Following Hernandez’s surgery, Customs and Border Protection arrested the child in her hospital bed, as soon as she was discharged, and transferred her into the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) as an “unaccompanied minor,” despite the fact that her parents, who are also undocumented, reside in the United States, and she has several family members who are U.S. citizens.

Hernandez is being held in government custody, 150 miles away from her home. According to the ACLU and several reports, she “has never been separated from her parents, and her medical condition requires constant attention; she is completely dependent on her mother.”

“It is unconscionable to target a little girl in a children’s hospital,” said Tan. “Hospitals are considered sensitive locations under Homeland Security’s own policy, and Border Patrol should not be arresting people there—especially children.”

The ACLU claims in the lawsuit, filed Tuesday, that the government is violating several laws, as outlined in a blog post on the organization’s website:

“All of us should be outraged and alarmed that the federal government would chase a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy to a hospital, arrest her after surgery, and rip her from her loving home,” said Andre Segura, legal director of the ACLU of Texas. “This is not only unconstitutional, but heartless.”

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