A 19-year-old Honduran woman apparently is the first member of the migrant caravan to have a child in the United States. She scaled the border wall with her family and then gave birth within 24 hours.
This will likely spark intense debate surrounding the “anchor babies” and birthright citizenship. President Trump threatened in October to end birthright citizenship with an executive order, although others believe it would require a constitutional amendment.
Maryury Elizabeth Serrano-Hernandez was more than seven months pregnant when she left Honduras, along with her husband Miguel Ortiz, 20, and their three-year-old son They traveled more than 2,000 miles together.
Late last month, they finally made it to Tijuana, Mexico, where thousands of other Central Americans had gathered. Their hope was to cross into the United States.
Serrano-Hernandez and her husband say they feared for their safety after being surrounded by Mexicans who weren’t happy they were there. Because they were scared and outnumbered, they decided to cross the border illegally.
Calling the birth in the U.S. a “big reward” for her family’s journey, Serrano-Hernandez said: “With the faith in God, I always said my son will be born there (in America).”
The 19-year-old pregnant woman somehow climbed the border wall, and her family were met by three border patrol agents who demanded they return to Tijuana. The family refused and asked for asylum. They were taken to the Imperial Beach Station in San Diego County for processing.
As they were being processed, Serrano-Hernandez could tell something wasn’t quite right.
“The day I came across, I felt a little pain, but I thought it will be because of my nerves,” she said.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agency told Fox News: “The woman, who was eight months pregnant, began complaining of abdominal pain and was immediately transported to a local hospital by Border Patrol agents.” Soon thereafter, she gave birth to a baby boy.
“I felt like a criminal,” Serrano-Hernandez said.
Her husband claims immigration officials, who stood guard outside the hospital room, closed all the windows and tried placing handcuffs on the new mother moments after giving birth.
The nurses at the hospital held a drive and gifted the family clothes, diapers and baby wipes but Ortiz says once his family returned to the San Diego detention center, their property was confiscated.
Border Patrol did tell Fox News that the family was “placed into immigration proceedings and released on their own recognizance on December 2.”
They are now being housed by a family and hope to move on to Columbus, Ohio, where they have family and will continue their asylum application process.
The controversy at the border – and the administration’s response to it – has divided much of the country. Last month, images of federal agents firing tear gas on hundreds of migrants created outrage with several high-ranking Democrats blaming the White House.