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10-year-old Rosa Maria Hernandez, who has cerebral palsy and underwent emergency gallbladder surgery last Tuesday, has been in an immigration detention center for six days without seeing her parents. (Photo: @EdgarANavarrete/Twitter)

#FreeRosa: Supporters Demand Release of 10-Year-Old Detained by Trump's ICE

"Rosa Maria is not the threat. Trump is the threat."

Julia Conley

Supporters of Rosa Maria Hernandez, a 10-year-old child who was taken into custody by federal immigration officials from a hospital last week, are joining with the ACLU in demanding her immediate release.

MoveOn.org joined the campaign, stressing in a tweet that the girl's detention exemplifies the truth behind the Trump administration's repeated lie that this year's surge in immigration arrests is aimed at keeping Americans safe.

The American Civil Liberties Union introduced the hashtag campaign #FreeRosa in support of the young girl, who has cerebral palsy and has been in an immigration detention center since last Tuesday, without being able to see her parents.

Hundreds of Twitter users have used the hashtag, with many calling Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) treatment of Hernandez "disgusting" and "heartbreaking."

The young girl, who is an undocumented immigrant, was detained last Tuesday after an ambulance carrying her to a hospital in Texas for emergency surgery was stopped at a checkpoint. ICE agents then waited outside her hospital room until she was discharged and detained her. Hernandez's doctors have recommended she be released into the care of her family.

In addition to spreading the word on social media, the ACLU urged supporters to call the Office of Refugee Settlement to demand that Hernandez be released. By noon on Monday the group reported that more than 2,600 calls had been made. 

The rights group also noted that immigration authorities have avoided making arrests at hospitals in the past, and urged them to treat medical centers as a safe location so as not to deter immigrants from seeking medical treatment.

"Border Patrol needs to immediately address and change their policies regarding checkpoints for people seeking medical attention," said the ACLU in a statement. "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 healthcare they need if such practices are allowed."

Supporters of the campaign tweeted their own thoughts on Rosa Maria's detention.


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