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Biden Admin Direct ICE to Avoid Detention of Pregnant or Nursing Immigrants

pregnant migrant walks outside
(John Moore/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 09 July 2021 01:58 PM EDT

ICE says it will now avoid the arrest of pregnant, nursing, or postpartum illegal immigrants — discarding a Trump administration policy that ended the Obama-era practice of only detaining pregnant immigrants under extraordinary circumstances.

The new U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement policy, outlined in a July 1 memo signed by acting director Tae Johnson, states the agency generally will not detain or arrest "individuals known to be pregnant, postpartum or nursing unless release is prohibited by law or exceptional circumstances exist."

In cases where pregnant immigrants are detained - if an individual "poses an imminent risk of death, violence or physical harm" - immigration officials should monitor and ensure they get medical attention, mental health services and pre- or post-natal care, the new policy states.

The gender neutral language in the memo is intended to acknowledge that transgender men can given birth, a senior administration official, told CNN.

Pregnant and postpartum immigrants may still be detained if they pose "an imminent risk of death, violence or physical harm" or are a national security concern, the ICE policy stated.

The number of arrests of pregnant illegal immigrants rose 80% in 2018, the Arizona Republic reported at the time, a sharp increase from the number during the last year of the Obama administration.

A 2019 Government Accountability Office report showed 381 nursing women were held in ICE custody, and that that ICE detained pregnant women more than 4,600 times between 2016 and 2018.

The new Biden administration directive expands the Obama-era policy, extending exemptions to individuals who gave birth within a year and women who are nursing, which can be longer than a year, USA Today noted.

Immigration officers are also required to seek permission from a superior before issuing an order of detention or arrest for an individual known to be pregnant, postpartum or nursing, according to the memo.

"ICE is committed to safeguarding the integrity of our immigration system and preserving the health and safety of pregnant, postpartum and nursing individuals," Johnson said in a statement Friday. 

"Given the unique needs of this population, we will not detain individuals known to be pregnant, postpartum or nursing unless release is prohibited by law or exceptional circumstances exist."

Fran Beyer

Fran Beyer is a writer with Newsmax and covers national politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
ICE says it will now avoid the arrest of pregnant, nursing, or postpartum illegal immigrants - discarding a Trump administration policy that ended the Obama-era practice of only detaining pregnant immigrants...
ice, obama, trump, biden
366
2021-58-09
Friday, 09 July 2021 01:58 PM
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