On November 16, 2008, Ruby Cruz was born to Mexican Cirila Baltazar Cruz in a Pascagoula, MI hospital. Two days later, hospital staff filed a report with the state Department of Human Services regarding the Cruz child’s situation.
Included in the hospital report to DHS are allegations of neglect supported by the mother’s exchanging sex for housing, the mother’s inability to communicate in any laguage besides the indigenous language Chantino, the mother’s illegal immigrant status, and mother’s plans for giving the child up for adoption.
“After thoroughly investigating Ms. Cruz’s situation, we are very confident that our employees acted appropriately in all phases of her care,” said a Singing River Hospital spokeman. “We reported her case . . . as we are bound to do by law, and DHS, after its own investigation, made the decision regarding Ms. Cruz and her baby.”
Court records indicate that the legal charges of neglect include the tidbits that, due to her only language being Chantino, she “was unable to call for assistance for transportation to the hospital” in order to give birth, that “she has failed to learn the English language,” and that this situation has “placed her unborn child in danger and will place the baby in danger in the future.”
The Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance alleges that Singing River Hospital and the Mississippi DHS are “stealing immigrants’ babies” by the hospital only providing a Spanish translator and then DHS charging the mother with neglect as a result of the hospital’s error.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is assisting in the Cruz defense.