Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Nurses Cried for Juana Villegas, Part I

Juana Villegas gave birth to a baby on July 5. She had been arrested by Davidson County Sheriffs on the 3rd. At the hospital she was shackled until the very final stages of labor. The situation was so brutal that the labor and delivery nurses were crying. Later, when she was taken back to the jail she developed infections in both breasts because the officers at the Davidson County Jail (in Nashville) would not allow her to have a breast pump. She was separated from her newborn for 2 days. The baby developed jaundice.

The story on Juana Villegas did not appear when I searched under "immigration." I finally found it under Villegas' name. Her arrest and the brutal nature of how she was treated probably needed to be hidden away back in the web-site. Few people would look up Juana Villegas - but under "immigration" the whole country would have found it. (it was published today in the front page of the NYT)

For those women breast-feeding their babies, have you ever had a breast infection? I can say, as a personal witness (I had one when I nursed my son) it is just about the most painful infection a woman can have.

p.s. The baby is an American citizen. Mrs. Villegas has been in the United States for 12 years and has two other American born children.

Pregnant inmate shackled to hospital bed during labor

by Travis Loller

A pregnant illegal immigrant found herself shackled to a hospital bed while enduring labor after being arrested on a charge of driving without a license, according to police and her attorney.

Juana Villegas of Nashville was arrested and taken to the Davidson County Sheriff's Office on July 3 after a Berry Hill police officer pulled her over for alleged careless driving and found she had no driver's licenseSheriff's spokeswoman Karla Weikal said a check of her immigration status found she had been previously deported, making her a medium-security inmate. ...Villegas was still in jail awaiting a hearing on the driving charge when she went into labor on the night of July 5. She was taken to Nashville General Hospital at Meharry, where she was handcuffed to the bed by her right wrist and left ankle until shortly before the birth...

Lawsuit may be filed

Ozment said his client endured unnecessarily harsh treatment for a misdemeanor violation. He said he is still deciding whether to file a lawsuit in the case.

"It was a denial of her basic human rights," Ozment said. He said officers would not allow her to take a breast pump with her from the hospital even though she was separated from the baby for more than a day after she was discharged from the hospital, causing painfully engorged breasts. He also said officers shackled Villegas' feet together when she had to go to the bathroom, making it difficult to perform basic hygiene necessary after birth.

..."The nurses requested the cuffs be removed and the guards refused," Ozment said. "The nurses were very upset, they were crying..."

for complete AP/ article click here


Tim Chavez said...

Dear Ms. Hernandez,
Your conclusions are correct concerning The Tennessean. The only thing it has run regarding Mrs. Villegas was the AP story you've cited.
I originally broke the story with my political blog,
I continue to update the story regularly. Please direct your good readers to my blog. I also am sending out an original column on this incident for Hispanic Link News Service. You can find it on the Scripps-Howard Newswire beginning Tuesday.
Thank you so much for taking interest in this case. We are going to seek justice here in Nashville for Mrs. Villegas and also overturn the heinous 287 deportation program.
With highest regards,
Tim Chavez

Marie-Theresa Hernández said...

Thank you for your comment Mr. Chavez. We will make a note of your blog... Keep us posted on what goes on in Nashville.

Anonymous said...

Boo Hoo!!!
What part of ILLEGAL (meaning not legal or not lawful) in illegal immigrant do you people not understand? She should not be ENTITLED to anything in the U.S., as she is not an american citizen. She had no RIGHTS as those are reserved for American citizens that are LEGALLY here in the country. Moreover she is a repeat criminal offender, First by entering the country ILLEGALLY the first time then being deported and returning once again ILLEGALLY, then driving without a license ILLEGALLY.(Did she have insurance?) She is a repeat criminal offender and a drain on the U.S. taxpayer that is here legally. How much has she paid in taxes since she has been here? (NONE= Tax evasion once again another criminal act) She has how many kids that were born here as a result of her criminal act of sneaking into the country repeatedly ILLEGALLY? Who pays for the social services i.e Food Stamps or welfare, WIC or any other government service funded by legal U.S. taxpayers that ARE here LEGALLY. What a joke! You come here illegally, burden our system, commit criminal or illegal offences, then have the nerve to believe we owe you something. How disgusting! If for some reason she is awarded some kind of monetary settlement out of this, it should be seized by the IRS for her tax evasion. Why should I or other taxpaying legal citizens have to pay for people like this? The short answer is we shouldnt! Our country is in debt. We dont have enough money for you too. The loopholes need to be shut down. and the ILLEGALS need to be sent packing!