Arrest raises troubling questions about privacy and human rights
WASHINGTON, DC (PR) — Today, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) responded to news of the arrest of Blanca Borrego, a Latina mom and undocumented woman, in Northeast Women's Healthcare clinic in Atascocita, Texas. Borrego had been sitting in the waiting room for nearly two hours when staff called her into an exam room, where she was met by Harris County Sheriff’s deputies, who arrested her for allegedly using a false ID and handcuffed her in front of her daughters who now fear their mother's deportation and their family torn apart.
“Blanca Borrego’s arrest--which took place in the middle of a visit to her doctor--is a tragic reminder of the ways our flawed immigration laws make it difficult for immigrant women and families to live with dignity and health,” said National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health Executive Director Jessica González-Rojas. “When local law enforcement officials take it upon themselves to act as immigration enforcers, especially to such an aggressive extent, it creates an environment of fear and mistrust that can cost lives.”
Ana Rodriguez DeFrates, Texas Latina Advocacy Network (TX LAN) State Policy and Advocacy Director for NLIRH, added, “This arrest raises serious questions about patient privacy and human rights of immigrant women in Texas. The sad fact is that many immigrant women in Texas, and across the country, already forgo needed healthcare, live with lumps in their breasts and daily pain, because clinics are inaccessible or put them at risk for deportation.
“This is an ongoing human rights crisis, and Blanca Borrego’s arrest shines a light on the struggles of immigrant women, who are routinely denied driver's licenses, affordable healthcare, and other basic human and civil rights. We will be bringing together Houston Latinas this coming weekend to discuss this issue and other reproductive justice concerns. We will also be talking to lawmakers to learn more about this situation. No one should be afraid to seek medical care for fear of deportation.”