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Immigrant Fights to Keep Baby Girl / Charged with neglecting her child because "she has failed to learn the English language"

Monday, June 15, 2009


"Court records obtained by The Clarion-Ledger indicate Cruz is charged with neglecting her child, in part, because "she has failed to learn the English language" and "was unable to call for assistance for transportation to the hospital" to give birth. Her inability to speak English "placed her unborn child in danger and will place the baby in danger in the future," according to the document.

In its release, MIRA disputes the accusations leveled against Cruz and says Cruz speaks an indigenous Mexican language, Chatino, spoken by fewer than 50,000 people, and speaks "very little Spanish and no English." The hospital provided only a Spanish-language interpreter, the release says.

Cruz's child was taken from her because of a misunderstanding caused by the language barrier, the MIRA release states.

Singing River Hospital spokesman Richard Lucas said the hospital is "really not pleased" with the pitched tone of MIRA's news release.

"After thoroughly investigating Ms. Cruz's situation, we are very confident that our employees acted appropriately in all phases of her care," he said. "We reported her case to (the Department of Human Services), as we are bound to do by law, and DHS, after its own investigation, made the decision regarding Ms. Cruz and her baby."


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