LAREDO, Texas – A family recently torn apart after days of an immigration battle hope they can stay together.
Rosa Maria Hernandez, 10, an undocumented immigrant with cerebral palsy, was released Friday after 10 days in federal custody following emergency surgery.
Border Patrol found out Rosa Maria was in the country illegally when her ambulance passed through a checkpoint on the way to a Corpus Christi hospital.
While the family is happy to be together again, they face an uncertain future.
“She doesn't understand right now, but when she gets older, I will be able to explain it to her,” said Felipa de la Cruz, Rosa Maria’s mother.
Where her mother will tell her remains to be seen. Now that the family is back together, they want to stay in the U.S.
“She's lived here all of her life. She grew up here with her sisters. We enjoy living in the United States, and we hope to fix this so that we can live here legally,” said Cesar Hernandez, Rosa Maria’s father.
Rosa Maria still faces a deportation proceeding. Her father also is facing deportation separate from this incident, but the family hopes they can get relief for Rosa Maria’s mother.
Many, including Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, are pulling for the family.
“This is a girl who may not be able to get the treatment that she needs where she is from, but also, for God's sakes, she's been here since she was 3 months old,” Castro said.
Neither Castro nor Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, want to see a case like Rosa Maria’s again.
“ICE, the Border Patrol, they ought to be focused on those who are a danger to our families. A 10-year-old girl undergoing cerebral palsy, undergoing surgery, is no danger, and we should not have anyone bothering her,” Doggett said.