Archive for  July 26th 2018

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Two moms were asked to leave a public pool in Minnesota last week because the staff said they were making other patrons uncomfortable when they breastfed.

Just days later, more than a dozen moms returned to the site of the confrontation to publicly nurse their children.

Some drove as far as 90 miles for the “nurse-in” Saturday near the Mora Aquatic Center, about 70 miles north of Minneapolis.

“It was really emotional. It’s amazing,” Stephanie Buchanan told CNN affiliate WCCO. “We’re really, really thankful for all of the support that we’ve received.”

What went down at the pool

Buchanan and her sister-in-law, Mary Davis, took six kids to the Mora Aquatic Center on Wednesday for a swim.

When Buchanan’s 3-month-old son got fussy at the kiddie pool, she decided to feed him.

Buchanan slipped down the strap of her one-piece to feed Roman, but she was interrupted by another guest.

“A patron came up, a lady, at the pool and told me that I needed to cover up because her sons were swimming,” Buchanan told WCCO.

A staff member also approached Buchanan and asked her to be more discreet or go to the locker area, she told the station.

She refused. Police were called, and Buchanan and Davis, who also had breastfed her baby in the wading area, decided to leave.

“People have no problem seeing puppies feed from their mama,” Davis told WCCO. “But the minute mama’s breastfeeding, some people, it makes them uncomfortable. … They have a certain set of expectations how a mother should breastfeed.”

The moms plan to file discrimination claims against the city of Mora and Kanabec County. Buchanan also wrote about the episode in a Facebook post, prompting Saturday’s “nurse-in.”

You’re allowed to breastfeed in public in Minnesota

Minnesota law says a mother can breastfeed in any place, public or private. That includes public swimming pools.

“A mother may breast-feed in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast-feeding,” the statute says.

The city wrote on its website that it supports nursing mothers and noted that the situation at the kiddie pool made some people uncomfortable.

“We apologize to Ms. Ellingson-Buchanan and Ms. Davis if they were offended by how they were treated. Although we cannot anticipate all possible scenarios, City policies and procedures will be reviewed and revised as deemed necessary,” the statement says.

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

NEW YORK — Pablo Villavicencio has been released from ICE custody after being detained by immigration agents while delivering a pizza to an Army base nearly two months ago.

Pablo Villavicencio, a citizen of Ecuador, was detained on June 1 while making a pizza delivery at Fort Hamilton, according to WPIX.

He presented New York City’s identification card to the guards there, but was asked to show additional identification and was detained after a background check revealed there was a warrant for his arrest for immigration law violations.

He said he had visited military installations before without any problems.

Officials at Fort Hamilton said that Defense Department procedures require civilian visitors to present certain types of identification to get access to the base. New York’s city-issued card, which was initially marketed to the public as a way for unauthorized immigrants to get an official form of identification, is not among the accepted forms of ID.

Though he has no criminal record, Villavicencio did come to the U.S. illegally from Ecuador in 2008.

In 2010, according to ICE, he was granted voluntary departure and ordered to leave the country by July of that year. He never did. His wife said they filed a petition challenging that order.

The couple married five years ago and this year Villavicencio applied for his green card. They have two daughters, ages 2 and 4.

His case attracted public attention and is similar to the detention of Concepción and Margarito Silva, who were turned over to ICE while visiting their daughter and son-in-law at Fort Drum, an Army base in upstate New York.

They, too, said they’d visited the military installation before without issue.

Both instances sparked outrage among immigrant rights groups who see it as another example of how the Trump administration’s hardline immigration policies are harming families.