Washington, DC – The Arc released the following statement in response to the detainment of Rosamaria Hernandez, a ten-year-old child with cerebral palsy, who was stopped by federal immigration officials on her way to the hospital for emergency surgery, and detained upon her release from the hospital.
“The images of uniformed agents trying to stop a child from getting to the hospital and then standing outside her room while a child with a disability is having a medical crisis are just appalling and outrageous.
“Yet that’s what happened after Rosamaria Hernandez underwent emergency surgery. And now, she has been ripped away from her family, nearly ten years after she came to the United States when she was just three months old.
“We are better than this. Prioritizing the swift detention of a ten-year-old girl with cerebral palsy who is recovering from significant surgery is a grossly misplaced priority by our government.
“While Rosamaria is in this unjust situation, she must be provided with legal representation, due process protections, and reasonable accommodations that meet her needs as a person with a disability on U.S. soil,” said Peter Berns, CEO, The Arc.
The Arc advocates for and serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), including Down syndrome, autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. The Arc has a network of over 650 chapters across the country promoting and protecting the human rights of people with I/DD and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes and without regard to diagnosis.