In the past three months, more than 500 pregnant women have been processed through the deportation system. In the past, it has been the custom of ICE to release detainees who are pregnant as they await their removal hearings. A new immigration detention policy appears to have recently take hold, however, which may cause pregnant women in Pennsylvania and elsewhere who are are undocumented to worry.
Immigrant advocates recently expressed their anger over policy changes that no longer allow ICE officials to release pregnant detainees. Those in their third trimester are exempt from the new policy as they are not allowed to board airplanes, so they will continue to be released to await their deportation hearings. An ICE spokesperson said all others will have their cases reviewed on individual bases, and pregnancy will be considered as a special factor in each case where it applies.
Those speaking against the new policies say the government is being hostile toward pregnant women, many of whom arrived in the United States seeking protection from imminent violence and danger. One particular speaker likened the nation’s immigration detention facilities to prisons, saying it’s utterly unjust to subject innocent expectant mothers to such conditions. Pregnant women are not the only ones concerned about current conditions in many of the nation’s detainment centers.
Stories of filthy living conditions, lack of medical attention and other problems continue to make news headlines. ICE says appropriate medical officials are on hand to help them provide proper health care for pregnant detainees. Pennsylvania families worried about the legal ramifications of this immigration detention issue or other related problems can reach out for support.
Source: USA Today, “ICE to hold more pregnant women in immigration detention“, Alan Gomez, March 30, 2018