The U.S. government released from custody a 10-year-old Mexican girl with cerebral palsy on Friday, the American Civil Liberties Union said, 10 days after the ambulance taking her to surgery in Texas was stopped at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint.
The decision from Immigration and Customs Enforcement came one day after a federal judge in San Antonio refused to force officials to release Rosa Maria Hernandez from a detention center for unaccompanied minors. Rosa Maria was then transported to a shelter in San Antonio operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement on October 25, which typically houses undocumented children who arrive in the United States without their parents or a guardian - but Rosa Maria has lived in Laredo, Texas with her parents since she was three months old.
Cantu explained Hernandez needed an operation and that the 10-year-old doesn't carry ID, when Border Patrol agents said they would follow the pair to the hospital and begin to process her for deportation following the surgery.
Rosa Maria was intercepted Tuesday morning by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents while she and her cousin, a U.S. citizen, were being taken by ambulance from Laredo to Corpus Christi, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
The ACLU sued the government on Rosa Maria's behalf Tuesday, argued that the USA government violated federal law on unaccompanied minors and endangered Rosa Maria's health by not sending her home.
After she was release, the girl was reportedly taken to a facility in San Antonio for migrant children who come to the US alone.
"I continue to call for Rosa Maria's case to be administratively closed". Tan said Friday that Border Patrol agents had issued Rosa Maria a notice to appear in immigration court, but that the case had yet to move forward. An activist with the Workers Defense Action Fund also confirmed her release.
Federal immigration authorities have faced strong criticism from advocates and some Texas Democratic congressmen over their handling of the case. "Due to the juvenile's medical condition, border patrol agents escorted her and her cousin to a Corpus Christi hospital where she could receive appropriate medical care".
Agents allowed the ambulance to continue to the hospital under police supervision and armed officers waited near her bedside and detained her when she awoke, family members told United States media.
"Once medically cleared, she will be processed accordingly", the statement said.
"They're treating her like a hardened convict", Castro said.