giving birth while chained to a bed!!!!!

Tah - posted on 09/22/2011 ( 74 moms have responded )

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When I was in bed, I was begging the sheriff, 'Please let me free -- at least one hand,' and he said, no, he didn't want to," Juana Villegas said in an interview with a local Nashville television station. She was describing the experience of being shackled to her hospital bed as she went into labor. Villegas gave birth in the sheriff's custody, after she was stopped by local police while driving without a valid license.

According to Elliott Ozment, Villegas's lawyer, driving without a license is generally handled with a citation, not an arrest. He believes Villegas was only brought in because she was an undocumented immigrant.

Like Villegas, Alma Chacon, and Miriam Mendiola-Martinez gave birth in the United States shackled to their hospital beds, without their husbands, and in the presence of a prison guard. They also were not violent criminals, but rather, they were all undocumented and charged with an immigration-related offense in Sheriff Arpaio’s jurisdiction of Maricopa County, Arizona.

Cases such as these have garnered outrage from immigrant rights advocates. Critics take aim at both the legal classification of immigration-related offenses and the standards of prioritizing undocumented mothers' rights at the state and federal level.

VICTIMS OF A BROKEN SYSTEM

While many immigration violations are civil cases, ICE classifies some undocumented immigrants as criminals when they are apprehended for certain immigration-related offenses. One of those is "re-entry after deportation."

"To ICE, re-entry after deportation is not an immigration case, that is a criminal case," explained Melissa Brané, director of the Detention and Asylum program at the Women's Refugee Commission. "They've criminalized being undocumented; the act of entering after being deported is now a crime. You're in the criminal system, and ICE will say they don't have any authority over it," Brané said in a phone interview with HuffPost LatinoVoices.

Although the Bureau of Prisons instituted an anti-shackling policy in federal correctional facilities in 2007, state correctional facilities are still free to shackle inmates before, during and after child delivery if they see fit.

Shackling during childbirth is illegal in 14 states and is against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy. But women being held for immigration-related offenses classified as "criminal offenses" can still legally be handcuffed to their hospital beds by state authorities in the 36 other states. Those women can also be denied the right to have a family member in the birthing room, or to hold their newborns for longer than 24 hours.

Malika Saada Saar, executive director of The Rebecca Project's Anti-Shackling Coalition, believes that state authorities should take into account the circumstances under which pregnant women with undocumented status are put in behind bars. "These mothers are not prosecuted criminals, but simply mothers detained for lack of documentation," Saar said in a phone interview.

Miriam Mendiola-Martinez gave birth to a baby boy on Dec. 21, 2010, in Maricopa County, Arizona. She did so chained to her hospital bed and without any family members present. Mendiola-Martinez had been found using false documents in order to obtain work.

Her newborn son was taken from her within 48 hours of his birth and given to a family member, according to an interview Mendiola-Martinez gave to New American Media. Her attorney, David Black, said in the same interview that if Mendiola-Martinez had not been undocumented, she could have been released on bond before she gave birth, as is the case with women charged with other nonviolent crimes. Under Arizona state law, however, possession of false documents is grounds for denying the right to post bail.

Alma Chacon and Juana Villegas, while residing in Arizona and Tennessee respectively, gave birth under similiar circumstances. Chacon was detained for a non-violent criminal offense and shackled to her hospital bed. Chacon was allegedly not allowed to nurse or hold her baby until she was released from immigration custody almost 70 days later when she gave birth in .

For Juana Villegas, going into labor while in prison meant that her ankles were cuffed together on the ride to the hospital, and that she was denied a breast pump by local authorities after she was given one by medical professionals. Without a breast pump, "she was in great pain" after she gave birth and had trouble sleeping in prison, Ozment, her attorney, said in a phone interview.

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i do not beleive that just because you are here illegally you should be made to give birth while cuffed to a bed and verbally, mentally and emotionally abused while doing so. I think the officer that was telling that lady to push so she could go back to mexico should be kicked in his balls and then releived of duty...

what are your thoughts on this crap???

