A pregnant immigrant from Honduras was shackled and flown to another immigration detention center just days before she was going to give birth. After being caught by border patrol trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, agents did not believe that she was pregnant and would not call a doctor.
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The woman said she was traveling from Honduras to Mexico to eventually cross the border to earn some money to pay for her children’s schooling back home. On her way to the U.S., she was abducted and abused by men who repeatedly raped her resulting in her pregnancy. She eventually escaped with the help of a woman who heard her cries for help.
After fleeing for 45 minutes, border patrol caught up with her and detained her. “I told her I was pregnant and that I didn’t feel well,” the woman said referring to an agent in San Diego. But she says that agent “looked at me and said a doctor is only called for medical emergencies. Not something like this.”
After the agents shackled her ankles and gave the woman a pregnancy test, they brought her extra food, vitamins and medical care. According to agency guidelines, women who are nursing or pregnant who do not pose any risk to security should be released rather than detained. In this case, this woman posed no risk at all and yet she was arrested and treated in the same way criminals are treated.
“Eight and a half months pregnant, and a woman is handcuffed with a chain around her waist, her hands, her feet. We don’t need to do that,” said Ruben Garcia, director of an immigrant shelter in El Paso.
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