Monday, July 14, 2008

Shackled Like An Animal During Labor

What is it going to take, America™, for you to snap out of your complacency to see that in your furvor to deport and criminalize people in your midst, the goon-squad deigned to carry out the mission are serial human rights abusers? Quit thinking that this is about Mexicans or Central Americans or any other unwanted hordes of brown menaced invaders. As long as that mindset continues to fester, stories like this will continue to be a blight upon the pure and spotless homeland you are so want to protect, yet only exists like a deceiving mirage.

Police in Berry Hill, Tennessee decided that Juana Villegas DeLaPaz needed to be arrested after a routine traffic stop even though she produced proof of insurance and her consulate card to the officer that stopped her. Since local officials have decided that federal immigration law enforcement is the new hip, and she didn't have the necessary paperwork to prove citizenship, Juana was detained like an animal.

Nine months pregnant and in labor, she was shackled until two hours prior to the birth of her child and then re-shackled afterwards. Following the birth of the baby, authorities denied her the ability to breast feed the newborn, who was at a high risk of jaundice as a result of it.

So far, this story has been confined to NewsChannel 5 out of Nashville (their story was the sanitized version) and pro-migrant blogs. Tim Chávez of Political Salsa has been doing yeoman's work to cover this horrific tale of torture and human rights abuse in Tennessee.
Every mother in Middle Tennessee knows the difficulty in giving birth. Now multiply the pain and discomfort by being handcuffed by your wrist and ankle to a hospital bed through hours of labor. And you are not allowed to call your husband or family to tell them to come and be with you.

Then consider being shackled at your feet when you try and go to bathroom to simply clean yourself after all the mess of childbirth. This hygiene is necessary to prevent infection and more pain.

Finally, imagine the mental and physical pain of having your newborn taken from you, before you have the all the necessary time to breast feed your child to ensure he or she receives all the early nutrients to build a body's immune system to full capacity. The sheriff department officer overseeing your every move -- and wanting to return you to your jail cell -- prevents your nurse from giving you a breast pump to drain your milk.

Nurses caring for Mrs. Villegas DeLaPaz were reduced to tears.

So you are returned to your jail cell with your breasts swollen and hurting, the pain preventing you from sleeping after one of life's most draining ordeals.

While on one hand, the sheriff's department tonight defended itself to NewsChannel 5 by saying it followed procedure and the law in the terrible treatment of Mrs. Villages DeLaPaz, its spokesperson then noted that it let her go after seven days of illegal holding when it should have deported her.

Political Salsa
Clearly they were being lenient.


Here is the contact information for officials who should be called upon to immediately investigate and halt these inhumane procedures.
Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) - Democrat
Nashville Office: Phone: 615-736-5295, Fax: 615-736-7479
DC Office: Phone: 202-225-4311, Fax: 202-226-1035

Chairman, Rep. Christopher Carney (PA-10) - Democrat
House Subcommittee on Management, Investigations & Oversight of Department of Homeland Security
DC Office: Ph: (202) 225-3731, Fx: (202) 225-9594

Berry Hill Police Department
Chief Robert Bennett, Email:
Phone: (615) 297-324, Fax: (615) 269-9819
"I was just doing my job." ¡Madre Santa!

Crossposted at Booman Tribune

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