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ICE Defends Detaining And Holding Breastfeeding Mom

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As part of the round-up at Koch Foods in Morton, Mississippi a woman was detained and continues to be held, despite caring for a newborn. ICE claims Domingo-Garcia answered "no" when asked if she was still breastfeeding her four-month-old.

Source: CNN

(CNN) Maria Domingo-Garcia left for work 12 days ago, and she hasn't been home.

The mother of three has been separated from her 4-month-old daughter -- who she still breastfeeds -- since being picked up during a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid at Koch Foods in Morton, Mississippi.

Domingo-Garcia was among the 680 undocumented immigrants detained August 7 in raids, the most in the agency's history, at seven food processing plants across the central part of the state.

She's being held at a facility in Jena, Louisiana, which is nearly 200 miles from Morton.

When a woman is breastfeeding, her body continues to produce milk that needs to be expressed or it can cause pain and swelling.

In a video posted online by The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, Domingo-Garcia's husband tried to bottle-feed the crying infant as he explained that he has friends in the area but no family to help care for the children.
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ICE spokesman Bryan Cox said all detainees receive a medical screening upon intake and many people were released for a variety of reasons. If a woman identified that she was nursing she may have been released because it would be considered a mitigating factor in determining detention, he said.

Cox indicated in a Sunday statement he was unable to discuss the specifics of any person's medical information without a signed privacy waiver, but he did say he was aware of communications between Domingo-Garcia's attorneys and an ICE representative who claimed Domingo-Garcia answered "no" when asked whether she was breastfeeding.


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