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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily

Bloggings On Deportation And Removal

by Matthew Kolken

Police Shackle Undocumented Pregnant Woman During Labor for Driving without a License

Juana Villegas, an undocumented woman, was arrested, handcuffed, and thrown in jail for a week after a routine traffic stop. She was nine months pregnant at the time.  At the time of the stop Ms. Villegas gave the arresting officer her unexpired vehicle registration and a valid photo identification.  Her crime: driving without a license, and careless driving.   

While in police custody Ms. Villegas went into labor. Her ankles were cuffed together during her transport to the hospital, and upon arrival she was shackled to the hospital bed.  She describes the ordeal: "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."  The officers kept her shackled for six hours after giving birth.

Her attorney, Gregg Ramos, remarked:  "She should have received a simple, written citation instead of being physically arrested and brought down to the jail." Mr. Ramos further explained that after giving birth the police confiscated the breast pump that was given to her by medical professionals, which resulted in prolonged suffering in "great pain."

Just one more example of the "serious criminals" this administration is targeting for deportation for the offense of driving while brown.

Thanks to Christina Costantini of the Huffington Post for reporting on this story.


About The Author

Matthew Kolken is a trial lawyer with experience in all aspects of United States Immigration Law including Immigration Courts throughout the United States, and appellate practice before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the U.S. District Courts, and U.S. Courts of Appeals. He is admitted to practice in the courts of the State of New York , the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.


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