On March 29th, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it will detain pregnant women as standard practice. Although ICE has previously detained pregnant women under certain circumstances, this is a marked departure from ICE’s former policy to presumptively release pregnant women from detention. Because of this change, ICE will now detain pregnant immigrant women, with few exceptions.
Immigration detention is unsafe and unsanitary in general, and particularly detrimental to the health of pregnant women and their unborn babies. Many women have fled violence and abuse – we should be welcoming them, not locking them up. This is part of the administration’s systematic attack against children and families fleeing violence and persecution.