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UPDATED NEWS Nursing mothers taken away from children by US Govt

1646 Views 20 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  jmcqabigler
Glad I got your attention. I nearly threw up my breakfast when I cruised this line on the front page of the Boston Globe today
Two young children were hospitalized yesterday for dehydration after their nursing mothers were taken away, state officials said.

This is regarding the raid of Michael Bianco Inc. where INS arrested 300+ illegal workers at this factory in Massachusetts. Read the full article here:

Outrage, doesn't even begin to describe the feelings I have about this. Our Governor has been desperately asking the Feds to allow social workers access and instead federal officials whisk a plane load away to Texas without so much as knowing if their children are okay and cared for.

Please contact your representatives and senators and DEMAND that these workers get help TODAY
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Thank you for bringing attention to this. I have a thread here too.

Since this is an action by the FEDERAL govt. you don't have to be from Mass. to call your reps. IMHO.
I live in MA and am so mad and sad about this. I wish I could offer to nurse some of those babies until they get their mamas back. I have plenty of milk.
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They should really reunite families before moving anyone. It's not like these are dangerous criminals or anything. Talk about your messed up priorties.

Originally Posted by Momtwice View Post
Thank you for bringing attention to this. I have a thread here too.

Since this is an action by the FEDERAL govt. you don't have to be from Mass. to call your reps. IMHO.
Momtwice is right. You don't have to live in Massachusetts to call. This is a federal issue. Please call your representatives today and demand that the INS allow the Massachusetts social workers access to the interned immigrants both in Texas and Massachusetts.

I was following this and was mad but saw that Governor Patrick was involved so didn't do anything. But when I read about how this action has endangered the health of two possibly American-born children... I've been slammed onto my
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This has been all over the local news and it breaks my heart. I'm confused about the babies being dehydrated though. Did they take bottles while the mothers were at work?
Even when they do take the kids and keep the families together, the private company the feds have doing this do so in a traditional prison setting. Often, children are separated from their parents at night to sleep in separate cells.

On another board I followed the story of a family who before the holidays were arrested and three of them (the parents and 17yo.) were sent to TX, while the son was put in a prison that also held actual criminals. Everything was announced in Spanish and they're Romanian so they were very isolated. The way they were treated was appalling in general.

They were legally in the country, they thought. They'd gone through all the steps to live and work legally and to gain citizenship, but they had a crooked lawyer who messed it up for them. Now they're in Romania where the father was a cop in the old regime, the 17 yo DD and son who's a legal adult barely or don't at all remember Romania and don't speak the language entirely fluently, in a tiny flat, having lost their jobs, their house...and the grandmother, who is a US Citizen, is all alone in the States now except the 17 yo. girl's boyfriend is helping every way they can.

They've been told they cannot return to the US for at least 10 years. The whole thing is insane. Up until recently a situation like theirs wouldn't have involved them thrown in holding, they'd have been able to continue living at home and working until it was sorted out, because they were not a flight risk.

There are some very WRONG things going on in the reorganized immigration bureaucracy.
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This happened with the meat packing plant raids in CO a couple months ago too.

INS doesn't involve any other agencies in what they're doing (say, DFS) and doesn't do anything to address familial issues. And - since the children are born in the USA and US citizens, there are a lot of issues that I think they simply prefer to ignore.

I think a lot of times, the mothers bf at home and babies are encouraged to 'reverse cycle' when Mom is gone.

The whole immigration situation is so messed up. HOW so many people can forget that their own families often fled oppression, corruption, and lack of opportunity to come to America (and do work that most Americans then didn't want, either) ... it's beyond me. OT I know but still - I'd like all the polticos who are ranting about immigrants stealing jobs from American workers to think about how delighted they'd be if their grandchildren WANTED a job like that. Or maybe explain to me why my college-educated immigrant cousin can't get any job except housecleaning, when she's a qualified accountant?

