President Donald Trump has created trouble for undocumented women who are pregnant.
Due to Trump’s executive order of “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement is ending its practice of automatically releasing pregnant women from detention.
In the past, it was customary for ICE to release women who were pregnant from detention, but Trump’s order requires stricter enforcement of immigration laws. As a result, pregnant women detained by ICE officials can only be released if an agent decides to on a case-by-case basis.
Immigrants’ rights crusaders argue that the practice of detaining pregnant women is dangerous for them and their unborn babies. Apparently, pregnant women are more likely to miscarry if they’re in detention. Now, under this new policy, it’s inevitable that more pregnant women will be detained.
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
Advocates say detaining more pregnant women has been a trend under Trump. Here's the story of a 23-year-old pregnant rape survivor, who was repeatedly assaulted by her smuggler on the journey from El Salvador to Texas, then detained for six months: https://t.co/D0ABkkath9 https://t.co/d5vcPvm7gH— Sophie Novack (@SophieNovack) March 29, 2018
Katie Shepherd, who does legal advocacy for asylum-seeking women at the American Immigration Council, said:
“This new ICE policy memo confirms our fears that the government is continuing its barbaric policy of detaining pregnant women despite substantial evidence that detention of this particularly vulnerable population has been linked to serious health implications to the mother and unborn child and also constitutes a significant barrier to receiving a meaningful day in court.”
It should be noted, however, that ICE detaining pregnant women isn’t necessarily anything new. Many pregnant women have been kept in custody, however, this is likely to drastically increase now that Trump has passed this order and immigration agents can justify holding them.
It's evident by their previous practice of automatically releasing pregnant women that ICE and the government are aware of the dangers associated with detaining them. Yet, this inhumane crackdown may be part of a larger plan to intentionally sabotage these women's pregnancies so that their children won't be born in the United States.
While that may sound incredibly drastic and cruel, it wouldn't be tough to believe, considering Trump's strong anti-immigrant stance. This is just one of several steps the administration has taken to rid the country of black, brown, and Muslim immigrants.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Flickr, Tatiana Vdb