A 2008 traffic stop landed a Mexican immigrant woman a $490,000 settlement and a possible resident visa.
The financial settlement is the outcome of a 5-year legal battle over Ms. Villegas’s civil rights being violated while she was detained for 6-days in a Nashville jail.
Ms. Villegas’s nightmare began when authorities discovered she was in the country illegally when she was pulled over in a Nashville suburb. Authorities discovered Villegas had been residing in the United States since 1996 and had been previously deported. She was arrested and detained for 6-days. Villegas’s immediate custody was justified by an immigration agreement between Davidson County and federal authorities that gave immigration enforcement powers to sheriff’s officers.
The problem was Villegas was 9-months pregnant when she was hauled off to jail. A short time after she was taken into custody, Villegas gave birth to a baby boy. Nevertheless, officials didn’t waste any time returning Villegas to jail after the birth without her new born infant in arm.
During Villegas’s delivery officials displayed no signs of compassion when they restrained her to the bed with shackles.
Did the officials who bound Ms. Villegas to the bed believe she was actually going to make a mad dash for the door while going through labor or is this just an outdated procedure?