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Mary - posted on 09/24/2011

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As a nurse, I absolutely dread having to take care of prisoners - usually because it is such a pain in the ass to deal with the guards who accompany them.

The hospital I worked in did very few deliveries of prisoners (another hospital had that contract, thankfully), but we did see more than a few in our triage area of L&D for non-labor complaints. From the nurse's perspective, we are at a true disadvantage. First of all, we are not privy to what their offense is. I only know if the patient chooses to tell me. In truth, it is not relevant to their presenting complaint. However, it does make it damned hard to argue for leniency in the area of restraints or privacy when I have no idea if the patient is a "violent" criminal, or is in jail for something less "threatening", like drunk driving or repeated episodes of shoplifting.

Of all of the "prisoners" I've ever been involved with, all of them have been restrained in some fashion. It is usually in the form of one padded cuff applied to either the ankle or wrist that is secured to the bed rail. There is always at least one guard present at the bedside, and they are by that prisoner's side for everything. Some of these precautions are to prevent escape - but a part of it is also to safeguard the hospital staff. The prison staff is held accountable for any damage or harm that their charge may do.

I know that a lot of people here think that a laboring woman is vulnerable and helpless...but in reality, that is not always the case. I have more than a few women in labor attempt to punch, kick or bite me (or anyone else nearby). I've seen more than one doc kicked in the head when a practitioner was performing a pelvic or speculum exam. When it is just a "regular" patient, the hospital has to deal with it. When they are a prisoner - the correctional facility is held accountable.

About 2 years ago, I did see a prisoner patient in our triage area who was 30 weeks, and brought in for c/o vaginal bleeding and cramping. Part of her work-up required me to do a straight cath for a urine sample (and this did turn out to be her "issue"). One hand was shackled to the bed. As I was withdrawing the catheter, she reached down and yanked on my hair - and pulled out more than a few strands by the roots.
At that point, I was fully in favor of four-point restraints.

Now, she wasn't an illegal immigrant, but nor was she a "violent" criminal. Turns out, she was in jail because of (repeated) episodes of theft (from various different clothing stores). However, the bruhaha that ensued between the hospital security staff and the prison guards was a freaking pain in the ass. I had only brought it to the charge nurse's attention because I was done with her, and wanted to be relieved from caring for her. She in turn notified security, who came up all puffed up and ready have it out with the prison guard, and by the end of all this, there was talk of filing assault charges (which I flat out refused to get involved in, since it would involve hours of my life I could never get back, and while I was pissed, I wasn't that riled up about it).

Anyway - the point of all of this rambling is that a part of how prisoners are restrained is greatly impacted by the correctional facility's accountability for "controlling" their charge in a relatively uncontrolled environment like a hospital. As well, the supposition that a pregnant or laboring woman is not in a position to inflict harm is an erroneous one. No, I don't think a pregnant woman should be tied down to a bed in four point restraints while giving birth, but I do know that it is a bit tricky for the prison staff to do their jobs, and be responsible for the actions of their prisoner in the hospital environment.

Barb - posted on 09/23/2011

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Isn't a criminal someone who has been convicted? Where was her trial? where was her conviction? or the police just decided to be judge, jury and executioner?

I'm also curious, since have nurses here, what would you do if you were an attending nurse and the patient was shackled to the bed during labor/delivery? Could you take a picture to give to the news? because a picture on the news/paper would stop this shit.

Oh, and if i go to Canada and give birth "illegally" i'm NOT shackled to the fucking bed..

Jurnee - posted on 09/23/2011

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Yes, she committed a crime. Whatever your feeling are on immigration and anchor babies, is this really the way people should be treated. Should all women who are criminals and pregant be treated this way, because the article seems to point to the idea that this is manly done to illegals. I highly doubt a woman in labor is going to flee,having a police presence in the room, fine. But to be chained to a bed while in labor is barbaric. Jsut because it is legal, doesnt make it right. Doing the right thing when you should as opposed to doing the wrong thing because you can, is what makes us human. I understand peoples anger at the immigration system,at anchor babies, but is this really how that anger should be taken out, on a woman in labor. And whatever another country would do, well thats their business, I would like to think we are more evolved as a society than just sinking to the lowest common denominator.

