The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Texas filed a federal lawsuit seeking to free 10-year-old Rosa Maria Hernandez from government custody and reunite her with her family.

Rosa Maria was en route to gallbladder surgery last week from her home in Laredo, Texas, to Corpus Christi, when she was stopped at an immigration checkpoint. U.S. Border Patrol followed her to the hospital and camped outside her room until she was discharged. Agents then immediately seized Rosa Maria — who was still recovering in her hospital bed — and jailed her miles away in a facility for children, alone and without her parents. They had no warrant.

Rosa Maria is being held in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, in violation of her statutory and constitutional rights. The case, R.M.H. v. Lloyd, was filed in federal district court in San Antonio, Texas. The Office of Refugee Resettlement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection are among the named defendants.

Update (11/3): The federal government released 10-year-old Rosa Maria Hernandez into the care and custody of her family.

Case Updates

Stay Informed