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This breaking news story from Charlotte, North Carolina has me truly outraged and ashamed of my home state: a Brazilian woman was jailed in Charlotte on Friday for immigration charges, and has been denied the opportunity to pump breast milk for her son, who is younger than two months old.

You can imagine what it means for a breastfeeding infant and mother to be separated and needlessly denied the opportunity to at least pump her milk to be delivered to the baby.

The Charlotte Observer reports that Danielle Ferreira's baby Samuel is "crying incessantly and keeps spitting up baby formula."

I feel intensely angry about this situation, but rather than compounding that with helplessness, I am doing what I can to at least magnify the awareness of this situation. I have reached out to local advocates and my legislators. Now that you know, is there anything you can do to help?

The immigration issues here are significant, and are addressed in the Charlotte Observer coverage. This fall at a UNC Breastfeeding and Feminism conference, I heard two attendees speak about their knowledge of immigration raids in North Carolina that have caused some mothers to become fearful of even leaving their homes.

There has been some reporting about this on a national level, and I highly recommend Claudio Sanchez's ongoing coverage of the effects of immigration raids on families, children, workers and schools, as reported on All Things Considered. You can listen to the series online.


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