Barb - posted on 09/23/2011

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Wow, i find it incredibility disgusting to think of any human being treated in this manner. Odd how we knew right off she wasn't from Canada.



I was in a chatroom once talking with a girl from Mexico. She knew where my obscure little town was. Know why? The multi-billion dollar meat processing factory had a huge bulletin board up in her town to come to my town. Advertising each person to make it here a $1,000. That is like a years wages in Mexico. Nothing happens to the factories though. They caught another processing plant that had 100 people with the same social security number.. nothing happened to that factory either. They use the people who they know won't cause any problems, no workman's comp for injuries, no need for insurance, govt picks it up, won't form unions, won't cost them but the basic amount to keep them alive. These people work 12 hr shifts, packing your holiday turkey and ham, but the minute they want to be treated like humans they don't deserve it.



Corporations use our federal tax dollars in immigration officials as their human resources.. THAT is why there will never be enforced or strict immigration laws, no one wants to pay .50c more a lb for a ham. And the CEO's certainly are not going to give up their profits.



This is wholly unconscionable and against the U.N.'s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/inde...



I'm sure you don't want to read the whole thing... let me just quote the first article: " All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."



So was this woman treated with dignity? Was she offered the spirit of brotherhood?



And if that is not clear enough, how about Article 5? " No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."



And that is a 'shall be' not a 'should be' The difference between "will" and "would".



At the minimum our country, one of the richest in the world, should be an example for the right way, not the wrong way.

Barb - posted on 09/24/2011

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Dammit Mary!! why'd ya have to go and make a good point like that?!

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Jessica - posted on 09/26/2011

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I have heard of this happening... but not just to immigrants. I think it is sad, and horrible, but I met several people who were cuffed simply because their families petitioned them to a mental ward... and no offense, if you don't have issues, that IS liable to give you a few.



that hurts... and not being able to move... when my husband tried to hold one arm down I about had a panic attack... I could not imagine(well I could just not during child birth...) being held down like that.... it is horrible.





just read Brittany's post... lady, you have no clue just how "out of control" it IS over here... seriously.... and i am not talking about stuff like this.



they harass pregnant women and people who work hard to know English(who I have no issues with because regardless they really seem to be willing to work hard to be here) but ignore the MANY rapist, murderers, and what not who don't even speak English. It is ALL kinds of screwed up down here.

Brittany - posted on 09/26/2011

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I did not read all of the comments on here, my apologizes if I am making a statement already made but, yes this is a sad case.

Undocumented immigrant, illegal alien, they are they same thing. I am not trying to be ignorant or mean but, as of right now that is a crime. I do believe that a reform of the immigration system is in order. When my great-grandmother came here from Ireland she had to go through immigration.

What this sherrif did was wrong and goes againts human rights to basic medical care. Lord, forbid if something would have happend to this woman or the child he could be charged with murder charges.

As a law enforcement officer he should have called the on staff medics and then called an ambulance. A sherrif could have been posted outside of her door and then matters handeled later. Very simple.

Sadly, this took place in Arizona where the immigration laws are out of control.

Mary - posted on 09/25/2011

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Tah, I agree wholeheartedly about the insults - completely unacceptable. I guarantee that as a patient's nurse, I would never tolerate that. I would definitely be on the phone with the head of that prison, filing every complaint imaginable, after I had shut that f**ker up at the bedside.



I have to say, overall, I've never had a problem with the female guards when a prisoner was in L&D. Now, the male guards when I worked in cardiac were a whole different ball of wax. Generally, I found them to be arrogant, condescending assholes who took every opportunity to be verbally abusive to their charges, and often made leering, inappropriate comments to the nursing staff (I was in my mid-late 20's when I worked there). The female guards we encountered in L&D were almost always surprisingly kind and compassionate with the pregnant prisoners, and tended to ask questions in almost the same way a family member or friend would. They even seemed aware of all the patient's symptoms, and would often say, "Now don't forget to tell them about ____".



