A lot of migrants continue to do whatever it takes to get into the United States for different reasons. Some are just looking for a better life, some are trying to protect their kids from the danger they're fleeing from, and others are looking for better work opportunities. One of the most crucial reasons has to do with getting better health care for themselves and/or their children.
That last reason was the case for one El Salvadorian woman and her three-year-old daughter. The health care was for the woman, who's reportedly eight-and-a-half months pregnant. The anonymous woman was in labour, and tried to get some assistance in the U.S. so that she wouldn't give birth in a shelter or on the streets. But once she was caught entering the country, she was allegedly given medication to halt her contractions before her and her daughter were deported by U.S. Border Patrol. They were sent to Mexico, where she will join over 38 000 others for an immigration court hearing. Hers is scheduled to take place on November 14th.
The hazards that pregnant women face in Mexico aren't anything to ignore. They don't have access to clean water, proper medical care, and regular meals. Shelters are said to be at or over capacity, with those unable to get in forced to sleep in the sweltering outdoors. There's also the risk of being kidnapped and/or killed in Mexico.
The pregnant woman's situation came about due to the "Remain in Mexico" program, which was designed to keep migrants from crossing the border. While certain individuals may be exempted from this due to certain medical conditions, pregnancy isn't considered to be an acceptable exemption. That means that if a woman is experiencing pregnancy complications or is in labour- and is trying to get into the U.S.- she may find herself in a world of trouble.
In a statement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said, "In some cases, pregnancy may not be observable or disclosed, and may not in and of itself disqualify an individual from being amenable for the program. Agents and officers would consider pregnancy, when other associated factors exist, to determine amenability for the program."
This incident is not a one-off either; at least six other pregnant women have been sent back to Mexico when trying to enter the U.S. It's clear that they're doing so to get better health care for themselves and their unborn babies. We can only hope that things will eventually become easier for those trying to better themselves.