NPR tells the story of a couple from the Rio Grande Valley area of Texas (Oscar and Irma Sanchez) who decided to bring their two-month old child to Driscoll Children’s Hospital, in Corpus Christi, Texas, because the child was in need of surgery for pyloric stenosis, a condition that causes vomiting, dehydration and weight loss in infants. That decision led to their arrest by border patrol agents, while they were waiting for the surgery to take place.
There are several important points about this case:
- Enrique Sanchez, the infant, is a US citizen, as are his siblings.
- The parents overstayed a tourist visa, but have build lives in the Rio Grande Valley section of Texas. They are law abiding.
- The treatment and monitoring they received from Border Patrol was akin to that invested in gang members and drug traffickers. Did Border Control really need to watch while the mom breastfed her son in the hospital?
- The hospital in Harlingen, Texas (in the Rio Grande) that referred them to Driscoll Hospital where the surgery took place, appears to have reported the couple to Border Patrol.
- The couple is back home now in Harlingen, TX while awaiting their deportation hearing.
- Not mentioned in the article, but worth noting that the border was much more porous prior to NAFTA. The Spanish place names give a hint to the mix of cultures in the area for many years.
Source: Border Patrol Arrests Parents While Infant Awaits Serious Operation [npr.org]