I do think, based on everything I've ever seen and read about prisons, there is a different culture there, where the use of insults (by both sides) is just the norm. I have a feeling that those same female guards who appeared so kind with pregnant patients may be different with the general population. However, it appeared that pregnancy seemed to bring out an innate compassion and empathy in the guards, and they became almost protective of the prisoner.



As I said, I do understand the need for some type of restraint, but I have never seen it be more than one appendage cuffed to the bedrail, unless the prisoner became in any way combative or aggressive.

Tah - posted on 09/24/2011

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i still have a problem with it. If you are begging to have one hand free then that tells me that you are being restrained with more than one soft padded hand or foot restraint. The insults piss me off all the more.

Camille - posted on 09/24/2011

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...and Mary ceased all the criticism about the restraints and women prisoners in labor. Excellent point!!!! Now I'm not furious at the restraint part but still mad at the guard who kept insulting her.

Camille - posted on 09/24/2011

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Mary: it does give me a different perspective in the subject after I read about her aggression to you and the responsibility of the staff of the prison has with the hospital. However, I read the prison guard was insulting her. That is unnecessary. She yanked your hair, you didn't insult her and you had the right to be mad because her aggression was towards you. But what was doing the woman in this case to the guard that kept insulting her? Nothing.

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Mary- That does give me a different perspective on the matter. But I guess i'm taking it from my deliveries which where very easy and I wasnt trying to hurt anyone else!

Iridescent - posted on 09/23/2011

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That's why I said look up that prison - that particular one she was an inmate at does do that on a standard basis, and is under review for it. It is not across the entire nation, but it is there. For all the pregnant inmates. Period.

Jurnee - posted on 09/23/2011

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If she were a citizen and having a baby, she would not be chained to a bed,if she were not a flight risk. Whether she or her child should be allowed to stay, whether anchor babies should be allowed, doesnt matter IMO. All people should be treated with dignity. I dont care if she was an illlegal alien or an american arrested for some other crime. A woman in labor will rarely be a threat to herself, others or be a flight risk. If a woman is a threat than that should be handled on a case by case basis.

Iridescent - posted on 09/23/2011

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So while you see it as a wrong, I see it as something to be grateful for - our country is not treating her the worst of any country in the world for the same thing, it's actually one of the best. They allow her to keep her baby, they allow her to care for the baby or make sure it is cared for by family, they give the baby citizenship. They are not leaving that baby in an orphanage to starve, or shipping it to their home country in an orphanage and no family. They are providing medical care. So while it's not the best possible situation (no layettes, no family party, etc) it has to be remembered that she is a criminal as well, and her history has to be remembered and taken into account while providing her care.

Iridescent - posted on 09/23/2011

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My comments were not prejudicial. I said if an AMERICAN were to sneak across and become an illegal immigrant in Mexico, pregnant or not, their treatment in prison is worse (documented, proven, movies made about it) so her treatment here in the exact same situation was not to be a shock to her. She was not chained during labor and delivery - it was a C-Section! She was chained after. And YES her treatment was the same as other women in the same prison - American and Mexican alike. Does that make it right? No, but it's equal. Look up THAT PRISON.

Tah - posted on 09/23/2011

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Barb makes a good point. didn't walmart have a scandal a year or 2 ago about all of the undocumented workers, i don't see any of the people who think this was excellent treatment boycotting these companies that attract the illegal immigrants here and work them for way less than some would accept.

Merry - posted on 09/23/2011

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Camille, i was suggesting all that protection because obviously they're concerned about her escaping enough to chain her to a bed. In all honestly she wants her baby a USA citizen, she's not going to run anywhere! She broke the law to get in here so she's not going to run her laboring butt out of the hospital.

IMO all they should do is just ship her and her baby back. Every time an illegal immigrant gets here just ship them back. If they really want to be here they'll do it the legal way eventually.

