Congressman Joaquin Castro has sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke, requesting the Agency permit U.S. entry for the mother of a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient who died while seeking to rescue Hurricane Harvey victims.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reportedly denied U.S. entry to Rita Ruiz de Guillen, who attempted to come to Texas for her son Alonso Guillen’s funeral.

Ms. Ruiz de Guillen currently lives in Piedras Negras, Mexico and is awaiting the approval of her application for legal status in the United States.

 “Alonso Guillen put the needs of others above his own safety and died while trying to rescue people in need. His mother should be able to attend his funeral and see her beloved son one last time,” said Rep. Castro. “Alonso showed tremendous courage and heart when he put his life on the line to save hurricane victims. Our nation should show that same compassion to his family in their time of unthinkable grief.”

Alonso Guillen was a Dreamer living and working as a disc jokey in Lufkin, Texas, who traveled to the Houston area last week with two friends and a borrowed boat to help rescue flood survivors.

Their boat capsized late in the night on Wednesday, August 30th as they attempted to reach people at an apartment complex in Spring, Texas. Alonso and one of his friends died as a result of the accident.

In his letter, Congressman Castro requests DHS authorities work to grant Ms. Ruiz de Guillen an emergency appointment at the nearest U.S. Consulate to her residence in Mexico so that she can be let into the United States to attend her son Alonso’s funeral.

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