The Trump administration has ended a policy that allows pregnant undocumented immigrants to be auto-released from immigration detention centers. Under the new convention, pregnant women will only be released from centers on a case-by-case basis.
Since 2011, ICE has adhered to a policy that was typically open to the release of pregnant women from detention centers.
— CAP Action (@CAPAction) March 29, 2018
While the policy did provide women with some protections, it was not uncommon for pregnant women to be detained. In just the first four months of Trump’s presidency, 292 pregnant women were detained and with those numbers came reports of an increase in miscarriages at the centers. According to an FAQ obtained by CNN, ICE will keep “only those whose detention is necessary to effectuate removal, as well as those deemed a flight risk or danger to the community” in custody.
Advocates of women’s rights have expressed concerns over the change particularly when it comes to the fact that pregnant women in detention centers risk higher rates of miscarriages.
Pregnant women I spoke with in ICE custody often didn't get appropriate nourishment, medical care, or prenatal vitamins. Some were even shackled during childbirth, denied breast pumps, and not allowed to hold their babies.
— Cristina Costantini (@xtinatini) March 29, 2018
Jess Morales Rocketto a chairwoman of the National Domestic Worker Alliance’s We Belong Together Campaign called the change a “new low” in ICE’s “attack” on immigrants. “ICE’s policy should sound an alarm for any woman who has marched against this administration and call us all to action to see this decision reversed,” Morales said. “The nine months of pregnancy should be a time of care and preparation to bring a new life into this world. The dehumanization that occurs in detention is the exact opposite of what pregnant women or any woman should experience.”