ICE will end its practice of automatically releasing pregnant immigrant detainees

Although many pregnant women were still detained by ICE after the 2014 policy was codified - including so-called "maternity tourists" who come to the United States for the objective of giving birth in the country - critics of the new policy fear more pregnant women could be subject to mentally and physically stressful confinement in immigration detention facilities.

"ICE's official policy change towards pregnant women is inhumane and barbaric as it exposes this already vulnerable population to increased risk of harm and will undoubtedly lead to more miscarriages in detention centers and other pregnancy complications", she told Anadolu Agency. Immigrants rights advocates say detaining women make them more likely to miscarry.

This will imply, in Bennet's words, that "pregnant aliens would be detained if their detention is necessary to effectuate removal or if they are deemed a flight risk or danger to the community". "Just as there are men who commit violent acts, heinous acts, so too have we had women in custody who have been convicted of committing heinous, violent acts".

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The hardened policy is in line with several formal processes that President Donald Trump has taken on undocumented immigration.

When a pregnant immigrant is detained, ICE will notify the Enforcement and Removal Operations, Homeland Security Investigations, Field Office Directors, and Special Agents in Charge. ICE will generally not detain pregnant women during their third trimester. The decision reverses an Obama-era policy that generally presumed release, HuffPost reports.

"The Women's Refugee Commission has long documented the risky and unhealthy detention conditions that are especially unsafe and inappropriate for pregnant women", Brané said in a statement.

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Miller said there are 35 pregnant women in ICE custody today, all of them now subject to mandatory detention, despite the fact that some of them may be pregnant because of rape and assault, Reuters reported. "ICE has ended the presumption of release for all pregnant detainees", the agency wrote on its website, explaining the changes.

Over the past year or so, several horror stories from pregnant women held in detention have surfaced.

She said it is impossible to know for sure whether the number of pregnant detainees will go up, but "it's pretty clear that the intent is to reduce the number of pregnant women who are released". "We request that the Government Accountability Office examine the situation of pregnant inmates and immigrant detainees to better understand efforts taken to protect them and their fetus, as well as to protect the bond between the mother and child".

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"It's basically a different starting point", said Michelle Brané, the Women's Refugee Commission's director of migrant rights and justice program and a frequent critic of immigration detention.


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