Yesterday, la Macha told us how today is the National Call in Day for Women of Color to Demand Health Care Reform (have you called yet?). And while immigrants have been used as scapegoats, not much attention has been paid to the access for immigrants, especially immigrant women who find themselves detained while pregnant, women like Juana Villegas DeLaPaz who we wrote about last year.
Seems like Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who revels in terrorizing Latino communities, wants to make sure that even infants entering into this world know their place in his eyes. From Latino Politico:
During her second night behind bars, the bleeding started. On the morning of October 14, she felt contractions. Her hands and feet shackled, she was in labor and ushered into a paramedic’s van by a detention officer who restrained her to the stretcher.
“That’s not necessary,” the paramedic told the officer.
“It’s my job,” the officer responded. The guard was a Latina.
She thought she would be released from the shackles once she arrived at the hospital, but she wasn’t.
The officer chained her ankle to one leg of the hospital bed.
A nurse requested that she be freed to get a urine sample. But the officer suggested instead that her bed be dragged over to the bathroom.
Later she was changed from her jail uniform into a hospital gown.
“The officer chained me by the feet and the hands to the bed,” she said. “And that’s how my daughter was born.”
It is the lives of women above that make me keep repeating why the issues of immigration reform, health care reform, and prison reform all work together. It is why I am not a reformer because the reform movements tends to separate the issues into neat little blocks. I think of those who cried victory when Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s 287(g) contract was modified to only include checking the status of those in jail, those in jail like the woman forced to give birth in chains.