Ixcell Sandoval Perez, 14, is undergoing treatment for leukemia at Duke University in North Carolina. alone. At the behest of border officials, her mother, Dalia, has been denied entry time and time again in yet another example of our cruel immigration system.
Though Ixcell was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, she has called Chiapas, Mexico home since 2010 and had no intention of returning until her cancer diagnosis. Earlier this year, after starting treatment in Mexico, doctors at home recommended Dalia seek help in the states. In her first attempt at crossing the border, a Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) official reportedly denied them both entry, suggesting they pray that God would take away the cancer instead. Shortly after, a relative was able to help Ixcell cross the southern border and over to Durham for the care she needed. Her mother, however, was denied entry.
Ixcell quickly gained the support of her local community, who rallied behind the teen. The latest attempt to reunite the two was on July 25 when Dalia – joined by a representative from Al Otro Lado, a non-profit team of lawyers who challenge human rights violations at the U.S. southern border – presented their case once more. Despite letters from Ixcell’s pediatric oncologist, district representative, churches and more, the distraught mother was once again denied entry.
“By blocking her mother at the border, this administration is causing harm and lasting trauma to both the child and mother,” Bonnie Castillo of National Nurses United told Solidarity Now. “The pain of Ixcell’s illness is being compounded by the added stress of being separated from her mother. The last thing a child needs is this kind of toxic stress when she should be saving all of her physical and emotional strength to fight her cancer.”
There is a petition to demand that CBP officials grant Perez entry without delay, which you can sign here.