Shackled no more: Justice for Juana
by Restore Fairness, Mon May 02, 2011 at 05:56:17 PM EDT
From the Restore Fairness blog-
We’re pleased to announce that the Nashville, TN Sheriff’s office has been found guilty of violating the Constitutional rights of Juana Villegas, a pregnant immigrant woman who was inhumanely shackled during labor and denied proper treatment after a traffic stop, of which she was later cleared.
Back in 2008, through documentary and our interactive experience, Homeland Guantanamos, we put a face to Juana Villegas’s story. Because of an agreement between local police and federal immigration authorities, called 287g, she was picked up, detained and shackled during labor. She was not allowed to use a breast pump to nurse her newborn child. Villegas said, “The nurse brought me a breast pump… she asked permission for me to take it to jail… again the sheriff said, no.”
Our friends at Colorlines wrote about this historic verdict and about the nationwide effort against shackling incarcerated women while they’re in labor. From Colorlines-
In 2009, former New York Governor David Paterson signed a bill to outlaw the practice. Former California Governor Arnold Swarzenegger vetoed a similar measure. According to the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, so far only ten states have legislation regulating the use of restraints on pregnant women. Because of the criticism that has stemmed from her case, the sheriff’s office has changed its policy such that “pregnant women are shackled only during transport if there is a credible threat that they may try to escape.
Watch our first interview with Juana here.
While she has won the case, Juana Villegas faces the threat of deportation once again as the U.S. 6th District Court of Appeals has denied a request that would allow her to stay. Villegas’s case sheds light on the grave injustices in our broken immigration system. As we continue to tell these stories, in the hope of similar successes, we ask that you play our new Facebook game, America 2049, which weaves human rights issues into each week of game play. Next week, the game explores the struggles of Latino immigrants.
This ruling against the Nashville Sheriff’s office is a historic step. We will continue to tell stories, invite conversation, and inspire action that will help America move even further in the right direction.
Learn. Share. Act. Go to restorefairness.org
Tags: 287G, Fair Day in Court, america 2049, Arnold Swarzenegger, civil rights, David Paterson, Juana Villegas, Nashville Sherrif's office, Rebecca Project for Human Rights, blog, deportation, detention, due process, enforcement, family, human rights, immigration, race, colorlines, Documentary, Immigrants, latino, video, blog, deportation, detention, due process, enforcement, family, human rights, immigration, race, colorlines, Documentary, Immigrants, latino, video (all tags)