A woman in McAllen, Texas, is facing deportation after being arrested for failing to get her son proper medical treatment for a broken foot, reports KGBT in Texas.
Mely Saldana’s 15-year-old son was injured in January during an argument with the boy’s step-father over what to watch on television. The altercation led to the teen's being pushed to the floor and landing in an awkward position on his foot.
Saldana, who is in the country illegally, did not take her son to the hospital because she feared being deported.
The woman did leave her husband and moved to a home in South McAllen where, with no money, she struggled to get by.
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"She didn't have money and she was scared," a friend of Saldana’s, who did not want to be identified, told KGBT.
As the condition of the boy’s foot worsened, the mother took him to a masseuse and a doctor at a clinic. Both advised her that the foot was likely fractured. Unable to pay for further treatment and still scared to go to a hospital, the mother treated the broken foot with nothing but Tylenol for 25 days.
In extreme pain for days, the teen resorted to getting around on crutches. He was eventually taken to a nearby hospital and underwent surgery for a broken ankle on Feb. 13.
Upon investigation into the incident, Saldana was arrested for injury to a child and failing to report a felony. She was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after posting bond and is facing deportation.
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There is no news on the condition of the son and his foot. Similarly, there is no news on whether the step-father of the boy has been charged with a crime.
The situation casts new light on the plight of illegal immigrants who face abuse and neglect. The problem is of particular interest in Texas. In 2010, the Texas-based Center for Public Policy Priorities found the situation so dire that it used Texas as a case study to explore how the needs of abused children could be better addressed under existing laws.