Blanca Borrego, an undocumented immigrant, was arrested before her gynecology appointment at Northwest Women’s Healthcare clinic in Houston, Texas.
Borrego was told by clinic staff that her paperwork needed to be updated. When Borrego was asked for an ID, she presented a fake driver’s license. After heading to the examination room, she was arrested by Harris County Sheriff’s deputies.
One of the deputies told Borrego’s daughter, “We're going to take her downtown, she presented a form of false identification. She's going to get deported." The deputy went on to say that the bond would be roughly $20,000.
Borrego was charged with one felony count of tampering with a government record. This is said to be because of a fake Social Security card that was found in Borrego’s purse.
There are exemptions to federal patient privacy laws, HIPAA, but Borrego’s attorney, Clarissa Guajardo, claims that suspecting a fake ID isn’t one of them.
Guajardo told the Houston Press, “They took her into that examination room solely for the purpose of being arrested. I just have a very hard time with that. I think it's a violation of HIPAA laws.”
Borrego’s daughter and son were granted temporary legal status from Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. If Borrego is convicted of a felony then she faces a greater chance of being deported back to Mexico.
“It's a basic human right to be able to get medical care. It wasn't like she was getting public assistance, even. She had an established doctor-patient relationship with that gynecologist. This shouldn't have happened like this,” said Guajardo about the case.