Boston Globe on Juana Villegas
Today’s Boston Globe has an editorial on the treatment of Juana Villegas – interesting that the story is still moving its way across the country, nearly a month after the pregnant Villegas was jailed on a minor traffic violation *just in case* she might be an illegal immigrant, was shackled during
birth labor, and denied access to her newborn for breastfeeding or a breast pump.
The meat of the piece:
Needless to say, the 287(g) program wasn’t intended to snare pregnant women. Rather, it is supposed to help officers “pursue investigations relating to violent crimes, human smuggling, gang/organized crime activity, sexual-related offenses, narcotics smuggling, and money laundering,” according to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Yet the perceived need for even local officials to crack down on illegal immigrants has become an obstacle to treating people humanely.
Indeed, so many people have responded to the event with the sentiment that because she was here illegally, she deserved whatever inhumane treatment was foisted upon her,* which speaks volumes about how easily we can be convinced to be inhumane to people we perceive as “not like us.”
*We’re going to talk soon about how the argument that because citizen women are also shackled in labor, that makes it okay, and the objections moot is, in Southern-speak, a dog that won’t hunt.