ICE to Detain Pregnant Women After President Trump Axes Exemption Policy

ICE to Detain Pregnant Women After President Trump Axes Exemption Policy

ICE to Detain Pregnant Women After President Trump Axes Exemption Policy

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has changed its policy regarding pregnant women and will now only release them at the determination of an immigration agent, according to internal memos obtained by the Daily Beast.

Some pregnant immigrants can still be automatically released.

When a pregnant immigrant is detained, ICE will notify the Enforcement and Removal Operations, Homeland Security Investigations, Field Office Directors, and Special Agents in Charge. "Just like there are men who commit heinous acts violent acts [sic], so too have we had women in custody that commit heinous acts", Miller told reporters on Thursday, according to Reuters. It appears that there is little information available about the rates at which pregnant people commit crimes, and even less available about pregnant undocumented immigrants, specifically. "Your flight back to China is tomorrow.'" The official stressed that there is still a difference between "kicking in a door and taking a guy forcefully away and saying, 'Come with us or we'll kill your family in Inner Mongolia.'" Still, in one case involving a Chinese graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, there was "evidence of this person being taken against their will".

Homan previously issued a directive in 2016 in which he said "absent extraordinary circumstances or the requirement of mandatory detention, pregnant women will generally not be detained by ICE".

In an email sent directly to Talking Points Memo, the agency said that "to better align the President's Executive Order, ICE has ended to the presumption of release for all pregnant detainees".

Victoria Lopez, American Civil Liberties Union senior staff counsel, criticized the move.

While the Obama administration also detained pregnant women, the new policy likely means more pregnant women will be held in custody.

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The Trump administration has pushed ICE to expand the use of detention for immigrants subject to deportation, in an effort to cut down on the number allowed to live in the United States as they await court proceedings.

Chinese nationals living in the United States have also begun to disappear under suspicious circumstances, although unlike previous targets, "they were not high-profile folks", said one former USA intelligence official.

Trump has vowed to implement more restrictive immigration processes, and this will now include would-be immigrants' tweets and Facebook posts.

Miller downplayed the impact of the change, saying it was an attempt to make clear the administration's policy that no immigrants are exempt from enforcement.

The new policy comes as President Trump continues to tout his border wall proposal to crackdown on illegal immigration.

"This shameful policy from ICE is the latest example of the administration's broader and blatant anti-immigrant campaign", said Mary Meg McCarthy, executive director of the National Immigrant Justice Center, said in a statement Thursday.

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