Camille - posted on 09/23/2011

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All inmates are NOT treated the same way. The woman who killed the Mexican little girl and raped her with a rolling pin is eating very well in jail. She appeared in court with many more pounds compared to when she was arrested. I don't know if she's on death row or not, but while she's waiting she's fed with the hard working people's money, and Amy Lea, you don't complain about that!!! This woman did something illegal, yes, Mexico's immigration laws are very strict, yes, and the US has the right to control who enters the country to live BUT that is no excuse to be treated like shit while giving birth. At least that woman who killed the girl is eating very well with both her hands free. She violated the girl's right to live but I don't see her rights being violated well, she does not have freedom but she's being treated very well.

Camille - posted on 09/23/2011

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Amy Lea: I'll quote the most outrageous of your comments: "No state is perfect. No country is perfect. But while you're looking at the injustice of her being handcuffed during labor and delivery, I'm comparing that treatment to that she would have received in her home country, or anywhere else in the world. Based on my view, she received excellent care". You're thinking in an ignorant way on two things: first, assuming that in Latin American countries women are treated even more horribly while giving birth, which is not true (the US is not the only place that has good hospitals). In all countries there are good and bad medical services. And two, since you think that in Latin American countries women are treated like they are even less than crap, that the horrible, inhumane, and cruel treatment she received is excellent. I'm amazed at the way you think. I can't believe that treating her like garbage in the US is excellent care. People like you are really sad. She did something illegal but she's not a murderer nor a child rapist.

Camille - posted on 09/23/2011

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@ Laura Hoffmann: two guards in the room and bars in the window or no window, really? You wrote she's not going to run. No chains, no two guards, and no the ridiculous window thing. Do you think a woman in labor is going to escape while having her baby??? I agree with you in the citizenship part. It saddens me the many children who have to stay in the US while parents are sent back to their countries.

Camille - posted on 09/23/2011

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I understand the right of the US to control immigration (after all, other countries are very strict in relation to immigrants) BUT why didn't they do that in the first place? Many years of accepting immigrants and now they are being very harsh with immigrants especially Hispanics. I know that many that cross the border go on living off of welfare and that is very very unfair. People who move to other country should have some money to begin building their lives or at least work very hard. Even though there are many immigrants who are in welfare there are many who work hard without taking a penny from the government. Just my opinion. In reference to the case posted here, I think it is inhumane to arrest them when they find out they're immigrant. And making a woman give birth to her child chained, really???? What kind of country is the US? I thought they humanely respected people. Really!

Merry - posted on 09/23/2011

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I think this situation should be handled by a law going up that babies born to illegal mothers do not get citizenship.
This would take away these women's desire to sneak in while pregnant.
And if a woman does sneak in pregnant I think she should have bars on the window, or no window, a guard in the room, a guard at the door, and be free to move around! What's she going to try? She's not going to run! Lol no risk of her getting away. No reason to chain her up.
Baby stays with mom and both receive proper medical care, and when both are stable ship them both back to their country! And all her other kids should be kept WITH their mom and until she's a citizen they shouldn't be either.

Tah - posted on 09/23/2011

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well i came back to continue this since i was falling asleep lol, but carolee and Toni took the words out of my mouth on everything. the moving, the offenses, the being here illegally and the labor and birth

Stifler's - posted on 09/23/2011

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This is against HUMAN rights. Do these bastards know what it's liike to be in labour>? IT'S HELL

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Ok, I can understand why some women would need to be shackled after giving birth, however I do doubt this women would have been going anywhere in the 24-48 hours after it as all the women I've known have c-sections were in a considerable amount of pain still then so it was probably unnecessary for her, she had someone stationed to watch her.

Just because something is done with many other criminals it doesn't make it right, there was a time when everyone bound girls feet in china, so all the girls were treated equally in an appalling way, it was still wrong!

The article does say that some women are shackled during giving birth, that is wrong, it isn't like a woman in labour is going to do a runner!

