EAGLE PASS, Texas- A pregnant Honduran woman awaiting her asylum hearing just across the border in Piedras Negras takes drastic measures.
That woman jumped into the Rio Grande as she went into labor, giving birth on the U.S. side of the border in Eagle Pass.
But now she and her day old baby girl are separated, in limbo and not knowing what will happen to them.
Images released Thursday night by CBP, U.S. Customs and Border Protection after they found the woman in labor, who we will call Jessica.
Jessica had just given birth to a baby girl in an area known as Normandy in Eagle Pass after crossing the river.
“She was then taken to the hospital with a child to a local hospital. And then she was separated as she was taken out of the hospital and supposedly back to the CBP border station,” says Amy Maldonado.
Amy Maldonado is Jessica’s attorney, hired by a family member here in the U.S. after Jessica was allowed one phone call.
“She was only able to speak for a few minutes, but she told the cousin that she was afraid because she had been told by Border Patrol that she was going to be sent back to Mexico and the baby would remain in the United States that she was going to be separated from her baby,” said Maldonado.
Her U.S.-born daughter is now spending her first days of life at University Hospital in San Antonio.
Maldonado tells us the baby is in stable condition in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
It is believed that Jessica has not been deported yet, and is in custody in Eagle Pass.
“This woman is from Honduras, she’s never supposed to be in Mexico. So she’s not been deported her asylum process continues, but all of those courts have been shut down now for six months because of the pandemic so people are just waiting on the streets of Mexico with nothing, getting more and more desperate.”
So the question now is, what will happen to the baby?
When asked if the child also be deported with mom, CBP says that the government has no jurisdiction to deport U.S. citizens, and that’s the 14th Amendment of the United States every person born here is a U.S. citizen.
“You’re an asylum seeker, doesn’t mean you’re not a parent with a right to make decisions for your children,” they said.
Sources tell us that the woman was prepared with a bag containing scissors and blankets in order to give birth once she got to the U.S. side of the river.
CBP officers were present when the baby was born and helped mother and child, according to the CBP spokesperson.
According to the mother’s attorney who is in contact with CBP in Washington, D.C. they were told that the only reason the mom is not with her baby is because of University Hospital’s policy on COVID-19.
We checked with University Hospital who said their policy is that a parent can be with their baby in NICU as long as they follow COVID protocols.