Congress Members Demand Answers on Reports of Increased ICE Detention of Pregnant Women

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By the Web Editors 11-01-2017
Image via Ted Eytan / Flickr

Dozens of members of Congress have signed a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Elaine Duke, voicing concern over reports of the increased rates of pregnant women and recent miscarriages while under U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention, according to a press release on Oct. 31.

U.S. Congresswomen Lucille Roybal-Allard and Pramila Jayapal, co-chairs of the Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform, have gained the support of 68 other members in demanding DHS to shed light on the 525 pregnant women, of the nearly 68,000 women detained by ICE, in fiscal year 2017. During that time, there have been reports of at least three miscarriages by women in detention "due to mistreatment and medical neglect, a cruel trauma that no expecting mother should have to endure," the members wrote in the letter.

The letter continues:

The detention of pregnant women is cruel, high-risk, and almost never appropriate given the danger it poses to the life of both the mother and her unborn child ... [R]eports of pregnant women in custody and changes to the agency’s use of prosecutorial discretion as prescribed by President Trump’s January 25, 2017 executive orders by nongovernmental organizations and the media leave us concerned that ICE has altered or revoked its policies on the detention of pregnant women.

Read the full letter here

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