Iridescent - posted on 09/23/2011

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That's just it - she was already considered a high-risk flight criminal. And yes, that prison does need some serious changes.

Carolee - posted on 09/23/2011

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It actually stated that it was a non-violent crime. And if that's how they treat all women in custody, then there needs to be some changes made to the laws (ie - only high-risk flight or injury criminals are shackled with a longer (than 12 foot) chain after birth when medically acceptable).

Iridescent - posted on 09/23/2011

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By the way - the same prison has been noted many times for treating other incarcerated women in the exact same way, regardless of crime. So it was equal, although extreme.

Iridescent - posted on 09/23/2011

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http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/vie... A bit more thorough article about the same thing. She'd been living illegally under someone else's name for 15 years. It also says she had caused some harm to someone, which is how she was caught, although it doesn't specify what. She's had multiple children (all US citizens as a result). And it was a C-Section, and she was on a restraint (12 foot chain) afterwards, not during, and was able to move about.

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Amy do you think it's ok for a woman to be cuffed to a bed to give birth even though it has been shown that being mobile not only helps labour progress it helps relieve pain? Do you therefore feel it is ok to force a woman to experience more pain because she doesn't have that freedom to be mobile? If you do you are agreeing that torture is acceptable, torture should never be acceptable! This woman being illegal should not mean she is subjected to a longer and harder labour, it means she and her child should be deported as soon as medically possible!

Carolee - posted on 09/22/2011

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The crimes may be different, but basic human rights while giving birth should NOT change from person to person.

Carolee - posted on 09/22/2011

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Copied from you:
"when you're in a criminal system for doing a crime (repeatedly) you no longer have the freedom the constitution grants you"

I thought you meant any crime, and were grouping all criminals together.

Carolee - posted on 09/22/2011

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Yes, that was her choice. She made the decision she did for reasons that we do not know. We can assume and guess all we want, but we really do not KNOW. Was it a poor decision? Probably, depending on her situation. Does that mean she deserves to be treated in such a manner? Heck, no!

Iridescent - posted on 09/22/2011

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Other criminals in the country where she went to are not comparable, because they are all there for entirely different crimes. Compared to other criminals here for the same crime, she was treated similarly.

Iridescent - posted on 09/22/2011

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Because she was moving regardless. That was her choice. She wanted to move, so she did. She wanted to move to a better place, so she did (we assume). But there are similar places in Mexico as well. She's the one that chose to move illegally.

Carolee - posted on 09/22/2011

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You asked why they wouldn't just move to another part of Mexico. That was what I was referring to.

Carolee - posted on 09/22/2011

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Why not compare it to the treatment of other "criminals" in the country where she was at?

Iridescent - posted on 09/22/2011

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I'm not. I asked that she NOT move. She moved to come to this country. If she had to for the life of her child, there are programs to support it, and I've seen it done. There are legal immigrants from many other countries in our state for the same health issues my daughter has, because of their child's health needs.

Carolee - posted on 09/22/2011

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How can you ask others to do something that you yourself cannot do (ie - just move)?

Iridescent - posted on 09/22/2011

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No state is perfect. No country is perfect. But while you're looking at the injustice of her being handcuffed during labor and delivery, I'm comparing that treatment to that she would have received in her home country, or anywhere else in the world. Based on my view, she received excellent care.

Iridescent - posted on 09/22/2011

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There are only 2 hospitals that can provide the healthcare my daughter requires to live. Of those, it's only feasible to live in the state we're in, California, or a bordering state to ours. Of those 3 states, we are in the best state to provide for her needs, and if we don't watch that very closely, she wouldn't live. We've checked into it pretty closely.

Carolee - posted on 09/22/2011

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So be mad at the jerks who make the rediculous decisions on budget cuts and not to the people who had no say in that process. Yes, it sucks monkey balls that your kids didn't get what they needed, and I'm sorry about that, but that doesn't make it right to say that this woman deserved to be treated like this. (I think all politicians should first cut their salaries before cutting aid to those who need it, but... none of those jerks will ever see it that way.)

