who commit criminal or violent acts — and that includes mothers and their children.

“It’s unusual for federal agents to detain a child already living in the United States, especially one with a medical condition, experts say. Under Barack Obama, immigration agents were ordered to target high-priority immigrants such as violent criminals, and, for the most part, left everyone else alone. But President Donald Trump has ordered federal agents to move more aggressively to deport people living in the country illegally — including those without criminal records,” the Denver Post reports, “Immigration arrests rose 32.6 percent during the first weeks of the Trump administration, with federal agents intensifying their pursuit of not just undocumented immigrants with criminal records, but also the thousands of people living in the country illegally who have been otherwise law-abiding.”

And those who are ill or who have special needs — or who are caring for family membersáwitháthese conditions — aren’t exempt, either. Noel Lopez-Reyes, an undocumented man who hasálived in the U.S. for over two decades after fleeing Guatemala during a civil war, has been held for detention and deportation by agents determined to return him to his home country. And that’s despite the fact thatáLopez-Reyes is currently caring forátwo small children with physical disabilities.áHisádeportation has now been put on hold for eight months, so he can pursue other ways to stay in the country.

Immigration advocates and civil rights groups worry that this excessively aggressive approach to deportation could leave many families facing the most difficult of decisions: seek out medical care, knowing it puts families at risk of being torn apart, or leave undocumented family members sick and suffering, unable to access any health care at all. It is a literal life or death decision, and one no family should have to face.

The ACLU is suingáfor Rosa Maria Hernandez to be released fromáthe shelter and returnedáto her family. And it’sáa demand that we all should make. After all, is this reallyáthe “land of the free”áif we are willing to lock up those who arrive here simply because they want a chance to live?

Take Action!

Demand that Rosa Maria Hernandez be released and allowed to remain in the U.S. by signing this Care2 petition.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

52 comments

Paulo R
Paulo R4 days ago

signed,shared

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Paulo R
Paulo R4 days ago

signed, shared

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Paulo R
Paulo R4 days ago

signed, shared

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Christina M
Christina M11 days ago

petition signed

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donald B

Signed!!!

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Marija M
Marija M15 days ago

Hope you are right Joan.

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Joan E
Joan E15 days ago

Glad this story has a happy ending. She can rejoin her family.

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Mike R
Mike R15 days ago

Petition signed

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Mike R
Mike R15 days ago

Petition signed

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Ellie M
Ellie M16 days ago

ty

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