ICE Will No Longer Automatically Release Undocumented Pregnant Women


The Trump Administration is allowing more undocumented pregnant women to be detained at immigration centers. Previously, an Obama-era order said that undocumented pregnant women had to be automatically released, because of their delicate condition. However, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is changing all that under President Donald Trump.

ICE is ending the presumption of release,” ICE stated on its website. “All custody determinations are now made on a case-by-case basis. This does not mean that all pregnant aliens will be detained; only those whose detention is necessary to effectuate removal, as well as those deemed a flight risk or danger to the community. Generally, absent extraordinary circumstances, ICE will not detain a pregnant alien during the third trimester of pregnancy.”

The site also states that holding pregnant women is not human rights abuse because: “ICE exercises its civil detention authority consistent with the law, and all detainees receive necessary and appropriate health services, food, and care. ICE detention facilities will continue to provide onsite prenatal care and education, as well as remote access to specialists for pregnant women who remain in custody.”

However, pregnant women that have been previously detained have suffered greatly, and at time miscarried because of the emotional and physical trauma. Last year, a woman held in detention was pregnant but miscarried while she was detained. The woman miscarried, and she remained in detention afterward.

Human rights organizations including the American Immigration Council, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), and others have already filed a complaint against ICE because of they are putting pregnant women at risk.

“This new policy further exposes the cruelty of Trump’s detention and deportation force by endangering the lives of pregnant immigrant women,” Victoria Lopez, senior staff counsel for the ACLU, said to NBC.

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