Pregnant Immigrants Were Denied Care, Shackled At Their Bellies By ICE

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A directive by the President Donald Trump administration, requiring medical care for pregnant immigrants caught crossing the southern border, was apparently ignored many times.

Plenty of attention, deservedly so, has been put upon the abhorrent practice of President Donald Trump’s administration of separating undocumented parents from their children as a form of punishment for crossing the southern border.

But what about immigrants who are expecting? A new report from BuzzFeed details the grisly and detestable treatment of undocumented pregnant women who have been detained as well.

At least four pregnant women and workers from more than six immigration detention centers in California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas, detailed how expectant mothers were mistreated or neglected by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials while in custody.

These women were mistreated in ways that were clearly inhumane. Some were given clothes that were too tight around their stomachs, while others were shackled with restraints around their bellies while being transported from one facility to the next. Women were given X-rays by officials as well, violating the Food and Drug Administration’s standards for such imaging procedures.

In one abominable incident, an immigrant who spoke on condition of anonymity explained how, at four months pregnant, she had been bleeding for several days and needed immediate medical attention to save her baby’s life.

“An official arrived and they said [the detention center] was not a hospital and they weren’t doctors,” she said she was told. “They wouldn’t look after me.”

That woman had sought asylum to America after she discovered she was pregnant. Her detention led to the miscarriage of her child, and she agreed afterward to immediate deportation.

The ICE directive that Trump enforced, laying the groundwork for the separation of immigrant children from their families upon detention at the border, also made rules for the treatment of pregnant women who were detained, requiring that the agency would “[ensure] pregnant detainees receive appropriate medical care including effectuating transfers to facilities that are able to provide appropriate medical treatment.”

That directive was clearly ignored, as pregnant immigrants in detention centers across the Southwest were not given the treatment they needed.

This is the legacy of Trump's supposed “pro-life” administration. They have stripped children from their parents, and now the administration’s actions have led to the mistreatment and miscarriages of pregnant women under detention.

This cannot stand. A thorough and impartial investigation of agents and other officials who denied care to pregnant immigrants, as well as placing others with health needs in similar deplorable conditions, must be carried out. In addition to that, leadership in Washington itself must change this November, to ensure that these monstrous policies can never be implemented again.

Banner/thumbnail image credit: Free-Photos/Pixabay

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