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Government places 10-year-old girl in immigration detention

Any parent who has witnessed his or her child suffering from a medical ailment understands how heartbreaking it can be. Most Louisiana parents would do just about anything to get their sick children the help they need to get well again, even if that means admitting them to hospitals for surgery. One child, age 10, recently underwent surgery in another state for removal of her gallbladder. From there, rather than being sent home to recuperate with loving family members, she was ordered into immigration detention.

An advocate speaking for the child requested that medical officials allow her to recover in the custody of family members who also happen to be U.S. citizens. The request was denied and the child, who has cerebral palsy, was taken to a children's shelter. The shelter is said to be equipped to address her medical needs while her immigration case is being processed.

The girl was brought to the United States in the hope of obtaining the surgery she needed. She arrived at the hospital by ambulance on a recent Tuesday morning. The child's mother said immigration officers stood guard outside her daughter's hospital room, waiting for the word to take her into custody.

Once she recovers from surgery, the Department of Homeland Security will determine whether the 10-year-old should be deported or allowed to stay with family members in the United States. In the meantime, as she recuperates in the children's shelter, it is the first time in her life she has ever been apart from her mother. Louisiana immigration detention situations like this one typically require the experienced guidance of an immigration attorney.

Source: USA Today, "Child with cerebral palsy facing immigration detention after surgery", Beatriz Alvarado, Oct. 26, 2017

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