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Failure to speak English means inability to parent?

July 9, 2009

In Mississippi, an incaracerated woman gave birth this week, only to have her daughter listed as “neglected” by the Pascagoula hospital where she and her child were recovering two days later.

Why was she deemed unfit? Apparently simply because she cannot speak English. Cirila Baltazar Cruz, a Mexican woman, speaks only Chitano, an indigenous Mexican language, as well as a small amount of Spanish.

Court reports claimed that since “she has failed to learn the English language” and “was unable to call for assistance for transportation to the hospital” when she was in labor, she would not be able to care for her new child, because these circumstances “placed her unborn child in danger and will place the baby in danger in the future.”

The full story is at the Clarion Ledger.

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