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Arizona border patrol detained a family couple of East Ukrainian refugees and held the pregnant woman in a detention center for about a week. Slavic Sacramento was informed about this by the press service of Immigration Visa Services Organization. In January of this year Alexander Yakovlev with his spouse Olga Yakovleva arrived to the US-Mexican border in search of asylum, but instead of the “American dream” they got a crippled baby and an uncertain future.

According to Director of Immigration Visa Services Ilya Zdragat, Alexander and Olga came from Dnepropetrovsk region to Mexico, where they asked for asylum upon crossing the US border. The American authorities immediately put them in the detention center for illegal immigrants. According to their attorneys, the Ukrainian family fled a front line town in Dnepropetrovsk region to escape religious  persecution.

“In violation of US laws, a pregnant woman was detained for five days,” attorney Kenny Giffard of Immigration Visa Services Organization told Slavic Sacramento. “According to the law, the authorities could only detain our clients for 48 hours, after which time they had to release them on bond until the immigration court makes a decision.”

Despite the pleadings of the detained couple, the border patrol held them under arrest, treating the pregnant woman with antibiotics only. Nearly a week later the woman was finally admitted to a hospital, where she prematurely gave birth to a baby girl named Yekaterina. The doctors found problems with the baby’s spine, and she immediately underwent a complex surgery. According to the experts, the girl will be crippled for life unless she undergoes a series of expensive operations. Because of this, the doctors are not giving any prognosis of the baby’s health.

“According to the doctors, the illegal detainment in inhumane conditions was the main cause of the premature birth and the condition of the baby,” says Kenny Giffard. “We will do everything in our power to provide legal assistance to the family.”

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Olga currently stays at Peace Health Medical Center in Seattle with her sick baby who requires a series of expensive surgeries. The baby’s father Alexander cannot even visit his wife since he remains detained in Arizona. The refugees’ friends created a page on GoFundMe charity website where they ask for financial help. According to Sacramento based Immigration Visa Services Organization, the family desperately needs clothes, food, medication for the baby and a place to live. They have virtually no friends or relatives in the US.

“We cannot control natural and humanitarian disasters, emergencies or civil wars,” says Tetiana Naumchuk from Rancho Cordova, who created the GoFundMe page, “but together we can help the Ukrainian refugees.”

Ruslan Gurziy, SlavicSac.com