Release 10-Year-Old Rosa Maria

Rosa Maria was taken by border patrol after seeking medical care. Call the Office of Refugee Resettlement today and demand they release her back to her family immediately.

On Tuesday, October 24, 10-year-old Rosa Maria Hernandez was en route to an emergency gallbladder surgery when the ambulance carrying her was stopped at an immigration checkpoint.

Rather than simply allowing the ambulance to proceed, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol sent vehicles to follow Rosa Maria to the hospital, 80 miles away, and camped outside of her room until she was discharged. Border Patrol took Rosa Maria into custody and referred her to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, separating her from her parents and family members. Currently, Rosa Maria is jailed in a federal facility for kids, alone, and could be detained for weeks without being able to see her parents.

Border Patrol needs to immediately address and change their policies regarding checkpoints for people seeking medical attention. Hospitals are considered sensitive locations under the Department of Homeland Security’s own policy, and Border Patrol agents should not be arresting people at them – especially at a children’s facility.

Border Patrol’s decision to target a young girl at a children’s hospital is unconscionable and threatens to keep parents and sick children from seeking the health care they need if such practices are allowed.

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