Our priest did a wonderful sermon on this a couple months ago - reminding everyone that Jesus himself was an undocumented immigrant. I wish the sermon was taped, because it was awesome. He talked about the nursing moms and their babies, too.
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I have been out of it and I can't find the original article in question. The MA gov. in this article seems to be complaining about the federal treatment of the detainees:


Patrick, at a press conference, and later in a private conference call with Homeland Security officials, protested the decision to fly 90 of the detained workers from Massachusetts to Harlingen, Texas, before state social workers had a chance to inquire about their child-care needs, potentially leaving many children with inadequate care. Two young children were hospitalized yesterday for dehydration after their nursing mothers were taken away, state officials said
THe feds are saying that all the detainees were asked about children and that the women may not have given that information out of concerns:

Massachusetts officials said some of the women -- most of whom were from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Portugal, and Brazil -- may not have been as forthcoming with federal agents as they might have been with state social workers.

I hope those parents and children are reunited soon.

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I started crying while reading that, and I put a bulletin on myspace with the article in hopes of spreading the word. I'll be contacting my rep tomorrow when I have 2 hands to find their info (nak)
That is so sad!!! As I was reading that article. It just sounded to me like some of the stuff I have read about the holocaust. Made chills run down my spine frankly.
This makes me think of our own local story about Asmeret Yosef. She was deported, without her children, last year, despite much public attention. She was nursing her youngest child, age 1. She was left in a jail cell in MI, no bra, leaking like crazy, until her milk finally stopped leaking and eventually subsided production. She is not allowed in the country for ten years. It's an absolutely outrageous and heartbreaking story. She is married to a U.S. citizen and was here legally. Our government has lost all its soul.

The United States signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which in Article 9 (3) states that "States parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child's best interests.". However, the USA never ratified the convention.


I am married to an immigrant (undocumented). Universe help anyone who would try to take him away from us...I would fight them to my last breath...all probably to no avail, but I'd still give them the hell of their lives.

He's hardworking, pays his taxes, and has no criminal record. He is a good husband and father.

There are MILLIONS of people like him in this country...average, honest, hardworking people who pay taxes and live normal lives...all of whom could be taken at any time, for any reason or no reason at all, from their families, FOREVER. They have absolutely no protection or recourse, and neither do the families that love and depend on them.

There is nothing okay about that, or about ambivalence in the face of it/to the fact of it. Inhuman is the only word I can think to write now, but it doesn't scratch the surface of the depth of human cruelty it takes to do this to people and their loved ones. Or that this disease has spread to our legal system unchallenged.

What a pathetic, pathological place this world can be.
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It's a shame that the govt has forgotten the fact that these are HUMANS. Even cattle get a little more respect.
Wow. That is one of the most deeply disturbing thing's I've read.
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Apparently, Congress is going to look into what happened.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said 60 immigrants detained were freed within hours of the raid because they were determined to be sole caregivers to their children. But Massachusetts Department of Social Services spokeswoman Denise Monteiro said one 27-year-old woman was held in custody for two nights while her 7-month-old child had to be hospitalized for dehydration because the infant refused to drink baby formula. The mother was released by federal authorities Thursday night.

Those affected by the raid included a 27-day-old infant, Monteiro said...

"There was no excuse for their not being absolutely 100 percent certain that children would not be victims," Frank said.
Apparently Bush didn't get fully briefed when he said this yesterday:

Bush said he disputed accounts of "conspiracies," relayed by Berger, that children were taken from families.

"No es la verdad," Bush said. "That's not the way America operates. We're a decent, compassionate country.

"Those are the kind of things we do not do. We believe in families, and we'll treat people with dignity."
Click for the full article.
International Herald Tribune

I think Bush was taking a lesson from Clinton and the art of splitting hairs. Children weren't taken from families! Families were taken from children. It's all in the way you say it.
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This is the personal story of one of the mothers. She's afraid to return fearing she will be attacked for not paying the smugglers who brought her to the US:

Boston Globe
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