Berated over baby: Judge denies woman delay during maternity leave

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ATLANTA (AP) — When an Atlanta immigration judge denied attorney Stacy Ehrisman-Mickle’s request to delay a hearing scheduled during her six-week maternity leave, she felt she had no choice but to bring the infant to court strapped to her chest.

The judge then scolded her in front of a packed courtroom when she showed up with her 4-week-old and the baby began to cry, the attorney said.

Her truck driver husband was out of state; her 4-week-old daughter was too young for day care and she has no family in the area, she said.

“I was in a state of panic. I didn’t know what to do with my baby,” she told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Stacy Ehrisman-Mickle said she filed a request to delay an Oct. 7 hearing a month in advance. Immigration Judge J. Dan Pelletier Sr. denied her request, writing in his order that there was “no good cause.”

Pelletier wrote that  Ehrisman-Mickle knew about the hearing when she was hired. Ehrisman-Mickle said two other immigration judges had granted her delays after getting a letter from her doctor and she thought Pelletier would too.

Pelletier said Thursday he couldn’t comment and referred questions to the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which said it couldn’t comment on his action.

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