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Los Angeles High School of the Arts

How Rosa María Hernández is changing views on illegal immigrants

On Oct. 25, 10-year-old Rosa María Hernández was detained by border patrol after receiving an emergency operation she traveled more than 140 miles for because she was undocumented. On this day, a burst of articles, videos, and conversations began. People across the nation began to question our current immigration policies and fighting back for this young girl.

Hernandez was born in Mexico with cerebral palsy. Seeking better treatment for their daughter, her parents brought her to America illegally and have lived in Texas since she was 3 months old.

When Hernandez needed emergency gallbladder surgery, she was transferred in an ambulance from her home city of Laredo, Texas to Driscoll’s Children hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers stopped the ambulance at a checkpoint and began to follow it to the hospital after discovering that Hernandez was undocumented.

Although her doctors advised that she be released to a family member who knows about her special needs, border patrol took her to a shelter in San Antonio after she was released from the hospital.

Hernandez’s story brings to light the flaws in our nation’s immigration policies. People around the world have been speaking up for this young girl and advocating for her stay in the U.S.

Numerous government officials have also joined the conversation, pointing out that the purpose of our immigration laws is to protect America from dangerous terrorists and criminals, not to deny a 10-year-old girl the vital medical treatment that she struggled to find in Mexico.

Hernandez has been released back to her family, but her fate is still unknown. As legal debate over whether she can stay in the United States continues, the larger topic of immigration lingers in the air.