Immigration Enforcement at Hospitals

Should it be illegal for immigration officials to arrest people in the hospital?

Recently, 10-year-old Rosa Maria Hernandez became the subject of much national debate.  The young girl suffers from cerebral palsy and was traveling with her undocumented parents to a Corpus Christi hospital for emergency surgery.  Before her family reached the federal immigration checkpoint, Rosa Maria’s parents asked an adult cousin to ride with her by ambulance.  Border Patrol took the young girl into custody.  She was transported to the hospital for surgery, with Border Patrol waiting outside.  Deportation proceedings were instituted after her surgery.  Ultimately, the ACLU file suit and Rosa Maria was released back to her parents.  

Sensitive Locations

As the case of Rosa Maria became public, many people across the nation were left wondering whether Border Patrol should have the power to detain undocumented individuals while they are in sensitive locations, like the hospital.  Traditionally, sensitive locations like hospitals, schools, and places of worship are avoided by federal immigration agencies.  However, no formal law prevents immigration officials from detaining individuals in these so-called sensitive locations.  

Since President Trump took office and vowed to toughen immigration laws, there have been more instances of Border Patrol arrests near schools, churches, and medical facilities.  These actions are leading many to believe that perhaps there needs to be a more formal defense against immigration agents in sensitive locations.  Without formal protections, many believe, undocumented individuals may be too afraid to seek medical assistance when they need it.  They may feel unable to attend places of worship or even to send their children to school.  

Anyone who has been detained by Border Patrol or is potentially facing deportation proceedings should contact an immigration lawyer immediately.  You may have a viable defense against deportation that could allow you and your family to remain in the United States.  Take action to protect yourself right away if you become the target of an ICE investigation.

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107).  You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at