Girl, 10, with cerebral palsy released from ICE custody despite federal ruling

Rep. Joaquin Castro calls ordeal 'traumatizing'

SAN ANTONIO – The attorney for Rosa Maria Hernandez, an illegal immigrant with cerebral palsy, said she has been released from the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement despite a federal court ruling canceling a hearing next week.

Rosa Maria's attorney Leticia Gonzalez told KSAT 12's Jessie Degollado Friday night that she was approved for release and "is being taken to her parents right now."

Congressman Joaquin Castro released the following statement after the news of her release.

“Finally, Rosa Maria has been released to her family where she belongs. This young girl and her loved ones have been through a traumatizing ordeal. I wish them the best, and hope Rosa Maria’s health improves. While this is welcome news, Rosa Maria’s future remains uncertain. The Trump Administration has not made clear whether they will proceed with deportation proceedings against her. I continue to call for Rosa Maria’s case to be administratively closed. Moving forward, we must address the Trump Administration’s callous actions. The United States should not be a place where children seeking life-sustaining medical care are at risk of apprehension. I urge the Department of Homeland Security to abide by its claims that dangerous criminals are the agency’s priority and reinforce its sensitive locations policies to employees. A case like Rosa Maria’s should never happen again.”

Castro will address the public about Rosa Maria's detention in San Antonio on Saturday at noon. At the same time, Rosa Maria and her family will also hold a press conference in Laredo.

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.

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 Authors:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

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