Iridescent - posted on 09/22/2011

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Heck, giving birth - it's free for an illegal alien, provided for in a hospital with competent staff. It's illegal to have home births in this state. Yet many people that are citizens do not qualify for medical assistance, and cannot purchase private insurance, and those lucky enough to have group insurance can't meet the premiums and deductibles - so no matter what they're looking at the full cost of delivery - which averages $20,000-$30,000 without complications currently. Yet if you have a job, you're fortunate enough to pay for both yours, and hers.

Iridescent - posted on 09/22/2011

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That I understand, but I can't share the same view anymore. Our experiences are quite different in a lot of ways, I'm sure, and it's shaped that view. What were they supposed to do instead? How were they supposed to handle this situation, when it's already a situation totally out of control? The laws are totally ineffective, so what does that leave? And sadly, while we had our entire state shut down this year from budget cuts, the one thing that kept on running was aid to illegal aliens. My childrens' lives depend on their medical care being provided for every single day, and that wasn't there. Yet millions (or is it billions) of dollars per year are going to fund illegal aliens that shouldn't even be here, and making sure they get everything they need, when my children's own needs are not being met as a result. I'd be a bit more proud to have strong enough laws, enforced well enough, that illegal aliens do not receive the support they do unless they are refugees (vs "I don't like it there"), and they take those laws seriously instead of laughing as they hop across the border.

Carolee - posted on 09/22/2011

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While we may make it easy to come into this country, Mexico does not make it easy to leave legally. And we're not talking about constitutional right, we're talking about basic human rights. This story is about what happened in the US, not another country. For the immediate purposes, I don't really care what would have happened in another country. I am ashamed that my country would do such a thing to somebody based on whether or not they had their papers on them (whether they existed or not).

Iridescent - posted on 09/22/2011

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No, none of this means she has no rights as a human being. But sadly, when you're in a criminal system for doing a crime (repeatedly) you no longer have the freedom the constitution grants you - in fact, when you aren't a citizen of the US at all, you have no rights under the constitution anyway. There is no reason whatsoever that she should have been granted anything, since she chose to be in a foreign country where she has no rights, and chose to NOT get her citizenship taken care of while she was here. The US has one of the most lenient systems for obtaining rights of anywhere in the world. She didn't, be it by choice or circumstance, and it left her in the situation she was in. Considering the very much worse care she'd have received in any other country for the same violations, she did get off easy. But we view it very differently.

Carolee - posted on 09/22/2011

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How is that different from any other type of business? Jobs (all jobs) always go to whoever is willing to do the most work for the least amount of money. Instead of condemning these people, why not lower your own standards and beat them at their own game? Because most of them have 2-3 jobs just to make what one person would normally make.

But, this does not mean that she has no rights as a human being.

Iridescent - posted on 09/22/2011

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When the unemployment rate for US citizens is at a major high, and there are illegal aliens willing to come in and work cheap, people will take them up on it! They sure do here! Which is why there are raids on those places several times per year to arrest them. That IS stealing. That is taking money some unemployed citizen trying to make it could be earning, someone who tries day after day, and handing it to someone who will work for much less. I'll feed my family before I feed my neighbors, and if it's a choice between one of my children starving or one of his, he has to take some responsibility for his, and I have to feed mine. I feel the same way about our country.

Carolee - posted on 09/22/2011

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Yes, but a ton of the people who just randomly move out to BH end up homeless or dead on the streets. How is that better? It is easier for them to get jobs in the US. It is cheaper for them to live here and send money home so that their relatives can save it so that they CAN eventually move to a better part of Mexico.

But, that's not the point. I don't agree with people treating other people like they have NO rights as a human being. It doesn't matter what she'd done, NOBODY should have to give birth while both hands are shackled to the bed.

And robbing a bank is NOTHING like trying to get a job so you can send earned money back home... it's the exact opposite. Yes, a crime is a crime, but even robbers get treated better than this woman did.

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