10-year-old at center of immigration fight to remain in federal custody

United States District Judge Fred Biery made ruling on Thursday

SAN ANTONIO – A federal judge in San Antonio has cancelled a hearing for next week and rejected a request to allow 10-year-old Rosa Maria Hernandez, an illegal immigrant suffering from cerebral palsy, to be released from Border Patrol detention.

Rosa Maria Hernandez has lived in the United States since she was 3 months old, and was traveling from Driscoll’s Children Hospital in Laredo to their Corpus Christi location for a medical procedure when she crossed a Customs and Border Protection checkpoint.


Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents escorted Hernandez and a family member — who they say is also in the country illegally — to Corpus Christi, where she was allowed to undergo surgery.

United States District Judge Fred Biery in his latest ruling said that "while the court has great empathy for Rosa Maria Hernandez, and her mother, the law does not allow the court to pick and choose the application of legal standards based on empathy."

Biery said that to the court it appears that Rosa Maria Hernandez and her mother, Felipa De La Cruz, came into the U.S. illegally and that the court is not satisfied at this time that the public interest would not be impaired if the immigration laws are not enforced or enforced only selectively.

NATIONAL: Boy with cancer asks for cards to celebrate his 'last Christmas'

Biery also wrote that he wants to know from the government why Felipa De La Cruz,  RosaMaria's mother, has not been apprehended herself and subject to the same deportation procedures that are underway for Rosa Maria Hernandez.

It is the judge's belief that mother and daughter could then successfully be reunited elsewhere.

About the Author:

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.